How do I fix this?
May 6, 2014 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
posted by latkes to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I do have access to my local tool lending library and a lot of enthusiasm and misplaced confidence.
posted by latkes at 4:45 PM on May 6, 2014

Are you trying to glue the pieces together, or are you trying to remove the shelf and add a new one?
posted by Houstonian at 4:48 PM on May 6, 2014

I don't know. I am seeking advice on which is the better plan, and then will attempt to do whatever the internet tells me to do.
posted by latkes at 4:49 PM on May 6, 2014

If you end up epoxying the piece back together, home depot sells small jars of touch-up "paint" for porcelain, and you could probably use it to hide or greatly reduce the visibility of the crack. I used it to fix some chips in my bath tub and they are completely invisible now.
posted by Nightman at 5:03 PM on May 6, 2014

I'd buy superglue and glue it back in place, then I'd use white Sugru over the crack to waterproof and reinforce the glue. (Superglue first because Sugru takes some hours to cure, and I can't figure out another way to hold the tile in place while that happens.) This would, obviously, be a pretty visible fix, but it'd be easy and functional.
posted by MeghanC at 5:06 PM on May 6, 2014

Better than superglue, epoxy. Make sure you have the appropriate solvent handy to wipe up any that is visible. You can just kinda glob it in the inside.
posted by notsnot at 6:44 PM on May 6, 2014

The main issue is the weight of the shelf. It might hold if you put something inside it to support it, and if you support it really well while drying/ curing. But I htink it won't hold, even with epoxy. I'd use a dremel tool to remove grout, remove the shelf, and put in similar white tile.
posted by theora55 at 7:22 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have seen shelves on this type in Home Depot before. I swear. I am with theora55. I don't think you are going to make this good as new. Maybe cosmetically ok but probably the first time someone sets something on it the thing will snap again. See if you can get a new one of the same dimensions or fill in with similar tile.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:31 PM on May 6, 2014

Not worth the time to epoxy & finish it pretty, and then have it break again somewhere else...isn't that another crack near your thumb? Cut it out and replace.
posted by artdrectr at 9:49 PM on May 6, 2014

Remove and replace. You'll need to cut through the surrounding grout with either a grout saw or an appropriate Dremel bit. Then you can break out the rest of the shelf. If you don't remove the grout first then the shock of breaking the remaining shelf into pieces for removal will telegraph into surrounding tiles and break them too. New shelf is first adhered in place with a modified thinset mortar (measure and mix powder with water, spread, mush parts together and tape in place while it sets. Squeezed-out mortar will have to be carefully cleaned up. Then you'll need to grout around it and shape the grout lines with a damp sponge, and meticulously clean up again. If you really want to cross your t's and dot your i's, apply a grout sealer.
posted by jon1270 at 4:50 AM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

The shelf really should be removed rather than glued together. You might be able to make it strong enough to hold things in the shower, but if someone needs to keep their balance in a wet shower that shelf might end up with a lot more weight on it, with bad results.

will attempt to do whatever the internet tells me to do

Dance like a monkey! Do it now!

posted by yohko at 6:43 PM on May 14, 2014

Being lazy, I chose what sounded like the easier of the strategies suggested here. I fully acknowledge, it looks like crap, but it seems to be holding very strong.

Turns out the porcelain chip cover wasn't really appropriate for this purpose.
posted by latkes at 7:43 PM on June 9, 2014

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