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Water Damage to Tile Flooring – How It Can Be Prevented [Quick Tips]

June 23, 2020

Floor Tiles Get Loose After Water Damage

One of the main issues that water damage causes to your tile flooring is that it can make it loosen up over time. That’s because the adhesive that’s holding your tiles into position will slowly be deteriorated by the presence of excess moisture. When you’re trying to use proper tile care, one of the first things that you should do is make sure that water isn’t allowed to pool on top of your tiles for very long. Wipe up spills and messes before water has the time to seep down below your tiles and do damage to the subfloor and the tile itself.

If you notice that tiles in your home are beginning to loosen up and stop sticking to the floor like they are supposed to, this is often a clear sign that you have water damage that you don’t know about. That’s why it’s a good idea to check your tile flooring regularly. You won’t know if you need to make a tile repair until you go looking for problems, and after looking you might realize that you have quite a few issues that need caring for.

If you notice one or two tiles coming loose, pull them up so that you can see what sort of damage has occurred down below. Often you’ll see that the lower floor is rotting away and you have a serious issue that you need to take care of. Do yourself a favor and fix up any water leaks that are present and then care for all flooring and tile that’s affected by the water damage. Usually, many surrounding tiles will be damaged as well, even if they haven’t become loose just yet, so check thoroughly.

What should be done about water under bathroom floor tiles?

If you notice any signs of water under bathroom tile flooring, you’ll have to take a few different steps to sort out the issue. The very first step, before you worry about things like tile repair or tile care, is to find out where the water is coming from. If it’s from something like flooding, or a burst pipe that you already cared for, you can skip this step. However, if you aren’t sure what’s causing the water damage you need to get a pro into your home to locate the source of the damage. 

Without doing this there is no way for you to make sure your tile flooring holds up over time, and you’ll end up with the problem repeating itself again and again.

After you go through the trouble of stopping the water leak, you can move on to repairing any damage that was done by the water. If you have tiles that are suffering from the damage, chances are good other surfaces are also damaged. It’s time for you to remove any damaged tiles so that you can look at everything else underneath. Cut out any subfloor that’s damaged and replace it with a fresh product. After you get all the subfloor issues worked out, you can start focusing on tile repair.

To get your floor looking again try and pick up matching tiles to put into position for proper tile repair. In some instances you can just reuse your original tiles after they dry out and they’ll be good as new with some new adhesive underneath. That’s not always the case though and other times you’ll need to toss them out and get new tiles. If you can’t find matching tiles, you’ll have to pull the entire floor out and start over with a different option, or you’ll have to deal with flooring that doesn’t match.

Make sure that you have a professional handle your tile repair so the finished floor is strong, level, and water-resistant like it should be. After the tile flooring is fixed up, you can go ahead and enjoy the floor while using proper tile care procedures to keep damage from occurring in the future. Try to stay on top of water leaks and to clean up any water spills before they can do serious damage. This is an important step in keeping your flooring looking and functioning properly.

How to repair water damaged tiles

Water damaged tiles are upsetting, but they don’t have to ruin your entire floor and there are steps that you can take to restore the perfect finish to your floor once again. The most important step to realize is that you might have to replace some of the tiles during your tile repair. Often water damage doesn’t actually affect the tiles themselves, but in some extreme cases, it can. Try and dry out any tiles that are just damp and see if you can reuse them with more adhesive to restore your floor to its former glory.

The major repair that you need to make when fixing up your tile flooring is to replace damaged subfloor products that might be soft or weak as a result of the water. After you fix up the floor underneath, it’s time to reinstall your tile flooring again or to replace the messed up tiles to complete your tile repair. Of course, you will need to add new grout to the tile floor to create the proper seal once again and you should cover that grout with a clearcoat product for a good solid seal that you can depend on. As long as you go through those steps, you should be able to enjoy your tile flooring once again without any other issues.

Avoiding water damage to your bathroom tiles

Proper tile care is usually all it takes to avoid water damage to your tiles as long as you don’t have an unexpected accident as your cause. Any spills or leaks that happen over top of your tile flooring should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Even though tile flooring is good for keeping water from leaking through, over time water will seep down into tiles and cause very real damage. If you are diligent about cleaning up spills before they can sit for too long, that should not be an issue for you at all.

To further protect your tile flooring, you should seal the grout lines in between your tiles every few years. Doing that ensures that the tiles really are water-resistant and that water can’t just sink down in between the porous sections of tile grout. Sealing the grout lines doesn’t take very long and is a reliable step to help keep your floors safe and secure. Just make sure that you do the job properly and you use a good quality sealer as well.

Getting a water-resistant floor takes some time and experience, but it’s possible with a bit of practice. If you aren’t sure about sealing your tile grout you can get professionals to help you with the project as well. The right pros will ensure that your tiles will remain watertight for a year or two, and some will even show you what products to use and how you can complete the sealing task yourself in the future so you don’t have to rely on professional help again in the future for your tile care.

With those basic steps you should be able to avoid water damage to your tile flooring and you won’t need to do anything like a major tile restoration project in the future. Instead, you’ll have reliable flooring that remains in good shape for years after.

How Much Water Can Tile Retain? It All Depends on Density

When considering what to do about water damage in your home, it’s important to consider how much water the tile flooring can retain. The more water a particular type of flooring retains, the more issues you’ll have with water damage in the future. When working on a tile restoration project, consider if you’re choosing the right tile for the right purpose. If you have a non-vitreous or only a semi-vitreous tile, it should never be used in damp conditions because these tiles can absorb up to 7% water making them damp enough to damage standard subfloors and surrounding organic structures.

Tile Repair or Tile Restoration

Before you bother with tile repair or tile restoration, consider the tile that you are using for the location. In a damp location like a bathroom you want to go with an impervious, or at the very least vitreous tile. Porcelain tile is generally considered to be impervious and will hold up when used in most conditions that you can put the material in. That means whether you want the tile for your bathroom, for your basement or even in some outdoor applications, you can get great results when you utilize the proper tile flooring.

  • Non – Vitreous – These tiles are mainly used only inside your home or office and absorb 7% water.
  • Semi – Vitreous – These tiles are also used inside your home or office and cannot be used for outdoor purpose. They absorb around 3% to 7% water.
  • Vitreous – These tiles are ideal to use both indoors and outdoors and absorb only 0.5% to 3% water.
  • Impervious – Porcelain tiles come under this category of tiles and absorb only around 0.001% to 0.5% of water.

Tile flooring is one of the best options that you can get when you want a floor that can stand up to moisture, but too much moisture is a major issue even for this type of flooring. Make sure that you are exercising proper tile care so that you don’t have to worry about tile repair due to water issues. As long as you stay on top of any problems that develop you should be able to avoid major repairs. If you do run into issues or are looking for someone to help with tile restoration, consider working with us or other professional companies to take care of your issues. Professionals can help make sure your tile installation looks as good as possible, while also improving the finished results that you get from your project."