Sometimes, no matter how careful a person is to care for their travertine tile, the tile sustains damage and must be repaired or replaced. Loose or damaged tile is most often the result of issues with the subflooring or improper installation. Though it is not the easiest or most pleasant task in the world, it can be done. Fixing loose tiles and/or replacing broken ones as needed is the best way to preserve the rest of the tile.
How to Repair a Loose Tile
First, identify loose tiles by listening for noise when walked on or a hollow sound when the tile is hit. In most cases, replacing the tile all together is the best thing to do. If this is not possible for financial or aesthetic reasons, injecting an epoxy glue solution underneath the tile to re-bond it to the subfloor is the only other option.
The tools needed for this job are: a drill, carbide tipped blade equal to or slightly smaller than the grout joint size, a large construction syringe, a high quality two part epoxy, and matching grout.
On either side of the loose tile, carefully drill holes into the grout joints. Mix the epoxy solution according to the directions. Carefully inject epoxy into one hole, until enough works its way through the tile to come out the hole on the other side. It may be a good idea to use a golf tee in the other hole to ensure the epoxy solution fills all voids before coming out the other side.
Dig out the epoxy slightly and allow it enough time to cure. After the mixture cures, fill the holes with the matching grout to finish the job.
How to Repair a Damaged Subfloor
If the subfloor is damaged, it should be repaired before the initial installation of the tile floor, to prevent further complications and issues as the floor ages. If the subfloor damage has to be repaired after a floor installation, the tile must be removed to expose it, therefore creating more work in the long run.
Use tools such as a: reciprocating saw, circular saw, jigsaw, or handsaw to carefully remove any damaged subfloor material. Wear the appropriate safety to protect from injury. When removing the damaged subfloor, practice care to avoid damaging any adjacent areas that are in good shape.
After the damaged material is removed, replace it with new materials. Secure it accordingly.
Once the damaged subfloor has been replaced, follow tile installation instructions to install the new tile floor.