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Old 07-25-2011, 08:52 AM   #1
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Ceramic Tile Re-Glueing???

Off topic but I am guessing many of you know a solution.

In my bathroom (home) I have 20 year old ceramic tile floor that was installed with very thin "sub-strate"...ie the cement underlayment is quite thin.

I have one or two tiles that have become loose. They still are fine and in fact are loose within their appropriate spots. I do not think it is an issue with the underlayment as they seem quite level with the rest of the tiles.

I would like to carefully pull them up...w/o damage to the tiles surrounding or to the underlayment...AND then carefully "re-glue" them back in place???

Is there a "glue" or some material that would set very thin and still "hol" the tile(s) in their original spot. The fact that they are loose is only evident as you step on them and they make a "click" announcing that they are loose...very moderate movement.

While I know the correct fix is probably much more destructive...am I off base to think I can extend life by "re-glueing"?

Just what to use to re-glue????

Thanks...Tom R

P.S. I would re-grout around them when re-glued...TMR
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:27 AM   #2
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Clean area well, then use liquid nails. Easy fix
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
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A tile installation company once told me just to glue them back on with silicone. I have done this in the past and it has worked fine.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Ceramic Tile Re-Glueing???

Greetings Tom R!

We have ceramic or porcelain tile in six rooms of our home, and periodically we have a tile that becomes loose and needs attention. When this happens, we typically follow this process:
  • Carefully remove the grout from all edges of the loose tile using a grout cutting tool.
  • Using a shop vacuum, remove all loose grout.
  • If the tile's seal to the substrate hasn't totally broken free, with firm pressure gently apply a twisting motion to the tile until the seal is totally broken. If this doesn't work, a flexible, heavy vinyl putty knife can be used to attempt separating the tile (this can be dangerous depending upon how fragile the particular tile may be . . . the pressure of prying can fracture a tile so this is usually a final alternative).
  • With the tile removed, clean the substrate and back of tile thoroughly utilizing a stiff bristle brush and a shop vacuum to remove all of the loose material.
  • Apply a thin coating of mastic to both surfaces and return tile to its home using a gentle twisting motion to bond the two surfaces. With the tile in proper position, place a one gallon jug filled with water on the tile's surface as a weight and allow to dry for at least 24-hours.
  • Apply grout around perimeter of tile and use a damp sponge to shape.
  • Allow grout to cure for at least 24 hours then seal the grout and the repair is complete.
This process has proven successful for us over a number of repairs.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #5
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And ....

"As Always were safety glasses or goggles" whenever there is the possibility of the tile stress breaking! Protect your eyes 1ST! Norm from This Old House & Me, Ed
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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Thanks Kevin...I removed the loose tile to look this AM. Pretty clean and it does re-seat nicely from the sub-strate. I think I will clean the tile of any grout and also clean the substrate of any material that appears at all "loose"...leave the rest.

Is "mastic" a pre-made, glue like material that I can purchase at a local hardware store?

I think this should work well...partly because it appears to simply have broken the adhesion away from the substrate...does not appear to be other "flaking" material.

Thanks...Tom R

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Tom R!

We have ceramic or porcelain tile in six rooms of our home, and periodically we have a tile that becomes loose and needs attention. When this happens, we typically follow this process:
  • Carefully remove the grout from all edges of the loose tile using a grout cutting tool.
  • Using a shop vacuum, remove all loose grout.
  • If the tile's seal to the substrate hasn't totally broken free, with firm pressure gently apply a twisting motion to the tile until the seal is totally broken. If this doesn't work, a flexible, heavy vinyl putty knife can be used to attempt separating the tile (this can be dangerous depending upon how fragile the particular tile may be . . . the pressure of prying can fracture a tile so this is usually a final alternative).
  • With the tile removed, clean the substrate and back of tile thoroughly utilizing a stiff bristle brush and a shop vacuum to remove all of the loose material.
  • Apply a thin coating of mastic to both surfaces and return tile to its home using a gentle twisting motion to bond the two surfaces. With the tile in proper position, place a one gallon jug filled with water on the tile's surface as a weight and allow to dry for at least 24-hours.
  • Apply grout around perimeter of tile and use a damp sponge to shape.
  • Allow grout to cure for at least 24 hours then seal the grout and the repair is complete.
This process has proven successful for us over a number of repairs.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Tom R!

This process has proven successful for us over a number of repairs.


Kevin
Success is in the fine details! Good post Kevin.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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Yes, Mastic is a glue that comes in a bucket. Used to glue tile to walls, countertops, floors. Used it in the airstream for my marble counter-tops.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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Ceramic Tile Re-Glueing???

Greetings Tom R!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR View Post
Thanks Kevin...I removed the loose tile to look this AM. Pretty clean and it does re-seat nicely from the sub-strate. I think I will clean the tile of any grout and also clean the substrate of any material that appears at all "loose"...leave the rest.

Is "mastic" a pre-made, glue like material that I can purchase at a local hardware store?

I think this should work well...partly because it appears to simply have broken the adhesion away from the substrate...does not appear to be other "flaking" material.

Thanks...Tom R
Any of the "big box" retailers carry smaller pre-mixed containers of mastic, grout, and grout sealer in their floor tile sections. I always try to keep one each of these small containers on the supply shelf for repairs.

Good luck with your repair!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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If you are using mastic, check the thickness required for proper bonding/adhesion. You had mentioned the the bed was thin on the existing tiles; if the mastic on the replacement tiles is thicker, you will have a toe stumper, too thin and it will break loose again.
I have had success with silicone, liquid nails, and mastic. It all depends on the conditions you are working with. I would suggest drysetting to check the fit and clearances prior to setting.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_lewis77 View Post
If you are using mastic, check the thickness required for proper bonding/adhesion. You had mentioned the the bed was thin on the existing tiles; if the mastic on the replacement tiles is thicker, you will have a toe stumper, too thin and it will break loose again.
I have had success with silicone, liquid nails, and mastic. It all depends on the conditions you are working with. I would suggest drysetting to check the fit and clearances prior to setting.

Good luck with your project.
I anticipate needing an adhesive that does not add "much" to the thickness of the "set"...as the tile fits snuggly as is...other than being loose. Is Mastic perhaps a thicker choice...in which case it may not work as the tile will sit up above the rest of the tiles...unless I need to remove the quite well attached prior bonding material from the back of the tile?

It looks like a really good glue might work fine? Perhaps the liquid nails??

Thanks all...I am getting close...Tom R
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:11 PM   #12
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Thinset is better in wet applications and on walls than mastic. It either comes in a powder that must be mixed or pre-mixed in a bucket. You will probably have to buy more than you will ever need. After you use it, seal the contained well so it can be used again. Saran Wrap on top of the premix works well and when you put the top back on the plastic wrap seals that.

If the tiles are proud of the rest of the wall, you may have remove more to get them all at the same level. When they are in place, use some painter's tape to make sure they don't slide down. Or, you can buy plastic separators (they look like little crosses) to hold the tiles at the proper distance from the next tile—they come in different sizes for whatever space is between the tiles.

Once it has been grouted, a sealer should be applied to all the grout, especially in a bathroom where there is water splashing around.

Gene
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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I just use PL Premium construction adhesive. I use the same for edge tiles. It's made for glass and wood and about everything else. Get it at the borg.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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Soooo...if I do not want to raise the profile of the re-glued tile?...might liquid nails or a premium construction adhesive be the best bet??

Thanks...Tom R

P.S. Ya I know it is just one tile...but like they say..."measure twice and glue once"...Thanks...TMR
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