Patching the Tile Floor

At my son’s new house we shortened the kitchen island because it was so long it interfered with the breakfast area.

Long Kitchen Island
Long Kitchen Island

The eat in kitchen was important for the young family so the last island cabinet and an ancient trash compactor were removed.

Taking apart the island
Taking apart the island

Reducing the island gave the kitchen more space.

Shortened island
Shortened island
Shortened island with butcher block top
Shortened island with butcher block top

I didn’t think patching the tile would be very difficult but finding a matching tile proved almost impossible. The tile is 4″ x 18″ nominal and it seems to no longer be made or carried by anyone in our area. I also could not find anything like it online although I ordered a sample from Wayfair it was not even a close match. The former owners said they purchased it at a local store but the staff could not remember or identify it.

Trying to match the tile
Trying to match the tile

I did the best I could at matching the color which had a lot of beige in it for being gray tile. I found a wood grain tile on clearance at Lowes and decided it was the best I could do.

Then I had to prep the floor. I removed the hardwood that was under the cabinets.

Hardwood under the cabinet
Hardwood under the cabinet
Floor after hardwood shim removal
Floor after hardwood removal

I planned to cut the tiles to the same size as the existing tiles so I had to remove some of the surrounding partial tiles. That meant removing the grout, the mortar and the Ditra membrane that was mortared to the floor.

Removing membrane and mortar
Removing membrane and mortar
Partial tiles cut out and grout removed
Partial tiles cut out and grout removed

That was a messy process and I kept adding tiles to the removal project. Eventually I was ready to put the new Ditra down and replace the tiles. I had a small piece of Ditra left over from my bathroom tile job and it was just about enough for the space.

Ditra membrane cut to fit
Ditra membrane cut to fit

Instead of thin set mortar I used a product I purchased especially for the Ditra and never used. It is called Ardex AF200. An especially sticky adhesive that can be used with Ditra. I spread it with a trowel and the adhesive was able to be cleaned up with soap and water. It is possible to tile immediately but I waited for the next day.

Ardex AF200
Ardex AF200

I cut and fitted each tile first and tried to arrange them to make the dark streaks less noticeable but that was not possible. Not only is the pattern a questionable match but the tile has a rougher finish than the existing tile.

Mortaring in the tile
Mortaring in the tile

Tile mortared into place
Tile mortared into place

I grouted it with delorean gray grout which is easy to obtain at Home Depot and is a tolerable match.

Finished patch
Finished patch

The tile is a patch and I could not find a better match even looking for weeks at tile stores and online so this is the compromise. We are thinking of painting it gray with an epoxy paint. But I’m concerned about paint on the tile causing an even more obtrusive patchy look. This will do for now.

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