Tile Installation Problems Resolved in a Cardiff Bathroom

Sometimes my clients ask the question: “Why is the grout coming out of the joints in my bathroom floor, and what can I do about it?” This job at a house in the city of Cardiff had exactly that problem and I had been asked to resolve it, additionally one of the tiles had become cracked and need replacing.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The cause was due to movement in the floor when walked on, causing the grout to dislodge from the tile; this is not uncommon on tiled floors where there is wooden base and there is a lack of flexibility in the adhesive, most likely because it was watered down upon initial installation or a flexible product was not used. In this case the floorboards outside the bathroom door would squeak when stepped on, suggesting that there was some degree of movement under the bathroom floor, making the substrate move very slightly – but enough to cause problems. All I could really do in this situation was to remove the existing grout with a small machine and re-grout the entire area using a highly flexible grout.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

These thoughts were confirmed when I came to replace one cracked tile in the centre of the floor. Upon removing the broken tile I saw that the tiles had been laid on 13mm of adhesive which was very brittle and soft, allowing it to be scraped off the tile and the floor easily. Only approximately 50% of the tile was covered in adhesive, suggesting that it had been laid rather carelessly. Tiles must have 100% adhesive coverage, especially in bathrooms with underfloor heating, because the heat and cold can directly impact the stone and cause cracks.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

Fortunately the customer had a spare tile and so I carefully chopped out the broken tile and removed the surrounding grout and adhesive causing no disruption to the surrounding area. The replacement tile was secured in place with adhesive and then grouted using a matching grout, this time using flexible products.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The next job was to take a look at the shower cubicle where I was disappointed to see that the contractor who was responsible for the initial installation of the floor had used a very cheap silicone between the base and the shower wall. It was now mouldy and had de-bonded in places that it had to be cut out and replaced by a stronger, high quality silicone. Generally speaking, silicone should last more than 2-3 years (this floor had been installed in 2012).

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

I cut the old silicone out with a sharp knife, cleaned up the edges and replaced the silicone with a quality product.

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

The ceramic and mosaic tiles were in good condition so this really was just a case of resolving some installation problems however for general cleaning I would recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a new Biodegradable organic product ideal for cleaning bathroom tiles.
 
 

Bathroom Installation Problems Resolved in South Wales

1920’s Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Pontcana

The new owner of this house in Pontcana, Cardiff recently discovered a 1920’s Victorian tiled floor hidden under carpet in the hallway and was keen to restore it as an original feature. They contacted Tile Doctor to have it repaired and I popped round to do a survey. I could see there was a great deal of movement in the floor by the front door area where the old brittle cement base had buckled causing the tiles to become loose and uneven.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs

Most contractors would consider this beyond repair however I suggested we take up the main area of buckled tiles and keep them for the repair to the centre of the hallway where a copper strip had been laid in the cement. I suggested that in the area which we lifted up the tiles by the front door that we made a mat well which not only looks good but serves a purpose and remedies the main problem of the cement base.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first task was to check moisture readings then to remove the tiles carefully as I could in order to save the pieces for the repair of the other damage in the centre of floor. I then chiselled the raised areas of cement away with a small Kango hammer in preparation for the self-leveller which would be needed to make the base suitable for the new doorway mat.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Starting Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Removing Damaged Section

Once this was done I proceeded to repair the other damaged parts of the floor using the original tiles that were now spare. I laid the tiles through the damaged areas and grouted them in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana During Grouting

Once the grout had gone off I was able to start cleaning the floor starting with an application of Grout Clean-Up to remove the grout smears followed by a solution of Tile Doctor HBU mixed 50/50 with Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tile and then rinsed off before steam cleaning the floor to make sure any dirt or trace of chemical was removed before sealing the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Repairs

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I returned two days later to seal the floor checking that the moisture readings were acceptable first. To seal the floor I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which can even make an old floor look vibrant.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor now looks great and I’m confident the restoration of this period feature will add value to the property.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor hidden under carpet fully restored in South Wales