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stephenbishop 01-20-2013 11:53 PM

match this 12" tile?
1 Attachment(s)
Knowing how often tile manufactures chop and change their range I probably have zero chance of sourcing this particular tile, but I'll put it out there on the off chance someone knows where I can find some.

We recently bought a home that's got this tile in most of the living areas, and some of them have cracked via the slab settling in one particular area, meaning I have to replace about 8 - 10 tiles. That or I have to come up with some kind of other solution that doesn't involve tearing up all the tile and starting from scratch. Eventually I'd like to, but just not right at the moment. Perhaps I could pattern in some other kind of tile that would compliment the existing tile?

If I can't find some way of replacing them, is there something white-ish that I could put in the cracks as a filler that won't get dirty? I don't really want to use a regular silicone filler, as I figure dirt will quickly adhere to it. It has to be something that sets really hard. I thought of regular grout, but some of the cracks are so fine I didn't think the stuff would be suitable, even the variety that doesn't have sand in it.


joecaption 01-21-2013 12:07 AM

Go back and add your location to your profile.
People here could be from anywhere on the planet.

When tile cracks like that it's not the tile that failed, it's what's under it. So even if you replaced it and did not correct what caused it to fail in the first place it's just going to fail again.
Under sized joist, to long a span, wrong subflooring ECT.

stephenbishop 01-21-2013 07:06 AM

Location wasn't relevant other than the fact I'm in the USA - last time I had to find a tile I had to go interstate to get it. At this point, I'd even ship from overseas to get a match.

I'm also assuming you must have missed the point I made in my post that the cracks have been caused by the slab settling at one end of the house, so of course there'd be an underlying issue.


oh'mike 01-21-2013 07:11 AM

Someone might recognize that one---the style is from some years back--so finding a match will be a matter of luck----

stephenbishop 01-21-2013 11:49 AM

Hi Mike,
Yes, you're right. The house was built in the 70's, and an addition was put in place some time in the early 80's, which is when I guess this stuff was laid down in that area. I'm obviously not hopeful of finding a match under the circumstances, but you never know, someone might have some lying around or something similar might be in use.

Failing that, as I mentioned in my first post, I'll have to try and either get creative by coming up with some kind of pattern using another type of tile that compliments the existing tile, or simply tidy up the cracks for the short term with an appropriate filler.


hammerlane 01-21-2013 12:04 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Seeing as if you may not find an exact match, you can do a sporadic pattern with different style tiles to replace the damaged tiles you currently have:

hammerlane 01-21-2013 12:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You may have to do a pattern like this:

jeffnc 01-21-2013 12:19 PM

I'd prefer putting in a solid strip of different tiles, rather than the Z shape.

hammerlane 01-21-2013 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by jeffnc (Post 1098670)
rather than the Z shape.

Where did you go to school and who taught you your alphabet...that is a "Tetris" pattern not a "Z" pattern:laughing::laughing:

jeffnc 01-21-2013 01:06 PM

Yeah but there are 4 Tetris patterns - what is that one called?

stephenbishop 01-22-2013 10:42 AM


Nice idea, but I don't think it could work as the sheering motion created by the slab settling has essentially gone along a line in two areas. I only showed one spot in my picture because I was simply trying to show the tile type. While the shape you suggested may work for the area I showed you, unless I can pull up some intact tile and clean the backs for re-laying I won't be able to uniformly repeat the same pattern in the other area.

Another thought I've had is that the two affected areas are both at 6' wide entry points to the room. I could perhaps create two patterned 'threshold' areas that compliment the existing tile.

In case I do need to try and pry up some of the existing tile to use elsewhere, does anyone know of an effective way to clean off dried thinset on the back of tiles? I've tried a couple of ways in the past, but either find the thinset too hard to remove, or I end up cracking the tile while trying to scrape the thinset off.

hammerlane 01-22-2013 11:54 AM


Originally Posted by stephenbishop (Post 1099402)

Another thought I've had is that the two affected areas are both at 6' wide entry points to the room. I could perhaps create two patterned 'threshold' areas that compliment the existing tile.


That could work...check with the boss first

stephenbishop 01-22-2013 03:37 PM

Actually, how's this for an idea? If I can find an effective way to clean the thinset off the back of the tiles if I pull them up in the affected area, how about deliberately breaking them up into smaller pieces, putting a small border round the two affected areas, and creating a mosaic like effect inside the borders? I've seen it done elsewhere and it looked great, but I've never felt confident enough to do it myself. (it kind of goes against the grain to break up perfectly good tiles!)

If anyone has done this before, what's the most effective way to break the tiles into uniform smaller pieces - drop them onto concrete, use a hammer, etc?

oh'mike 01-22-2013 03:47 PM

Use an angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel---they are a cheap tool--for a one shot job like that a $20 cheap-o is fine---the diamond cups? No idea of the cost---they last about forever so I don't remember the price.

stephenbishop 01-24-2013 09:27 PM

Well, I'm in luck because I've got a nice Makita angle grinder that will do the trick. The diamond Cup wheel I'll have to look up.

Anyone got any on the mosaic idea? As I said, I've seen some nice work done that way, but I always wondered if it didn't create sharp edges that bare feet could get cut on, however flat the pieces are laid.

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