How to Repair and Replace Travertine Tile

How to Repair and Replace Travertine Tile

How to Repair and Replace Travertine Tile

Sometimes, no matter how careful a person is to care for their travertine tile. the tile sustains damage and must be repaired or replaced. Loose or damaged tile is most often the result of issues with the subflooring or improper installation. Though it is not the easiest or most pleasant task in the world, it can be done. Fixing loose tiles and/or replacing broken ones as needed is the best way to preserve the rest of the tile.

How to Repair a Loose Tile

First, identify loose tiles by listening for noise when walked on or a hollow sound when the tile is hit. In most cases, replacing the tile all together is the best thing to do. If this is not possible for financial or aesthetic reasons, injecting an epoxy glue solution underneath the tile to re-bond it to the subfloor is the only other option.

The tools needed for this job are: a drill, carbide tipped blade equal to or slightly smaller than the grout joint size, a large construction syringe, a high quality two part epoxy, and matching grout.

On either side of the loose tile, carefully drill holes into the grout joints. Mix the epoxy solution according to the directions. Carefully inject epoxy into one hole, until enough works its way through the tile to come out the hole on the other side. It may be a good idea to use a golf tee in the other hole to ensure the epoxy solution fills all voids before coming out the other side.

Dig out the epoxy slightly and allow it enough time to cure. After the mixture cures, fill the holes with the matching grout to finish the job.

How to Repair a Damaged Subfloor

If the subfloor is damaged, it should be repaired before the initial installation of the tile floor, to prevent further complications and issues as the floor ages. If the subfloor damage has to be repaired after a floor installation, the tile must be removed to expose it, therefore creating more work in the long run.

Use tools such as a: reciprocating saw, circular saw, jigsaw, or handsaw to carefully remove any damaged subfloor material. Wear the appropriate safety to protect from injury. When removing the damaged subfloor, practice care to avoid damaging any adjacent areas that are in good shape.

After the damaged material is removed, replace it with new materials. Secure it accordingly.

Once the damaged subfloor has been replaced, follow tile installation instructions to install the new tile floor.

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How to Repair and Replace Travertine Tile

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It should be possible to fix this issue as the tile should indeed be level and flat. The fact that they are are not flush with each other likely indicates a less than perfect installation. Unless the tiles have large variations in thickness such as in a stone like slate with a split face, tiles should always be virtually perfectly flush. Even were the subfloor not perfectly level, the installer should put down a mortar bed thick enough that the tiles can be adjusted deeper or shallower in the mortar to make up for minor variations in the subfloor. Ive encountered this issue before and it was caused by a high spot in the underlying concrete. Unfortunately in that case the concrete underneath may need to be chiseled level. It should be possible for a good installer to chip out the problem tile and replace it but I would act quickly to make sure you can get another tile from the same batch to ensure it is similar in size, color, thickness, etc. and I would ensure you can get the same slip resistant coating and grout. Home Depot may not recommend an installer for liability reasons (I used to work at Home Depot) but its more likely that a tile store will be willing to.

I had travertine flooring installed in my small bathroom. Once done, I noticed that the grout line appeared, from a distance, to be wider than when you look down on it. I am told that it was not properly installed. I am being told that grout release should have been used prior to applying the grout which would have prevented the group from bleeding into the edges of the stone. That not being the case, there appears that there is nothing that can be done, short of replacing the tiles. That being said, the whole floor would not need replaced, just about half. Is this a hard job and is it hard to do? I am having trouble finding someone who wants to fix what someone else has done and I dont want the original contractor back. Any suggestions?

Hello there Linda,

Sorry to hear that you got stuck with a flooring installer who appears to have done a shoddy job on the installation. All hope is not lost, I can recommend a third party website that will help you locate a certified flooring installer in your area and I suggest you get a couple of different quotes for the repair job. If they say that the repair job would be too difficult it might just be better to replace the incorrectly installed floor.

Here is a link to the site: (just enter your zip code at the top and you will should able to locate some installers in your area)


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