In my opinion, resilient tiles make a superlative flooring option for bathrooms and kitchens because they are reasonably priced and relatively painless to install. The bad news is that the least expensive tiles tend to get damaged easily, especially if you’re married to a smoker. One brush with a lit cigarette and the tile goes from appealing to ashtray fodder in seconds. Thankfully, the tiles may also be easily replaced if you know what to do. Here’s how:
Resilient Tile Flooring Patch Supplies
In order to complete this repair you will need a clean dish towel, a household clothes iron ($16), sand paper ($4), a wide joint compound knife ($1) and a putty knife ($7). You’ll also need resilient tile as well as tile adhesive, a serrated-edge or mastic trowel ($3) and a bottle of nail polish remover ($2).
Removing the Damaged Resilient Tile
Start by turning the household clothes iron on and allowing it to reach a low to medium temperature. Once the clothes iron has reached temperature, place a clean dishtowel over the resilient tile that needs to be removed. Place the iron on top of the dish towel and carefully heat the entire surface of the damaged resilient tile. Whatever you do, do not allow the hot iron to touch the other resilient tiles. After the resilient tile feels warm to the touch, set the iron and dish towel aside. Attempt to pry the tile loose with the wide joint compound knife and the putty knife. If the tile does not want to pry loose, you may want to apply more heat with the iron and then try again.
Preparing the Area to Be Patched
Once the damaged resilient tile has been removed, you’ll need to remove any residual adhesive from the newly exposed area. In my experience, one effective way to remove the adhesive is to sand it with both coarse and fine-grit sandpaper. Another option is to use Goo Gone ($7) adhesive remover. Whichever option you decide to go with, just make sure that you are left with a clean and level surface. Otherwise, your replacement tile will not sit properly.
Installing the Replacement Tile
Before adding new adhesive, place the replacement tile into position to make sure that it fits and that the pattern matches the pre-existing floor. If the replacement tile has a lot more sheen than the pre-existing floor, you may want to attempt to dull the shine a bit with nail polish remover and a clean cloth. Don’t use too much though, because the nail polisher remover may damage the tile if applied too liberally. You’ll want to use just enough to take some of the finish off, but not enough to permanently etch the tile.
When you are satisfied with the way the replacement tile looks, go ahead and apply the adhesive to the patch area with a mastic trowel. Affix the tile to the floor. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you may need to apply heat to the new tile using the clothes iron and the hand towel. I’d also suggest weighing the new tile down with a few bricks or heavy books in order to keep it from developing unsightly air bubbles while the adhesive cures. Once the adhesive cures, the area will be ready for use.
Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing home improvement projects with her family.
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