What To Do If You Find An Unsightly Chip In Your Floor Tile

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Ceramic or porcelain are some of the best tiles for your kitchen floor, thanks to the fact they're difficult to stain and are waterproof. However, they're not totally bulletproof. Like any other tile option, they can suffer damage when placed under stress. Although a durable type of flooring, when a hard object hits it at just the right angle, the material could crack or chip away. The chip often affects both the top layer of glaze and the clay underneath. Is there any way to fix this type of damage without making the repair obvious? 

You can fix chips, although the process is much easier if you still have the tiny piece that broke away. Even if you don't have the tiny chunk and are only left with the resulting hole, you can fill in the space quite successfully, but it becomes a bit more challenging to match colors.

If you have some extra tiles on hand from the original installation, you can pull out the piece with damage and pop in a new one. This will provide the cleanest look in the final result, as long as the installed tiles don't have sun fade that would make the new piece look out of place. Start by removing the tile that has damage. Use a chisel to break up the chipped tile and remove the broken pieces. Clean out any old adhesive, mortar, and grout. Then, glue the new piece into place and add new grout.

How to repair a chip in tile

If you don't have a new tile to replace the broken one, then your next best bet is to repair the crack. To do so, clean the entire tile, including the part that is chipped or cratered. Allow it to dry. Use medium-to-fine-grit sandpaper (around 100- or 120-grit) to lightly soften the edges of the chipped piece and the hole in the floor. If you still have the chipped piece, you can try gluing it back into place with an epoxy that works on ceramic or porcelain. A tube of epoxy on Amazon costs about $10. You should wear gloves to protect your skin while using the epoxy.  

If the broken piece is missing, you can use a repair kit, which costs about $25 at Amazon, to fill in the space. The kit has putty in it that you can use to fill in the gap. It also includes multiple colors of paint. You may want to use masking tape around the edges of the broken area on the main tile to protect it from any overflow of the putty, which could discolor it. Add the putty to fill the gap completely and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. 

Find the right color from the kit — or mix more than one hue together – to match your current layout. Then, apply the desired color to the putty. If you were able to replace the chipped piece, as we described earlier, you may need to use a little bit of the paint from this kit as a touchup. 

Finding a pro repair person to fix your chipped floor tile

If you don't feel comfortable attempting this type of repair on your own, you can hire an expert to do the work. Expect to pay an average of about $30 per square foot of repairs required. However, when you just need a small chip fixed, the repair person will likely charge you a minimum fee, usually starting at $100. Some companies may charge by the hour for the work. When you ask a pro to look at the problem, this expert can give you advice about the best way to handle the fix. They may recommend fixing it with putty or completely replacing the damaged tile.

If you have a high-end type of floor tile that has chipped, you may need to reach out to a pro right from the get-go. That's because it will be difficult to match the color, texture, or veining variations with the paint in a kit as an amateur. Plus, it's much more difficult for a repair professional to fix the botched patch you added than the actual chip itself. A pro has a better chance of matching the design of the stone or marble successfully without making it evident that you had to perform a repair on the floor.