Nothing is more frustrating that seeing a crack start happening through your marble tile flooring.  One of the first things that flashes through your mind is how much will it cost to fix and what caused it to crack in the first place?


One of the big reasons that cause marble tiles to crack is due to the sub-flooring not being even or clean before the marble tiles were installed.  When installing the tiles, they need to be flush to the sub-flooring.  If there is any space between the tiles and the sub-flooring, this tends to increase the chances of pressure which leads to cracking.


If there is a crack that has happened, the best way to repair this is by making sure that the sub-flooring gets resurfaced.  This can be a DIY project, though it is not always recommended, especially if you are not experienced.  Here are the materials you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Nail Set
  • Chisel
  • Goggles
  • Putty knife
  • Small screwdriver
  • Carbide tipped grout saw
  • Rags
  • Rubber mallet
  • Needle nose pliers
  • ¼” notched trowel
  • Piece of 2×4 hardwood
  • Sponge
  • Tile spacers
  • Natural stone sealer
  • Matched grout
  • Matched marble tile
  • Sandpaper
  • Thin-set mortar


Use the carbide tipped grout saw to carefully remove the grout from around the marble tiles that is cracked or broken.  Make sure not to chip the adjacent marble tiles surrounding the one you are replacing.  Get as much grout out as you can, this will make removing the tile easier.


Place on your goggles because you are getting ready to smash something.  Consider using safety gloves to protect yourself from any shards that can fly up and cut your hands.  Take your nail press and using the hammer, strike the back of it until the marble tile is broken into pieces that can be easily removed.  Make sure to be careful not make it collide with the surrounding tiles.


Use the chisel in the cracks and take the hammer to tap it on the head so that buries it down and under the tile.  Go in at an angle so that you do not accidentally drive it down into the subfloor below and damage it.  You should be able to start peeling the pieces from the cement board underneath.


Chisel, lift, and scrape away as much of the tile and the mortar that you can using your tools.  Afterwards, use the sandpaper and sand down the remaining surface area to make it as smooth and flat as possible.  Make sure there are no depressions or rises as these can end up causing the new tile to crack.


Make sure that you seal the replacement marble tile so that it does not get stained during the installation process.  You will do this by using the foam brush to apply the light coat to the surface.


You will now mix a small amount of the tile mortar by following the directions provided by the manufacturer.  Then, use the ¼” notched trowel, apply it directly to the back of the tile making sure to trace furrows with the notched edge.  As you place the tile into position, make sure to use tile spacers at each corner so that the grout lines are consistent.


Take the 2×4 wood and place it over the new tile, and using the rubber mallet tap the wood down on top of the tiles.  This will ensure that the new tile will be level with the other tiles surrounding it.


Use a wet cloth to remove the excess moisture from the surface and using a screwdriver, remove any of the mortar that had seeped up along the grout lines.  It will take about 24 hours to completely dry and once it has, you can use the pliers to remove the tile spacers from the corners.


Make sure that the grout you chose matches the grout around the other tiles.  Using the grout float, apply the grout into the seams along the new tile.  Use a damp sponge to remove any excess grout off the tiles.


The last step that you may want to do is apply a cost of sealer.  And after that you are finished.


If you find that the cracks are not serious enough to need to take the entire tile out, then you may be able to patch up the crack by concealing it instead.  Simply use some epoxy glue and apply it right between the crevices.  If there are completely broken off or chipped pieces, you may need to wipe the edges down with acetone and then use either glue or marble repair cement to replace the piece.  It will need steady pressure applied to it until the glue has completely dried.


These are one of the times where having a professional come out is the best option, mainly due to the fact that if there are other areas that have no yet cracked but could, they can help take care of that potential problem while they are there before it becomes an actual problem.


When in doubt contact a professional, contact us today to schedule your appointment to polish your natural stone flooring or if you have any questions.

Floor ReNew Houston

Natural Stone Restoration

4530 W. 34th Street Suite C

Houston, TX 77092

(713) 418-9983

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