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Help needed Lifting Tiles For Relaying

Discussion in 'Tile Cleaning & Restoration' started by Brian_West, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    Hi all,

    First post here. I just bought this old house with a rather nice tiled hallway.


    Unfortunately someone dug a trench across it at some point and infilled with cement.


    I'd like to try to repair this if possible. I uncovered some more tiling at the back behind the stairs which had been overlaid with carpet. I thought I might be able to lift this tile and relay it back at the front where the trench is.

    The problem is that the tiles seem to have been set in cement. The grout lines are tiny but these are also cement based as I did a bit of cutting with a dremel and the stuff is rock hard.

    I drilled out one broken tile (again at the back where I'd like to lift tiles) and then chiselled up fairly close to a complete tile, within about 5mm, but there is no give whatsoever in the tiles.

    I read somewhere that you'd be lucky to recover 25% of tiles like these that are set in cement or concrete.

    So is it a complete waste of time. Has anyone managed it or would I be better off scrounging around salvage yards or getting new replicas made.

    AMA Tiling likes this.
  2. amir patwa

    amir patwa Serious Contributor

    With in this forum there are very good tilers who will bring glory to your floor ! Try to source new tiles it's waste of time ,
    Energy to reclaim from your existing floor!
    AMA Tiling likes this.
  3. DavidCarr

    DavidCarr Tiling Forum Admin Staff Member

    @Brian_West take a look on eBay and salvage yards, pretty sure you'll find some of a similar shade, the most difficult to source will be the mushroom half octagons. I wouldn't try and remove fixed tiles as they'll just shatter.
    MosaicGirl likes this.
  4. MosaicGirl

    MosaicGirl Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I might get shot for saying this, but if it was me, until I found the same tiles somewhere, I'd paint the exact tile pattern on the floor, the measurements are all there for you to copy, with mixed concrete paint shades. I means it wouldn't stick out like sore thumb until then. I'd make it into a proper forgery :) Depending how deep the waterpipe or phone wire or gaspipe or whatever is hidden under that concrete is, you'll have to be careful not to dig out too much to make room for the tiles to come. Painting it with matching lines and shades would give you a stop gap.
  5. MosaicGirl

    MosaicGirl Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

  6. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    Thanks for the replies folks. Yes, pretty sure they would shatter if I try to lift. Some of the white ones have little chips out of them and the material seems to be like porcelain.

    Gisela, great idea! I would never have thought of that. We've been looking around for a rug of the correct size to place over that eyesore but your stop gap suggestion gives another take entirely.
    amir patwa and MosaicGirl like this.
  7. MosaicGirl

    MosaicGirl Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Yay! :) If you're careful with the colours, add a bit of texture with a sponge with added matt acrylic at the end, for worn sheen and texture, you'll hardly know the difference in the end.
  8. branty1uk

    branty1uk Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Not bad as a stop gap. I'd use the existing tiles as templates to create a stencil of each tile.
    MosaicGirl and amir patwa like this.
  9. MosaicGirl

    MosaicGirl Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, that would take care of the grout gap to be painted, too, easily. Nice project.
  10. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    MosaicGirl likes this.
  11. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    So I've obtained a few samples and colour matches are quite good for some. The light brown may prove tricky. Attached is a comparison photo.


    I've decided I need to get the tiles thoroughly clean before I come to any conclusions. I've been reading through the many threads here about floor polishers and different pads, hoping I may be able to rent one somewhere. I'd probably try to engage one of you experts here to do it for me but being based in Ireland I'm not too sure I'd get any takers.

    I've been cleaning a few tiles by hand with a kitchen scrubber to try to see how the colour changes. A lot of the tiles have marks which is probably from carpet underlay. See photo. Vigorous hand scrubbing does nothing to shift these. I've tried a bit of meth spirits but no difference. How would you go about removing these marks. I'm thinking something very abrasive is needed, like the rhino pads I've read about on here.

  12. Albert

    Albert Awesome Contributor

    One for you Mr Carr, i think
    DavidCarr and MosaicGirl like this.
  13. MosaicGirl

    MosaicGirl Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

  14. DavidCarr

    DavidCarr Tiling Forum Admin Staff Member

    Hi Brian,

    Yes it is rubber from the underlay absorbed into the clay surface. It may not be possible to remove all of the marking, but with abrasive pads such as our PROshine pads and a heavy floor scrubber you should be able to remove the greatest majority of the staining.
    AMA Tiling and MosaicGirl like this.
  15. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    Thanks David.
  16. ray

    ray Superb Contributor

    ok these tiles will come up no problem once you relaese the them from the infill now i would take them up from the infill forward then see if could make a mat well from the bits i am missing and rejoin the back a very tricky job to do not realy for the diy er what may take you weeks to achieve at a poor standard may be done in days with the right fixer at a high standard value your time and dont devalue theres it taken years to learn
    amir patwa likes this.
  17. Brian_West

    Brian_West New Contributor

    Thanks for your input Ray. I'm going to ask some professionals to look at it. If anyone can recommend someone who works in or around Cork city in Ireland please send on a recommendation.
    DavidCarr likes this.

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