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Can I save my tiles?

Budding Browser

Can I save my tiles?

My house is 24 years old and my wall tiles in both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms have started to fall off  

I like them and want to save the others from falling off and do whatever is needed to save the others and replace the broken tiles.  I have a couple of boxes of the tiles in the shed from when I first built which I can use to replace the tiles that smashed.  

The grey cement(?) that holds the tiles seems to have lost it's grip and the grouting is falling out too.

Is it likely that it's just a few random tiles that are falling out, or might it be time to reglue(?) and/or re groutALL of the wall tiles? 



Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Can I save my tiles?

Sorry to read of your issues @The_Eight_Acres. Hopefully the Workshop community have some good news and advice for you.


Let me also extend a very warm welcome. I hope you find plenty of like-minded people in the community, as well as useful tips, information and inspiration. Please let me know if you need any help getting the most from the site. 



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Valued Contributor

iRe: Can I save my tiles?

Hi T8A
Tiles generally come off if
1. the substrate is defective
2.There is a leak and the glue deteriorates over time
3. Not following manufacturers recommendations for surface preparation
and gluing.

4.5.6. etc and It is important to first identify the cause of the problem before you initiate a fix. Good to hear you have few extra spare tiles, unfortunately bathrooms rarely go
20+ years. I'll will be putting up some details on redoing your showers shortly and I'll link you in... 
Photos also help in identifying problems->fixes.

Trusted Contributor

Re: Can I save my tiles?

Good luck @The_Eight_Acres. I hope you don't have too much of an underlying problem. We have a bathroom that's 50-60 years old with original tiles and got a professional in to have the bathroom resealed, some tiles reattached, the bath and shower re-chaulked, etc. So certainly doable but the fact that your grout is falling out suggests a problem. Great advice from @BIM_Engineer as usual. 

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Can I save my tiles?

Hi @The_Eight_Acres,


Just wondering if you've made any progress following the advice you received?


Good luck,



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Established Contributor

Re: Can I save my tiles?

Even with very old tiles you need to find out what caused them to come loose. They've been there a long time so what has changed, possibly over a few months?
Substrate has started to retain moisture
Substrate has started to become dryer
Substrate has started t move.

Most of these symptoms can occur after a renovation in a nearby, above , below or adjacent area.

I had a neighbour to whom this happened after they put an in ground pool in!!!??

The cause will describe the cure in most cases.

You might have to remove most of the tiles to investigate. You will need to remove all tiles affected by the cause.

All with the moisture issue, dry brittle substrate, or cracked substrate due to movement.

You may need to strip all the tiles off, apply a new ( flexible) water proof membrane.

This may fix all of the above-mentioned causes.

You really need to find the cause.

Repost if you find the cause and a stuck for a fix.

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