What Does Water Damaged Tiles Look Like: A Quick Guide

No matter how moisture-tolerant a tile flooring is, it can still get damaged through time. You may want to learn what does water damaged tiles look like so you’ll know when to worry. Your wish is our command, so read through.

Unlike wood, vinyl, or laminated flooring, tiles are more effective when it comes to resisting water. However, as time goes by, tiles can still be damaged. The only thing you can do is maintain them as much as you can and act right away when a problem occurs.

what does water damaged tiles look like


Tiles Get Loose

When a flood happens, floor tiles may get damaged. The thing is, it may not be evident for weeks or even months. You will know they have been damaged when they start to get loose and lift away from the surface.

Tile flooring loosens up because the adhesive that holds them into position gradually deteriorates due to excess moisture. This is why it is essential that you always make sure to wipe up spills immediately and not allow water to pool over them for a long time. You must prevent water from seeping under your tiles unless you want to go through major repairs and spend an ample amount of money.


How To Repair Water Damaged Tiles

Water damage is upsetting in general, but water damage in tiles is on another level. Nonetheless, don’t worry, as you can restore its perfect finish and make your floor look fresh and new once again.


Step #1. Identify tiles that need replacement

In most cases, tile replacement is not necessary, but it can be a requirement in severe cases. Tiles that are not severely damaged can be reused. Just dry them out and see if you can still work them out.


Step #2. Repair the water damaged subfloor

You may have saved your tiles, but it may not be the case with the subfloor. The subfloor may be weak or soft after getting soaked in water. Replacing subfloor products is inconvenient but is the best option you can have.


Step #3. Reinstall the tile flooring

With the tiles you can reuse or maybe the ones you have bought as a replacement, reinstall the flooring. Pick up pieces that match the empty parts. If you can’t find matching tiles, you can either pull up the whole flooring and replace it or just deal with the messed-up look.

When reinstalling the tiles, make sure to add a new grout for proper sealing. You can also apply a clear coat to cover the grout for a more dependable and solid seal.

Once you are done with all these steps, you can now enjoy your tile flooring once again. You may want to observe proper tile caring so you won’t have to face the same problem and do another round of repair.


How much water can a tile hold?

The more water a tile can hold means a lot more water damage issues in the future. Tiles that can retain about 7% of water are more prone to be damp enough to cause damage to the subfloor and the surrounding areas.

This is why before you decide which type of tile to use on your floor, you must first consider its water-retaining capacity. If you are to install tile flooring in a damp area, use vitreous tile. Non-vitreous or semi-vitreous tiles are not suitable for that kind of condition.


Can you avoid water damage in tiles?

Although accidents like flooding and bursting of pipes can happen and cause water damage, you can still do something to prevent water damage from happening to your tile flooring. Proper tile caring usually does the trick, but there are other ways you can do it.

Seal the grout every few years. To ensure that the tiles stay water-resistant, you should seal the gaps or pores in the grout between your tiles. This will prevent water from seeping in between the porous parts of the grout.

Sealing the grout will not take a long time but is really effective. Just make sure to do it correctly, make sure every pore and gap is filled, and use a sealer of good quality.

Get professional help. If you are not confident about sealing the grout, you can always ask for professional assistance.

They will be able to keep your floor water-resistant for at least a year or two. Some even recommend products you can use and teach you how you can do the sealing task yourself.



Tile flooring sure is beautiful and durable. It will be more of use if you are to apply proper tile caring and maintenance so you can avoid problems like water damage. You can always do things by yourself, but you can also ask for help from professionals.

Now that you know what does water damaged tiles look like, your eyes will be more alert of loose tiles and be able to act immediately. Just like what they say, take care of things you want to last.

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