Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Henri


Check subfloor before replacing floor tiles

Q.      Our house was built seven years ago. We have ceramic tiles in the hallways, kitchen and bathrooms. Some of these tiles are cracked. Can my Mr. Fix-It husband replace them, or should I hire a professional?

A.      First, you should figure out why the tiles are cracking. The subfloor might not be rigid enough, or some settlement might have taken place. This is something your Mr. Fix-It must first take care of first, or the new tiles will crack too.

Once this problem is resolved — and it may entail major work — there is no reason why your husband can’t replace the tiles if he is as handy as you say he is. The cracked tiles can be removed with a small tile chisel by breaking them around one edge, working toward the adjacent tile. Once this is done, the rest of the tile is easy to remove by working the chisel under it. The next step is to clean whatever was used to adhere the tile to the subfloor.

However, if all tiles have to be removed to strengthen the subfloor because there is no access from below, does your husband have the time, experience and desire to do it? Sometimes it is far easier to hire a contractor to get it done quickly. Hopefully, you will find a better contractor than the one who built the house.

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