Cracked shower tiles can pose a range of problems such as allowing in moisture through walls and causing structural damage. Tiles can crack or break because of their age, damage from the impact of dropping heavy items on the floor, etc. Irrespective of how the tiles have cracked, repairing the cracks as soon as possible is crucial.
An aesthetically pleasing idea would be to replace the tiles but replacing cracked shower tiles can be costlier than you think. You will need to buy new tiles that match the existing ones (which in itself is not an easy task), hire a professional for the job, and end up paying for all the expenses.
In short, you will require a few hundred dollars to get the replacement done. Thankfully, there are a few easy hacks to fix cracked tiles, which can save you the trouble of investing in tile replacement. If you want to repair cracked bathroom tiles, this article is prepared with a step-by-step guide to correctly repair a cracked shower tile.
Tools and Supplies Needed
The tools you need to get started with repairing a cracked shower tile depend on how you want to mend it and on the extent of the damage. The list of the most necessary tools and materials for the repair process includes:
- Epoxy glue or superglue
- Safety goggles
- Polyurethane (PU) based tile sealant
- Painter brush
After gathering all the necessary supplies, you must follow the vital steps.
Prepare the Tile Surface
Irrespective of the method you will use to repair the cracked tile, you must first clean the area. Surface preparation is imperative because grease, dust, and dirt can affect the final outcome of the repair process. Besides, working in a clean place is easier and ensures there are lesser chances of foiling in the process. An easy way to clean the tile surface (that requires repair) is by using alcohol and paper towels. Put on your safety goggles, rub the alcohol on the tile, and using paper towels wipe it clean.
Using Epoxy to Repair Cracked Shower Tile
- Mix the epoxy
Filling the crack with epoxy begins with preparing the material. Empty two epoxy tubes on cardboard and mix well. You can use scrap wood or paper plate if you don’t have cardboard. Stir the two together until they have fully blended. Combining two epoxies will start the hardening process.
Now, as the hardening process kicks in; you must begin working with the mixture. You have 15 to 30 minutes before the mixture hardens and becomes useless. Many epoxies come with an applicator tool. However, feel free to apply it with whatever you are comfortable using.
Take the applicator and scoop the epoxy from the cardboard. Smear it along the crack and spread it thinly to drain the epoxy into the gap. Make sure every part of the crack is covered before leaving it. Make sure you don’t apply on areas with no gaps. You will need to wipe off excess epoxy and leave it to dry.
- Removing excess epoxy
It takes around 30 minutes for the epoxy to dry completely. However, we recommend waiting a few hours before scrapping the excess epoxy for the best results. Even though you fix the crack, you will notice a difference between the damaged part and the rest of the tiles. That is why it is crucial to paint over the area with epoxy. Epoxy is clear, so painting will also be easy.
Once the epoxy has dried, and you have scrapped off the excess, you can start the painting process. Choose a color that will blend well with the rest of the tiles to disguise the crack. Choosing oil-based paint that matches the other tiles will be a good idea. However, the paint will not be necessary if the epoxy has blended well.
Using Superglue Instead of Epoxy
If you cannot somehow find epoxy in your local store, you can choose alternatives like super glue. Applying super glue will not only fill cracks, but it can also reattach split tiles. Ensure you handle the super glue carefully since it is a powerful substance that sticks easily. Learn how to remove superglue if it sticks to your hands or hair.
Using Polyurethane (PU) Based Tile Sealant
Fixing cracked shower tiles with a polyurethane-based tile sealant is a pretty straightforward process. It is, however, essential to choose a polyurethane-based sealant that is waterproof and designed specifically for bathroom tile repairs. Always read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow the safety guidelines when using tile sealant.
- Clean the area around the crack
Remove any dirt, debris, or stain build-ups around the cracked tile. You can use a razor blade to scrape off the debris. Make sure the damaged area is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Prepare and apply the sealant
Open the polyurethane-based tile sealant and stir it thoroughly. Use a caulk gun to apply the sealant onto the crack. Apply the sealant evenly into the crack, making sure to fill it completely. Smooth out any excess sealant with your finger or an old credit card.
- Let the sealant dry and then finish
Allow the sealant to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This can take several hours or days, depending on the brand of sealant used. Once the sealant has dried, check the repair to make sure the crack is fully covered and the surface is smooth. Clean up any excess sealant with a damp cloth or sponge and you’re done.
The methods above are good for fixing cracked shower tiles. However, if the tile has suffered substantial damage, it may be best to hire a professional to repair it. The professionals will find the best way to leave your tile without blemish. They will also advise you if replacing it is the best solution, depending on the extent of the damage and the type of tile.