Next: My Tiles are Wearing Out

My tiles are chipping

Tiles are generally pretty tough and durable, but they are not indestructible!

If a hard object is dropped onto a glazed tile, there is a chance of it chipping the tile. Naturally, the bigger, heavier, harder, and sharper the object being dropped, and the greater the height; the more likely it is to chip the tile.

Stones trapped in the soles of shoes and metal tips on stiletto heels can also chip tiles because the effect can be a hard impact onto the tile over a very small area.

A chip caused by impact will generally manifest as a crater in the glaze and chip through to the biscuit of the tile.

A glaze imperfection or bubble that chips off will leave the bottom part of the bubble still glazed to the biscuit.

chips in the glazed surface of a tile

What can cause the problem?

It is not really all that common for tiles to chip, especially when we consider how many millions of tiles are laid in Australia each year. The reputation that ceramic tiles have for durability and strength generally leads a homeowner to assume that the tile must have a fault if chips appear. Causes of chipped tiles may include:

• Dropping any hard, sharp, heavy object onto a tile can chip the surface
• Stones trapped in the soles of shoes
• Metal nails or tips on stiletto heels
• Dragging furniture with metal tipped feet
• Chairs with steel legs and no canisters or rubber tips
• Knocks on the edges or corners of tiles that are not laid flat. Where one tile is slightly proud of the next we refer to it as lipping.

So what can I do now?

The only way to remedy this situation is to remove the chipped tile and replace it. If the chip(s) are caused by impact:

• Scrape out all the grout around the affected (chipped) tile.
• Use a small chisel and chop a hole in the centre of the damaged tile.
• Working your way outwards, but always chipping towards the centre of the tile, gradually remove the tile.
• Replace the tile and grout (the builder should have left a few spares on the site for just this issue).

If the chips appear to be a glazing fault or glaze bubbles that have chipped:

Contact Beaumont Tiles and we will check the installation.
• See the next page.