Can't restore tile in lower level

14 Replies

I'm working on a split level reno in MA.  

The lower level has a room with a porcelain tile floor I thought could be restored with a good cleaning as it is in good shape.  Company came out, tested and declared it could be "cleaned and sanitized" but the stains, which might be rusty water or pet urine, can't be removed.  As there is no smell, I'm inclined to believe it's rusty water.  

It's about 350 sf of tile installed over concrete.  Removing/replacing isn't a cost I want to incur.  Would I be on the right track if instead I sanitize and install vinyl file over underlayment? 

Appreciate any and all thoughts.   

If the existing tile is well-adhered (test by tapping and listening for a either a hollow or solid sound) then you have several options: remove the grout alone with a tool and just re-grout, or replace the tile. Replacement of grout (especially of the floor) can be handled by most people with very little construction knowledge possessing the correct tools. If the grout lines are wide enough, that is.

Are you talking about self-adhesive vinyl tiles? I think they are garbage. There are other types of vinyl floor tiles that are much better but will require you to float the floor with adhesive or with concrete to prepare the surface for the new vinyl tile.

@Karen O. I imagine if the tile isn't in bad shape you could put a LVT that everyone seems to be using over the top. I would stay away from the thinner stuff, as the grout lines could show through, but if you had a thicker product, I don't see why it would be an issue. You could also probably put a self leveler down over the tile (if the manufacturer allows this) and then go over with the LVT or carpet.

Is it just some tiles in between? Why not pull out those tiles and replace with a contrasting color tile? If you have them sporadically all throughout the room, it will look as if it was done on purpose that way.

how many square feet are stained? have you looked into weather or not the tile is still available? If it is, have a contractor come out and replace the bad tiles, if your experienced enough you can do it yourself
Michael Gessner, Contractor
how many square feet are stained? have you looked into weather or not the tile is still available? If it is, have a contractor come out and replace the bad tiles, if your experienced enough you can do it yourself
Michael Gessner, Contractor
Originally posted by @Sean Ridlon :

If the existing tile is well-adhered (test by tapping and listening for a either a hollow or solid sound) then you have several options: remove the grout alone with a tool and just re-grout, or replace the tile. Replacement of grout (especially of the floor) can be handled by most people with very little construction knowledge possessing the correct tools. If the grout lines are wide enough, that is.

Are you talking about self-adhesive vinyl tiles? I think they are garbage. There are other types of vinyl floor tiles that are much better but will require you to float the floor with adhesive or with concrete to prepare the surface for the new vinyl tile.

 No Sean.  These are mortar set porcelain tiles over a concrete floor.  And they are good and solid, but stained.

Originally posted by @Michael Gessner :
how many square feet are stained? have you looked into weather or not the tile is still available? If it is, have a contractor come out and replace the bad tiles, if your experienced enough you can do it yourself

I have no idea when they were installed and suspect difficulty in finding replacements.  About 1/3 is affected.

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :

Is it just some tiles in between? Why not pull out those tiles and replace with a contrasting color tile? If you have them sporadically all throughout the room, it will look as if it was done on purpose that way.

 Not sporadic enough.

Tiles can be painted. Same material as bathtubs get reglazed with. I don't know how well they hold up to foot traffic. A lot can depend on the price range of the house.

Are you planning on holding or flipping? If former, then reglazing and covering with throw rugs might work, if later, then maybe consider a floating wood floor or similar

Originally posted by @Karen O. :
Originally posted by @Michaela G.:

Is it just some tiles in between? Why not pull out those tiles and replace with a contrasting color tile? If you have them sporadically all throughout the room, it will look as if it was done on purpose that way.

 Not sporadic enough.

Believe it or not sometimes hydrogen peroxide will remove it. If that doesn't work use muratic acid. 5 parts water to one part acid. Pour the acid into the water and not the other way around. Make sure you are well ventilated and use gloves. As soon as the stain is gone wash immediately with water. 

Originally posted by @Mike Reynolds :
Originally posted by @Karen O.:
Originally posted by @Michaela G.:

Is it just some tiles in between? Why not pull out those tiles and replace with a contrasting color tile? If you have them sporadically all throughout the room, it will look as if it was done on purpose that way.

 Not sporadic enough.

Believe it or not sometimes hydrogen peroxide will remove it. If that doesn't work use muratic acid. 5 parts water to one part acid. Pour the acid into the water and not the other way around. Make sure you are well ventilated and use gloves. As soon as the stain is gone wash immediately with water. 

Never heard of that. I'll try it and see.  

@karen o, never assume, I just did a renovation in Florida, I thought I'd never find the tiles, sure enough a few days of searching found them at a local supplier. I'm sure you'll find them. 

Michael Gessner, Contractor

the acid might work depending on how badly stained they are.  If that doesn’t work and you want to keep the tile look I would go with the LVT as someone stated before though it is on the pricey side for vinyl it is a quality product. (I have used it many times over the last few years) You will have to float over the grout joints To make sure they are level with the tile. If not over time the grout joints will transfer through the LVT.  With LVT you can grout or go grout less.  What about using a laminate?

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