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Published on August 16th, 2011 | by Jules IKEAHacker

15

Say you, Say me. Let’s win some money.





This is not a hack. This is a problem!

One night I was awoken with a loud crash. I thought a Decepticon had crashed through my windows but when I went to check – horrors! – at least 6 pieces of tiles had fallen off my bathroom wall. What the … who has ever heard of tiles falling off the wall? It’s been an eyesore since. I’ve tried to find an exact match to the tiles but being as anal as I am, the colours are always a tone too light or dark (due to different batch firing, they told me). I can’t bear an off colour patch on my wall so what do I do?

Any brilliant ideas?

The problem is … there are two sides to me – the FruGirl and GlamQueen and both want different things.

FruGirl: Oh, an Ikea picture frame will cover the spot perfectly. (Translate: It’s cheap!) 
GlamQueen: Perhaps, but it’s hard to get an exact fit (Translate: Seriously… can you live with the unfinished, un-chic look?) 
FruGirl: We can lengthen the Ribba, you know. (Translate: You call yourself an IKEA Hacker?!) GlamQueen: But the 30cm x 30cm tiles are so last millennium. Re-tiling the whole bathroom would be delightful! (Translate: You cheapskate!)

So the argument in my head has been going on for months now, with no resolution in sight. I am turning to you, my readers for some fresh ideas. And no, I’m not schizo.

Just to illustrate the CoupleSpeak dilemma though I am … erm … but one person. Some of you are luckier, you actually have a real person to “argue with without arguing”. And if you can capture the essence of the crossed frequencies in a video, you may just win $5000. And let me tell you, money solves plenty of arguments. At least it’ll shut the FruGirl in me up.

The CoupleSpeak contest is up and running and is brought the you by the good people at 3M who make home improvement goodies such as ScotchBlue tape, Leadcheck swabs, 3M TEKK protection, Abrasives and Tough Duct Tape. Check out the 3M Frameworks facebook page for details on how these tools can help you DIY. Click on the CoupleSpeak contest on the left sidebar to get onto the contest page.

More about the video contest. The ingredients:

  • A short video, no longer than 2 minutes, about a DIY project. 
  • It should NOT feature any 3M products. 
  • It should capture the differences in which you communicate. 
  • Keep it clean. Funny is good. 
Here’s one to show you what they are looking for.
See more videos on 3M Frameworks Youtube page.

If making a video is too daunting, you can enter the 3M translation sweepstakes that gives away $250 every week. All you have to do is submit a CoupleSpeak translation on the same tab in the Facebook page. Something like my crazy conversation above. Go try it. It’s easy and lots of fun! Feel free to share this contest on Twitter or Facebook with your friends too.

~ Jules

This post is sponsored by 3M Frameworks.

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Expedit Breakfast bar / Desk

The Author

Jules IKEAHacker

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to Say you, Say me. Let’s win some money.

  1. Tabitha says:

    When I saw the first picture and started reading, my initial thought was it would be a good spot for an accent band of tile around the room…. until seeing there already is one, shown in the second picture. Instead of tiling the whole room over, you could just do the part above the tile band, I’d say in an even paler gray. Also had the thought that if you could match the band closely, could put a second one at the top of the empty space and retile the part in between in another color, but that’d leave one row of tiles half height, which would be weird, unless maybe you can find one that is the same width, but half the height to fill the space with.

  2. Lara says:

    Hi Jules,
    I’m sitting here with my coffee cup (its 9 AM in germany) when I saw your pictures.
    My first idea was to put a mirror glas in it to fill the space.
    Perhaps something like this: http://www.kristall-form.de/mme-spiegel/mme-spiegel/popstar.html

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just rip down those tiled walls and do paint/drywall, you only need tile on the floor and inside the actual bath/shower.

  4. Not a solution – but a warning! Like you, I had tiles fall off the wall in my bathroom!…after a while, there were other tell tale signs and I ended up having to have my house underpinned as the main walls were either falling out or in! I hope this is not going to be the case for you!

  5. Beate says:

    How about some glamourglittersparkel mosaics? Look at my homepage:
    http://www.ebersteinchen.jimdo.com

  6. Anonymous says:

    Remove 6 tiles from behind the toilet and use those to fix the wall. Glue the 6 that (I’m guessing) broke behind the toilet.

    However, if 6 just fell off the wall more most likely will. I’d start planning the next bathroom now.

  7. metai says:

    This is not a hack either:

    The problem is not exactly unknown. You cannot replace tiles with “similar” ones, it has to be the exact same model, possibly even the same manufacturing batch as the other tiles. Or they just won’t match.

    That’s why, at least here in german-speaking Europe, it’s usual to not skimp and buy generously more than what’s needed for the actual tilework and keep a few boxes of spare tiles stashed away in the attic or the basement. Assuming you are renting, maybe your landlord has access to that reserve?

  8. ratphooey says:

    Remove all the tiles from there upward, in the whole bathroom, and plaster.

  9. Keter says:

    When tiles fall off a wall, that means three things: (a) as mentioned before, the house may be shifting (can’t tell from the pix), (b) water has gotten behind the tile (not in evidence) and/or (c) the tiling was not done correctly to begin with. The last of these, from the look of the underlying bedding compound, is almost certainly what the problem is. You should NOT see the sharp, deep trowel marks. That tells me that either the bedding compound was mixed wrong, or that it was allowed to dry too much before the tiles were affixed, or that the tiles were not pressed into the bedding properly, or some combination of these things. This speaks to bad technique and/or lack of knowledge on the part of the installer and if one area is affected, it is likely the whole job is similarly affected. So I would tear out all the tile and redo it. If that cannot be done right now, consider having a mirror cut to fit the space and adhere it to what’s there now with mirror adhesive.

    BTW, as part of my ongoing remodeling, I’m doing slate tile all over my house, floors, bathroom/kitchen walls, some exterior walls, deck… I would like to sing the praises of adhesive admix mixed with fine grained sanded grout, which sticks to freaking everything, levels easily, and is relatively easy to clean up. I’m putting slate over exposed aggregate concrete, plywood, and cinderblock. Because all of these surfaces are uneven or porous, I’m underlaying with adhesive admix/grout, then gluing down the tiles with heavy duty flooring adhesive, which is a horror to work with but will never come off until forcibly removed, and then grouting the tops and filling voids with the same admix/grout. This approach is allowing me to lay tile with a 1/16th inch grout line so the result is nearly seamless.

    If you do decide to retile, be sure to use a good quality tile and grout sealer as a last step: it makes a huge difference when it comes time to clean because it shrugs off dirt and water rather than letting it soak in to discolor and grow mildew, or worse, to soak through to the back side of the tile and cause damage to the underlying wall and adhesive. Clean with acrylic floor stripper and reapply the sealer approximately yearly (some areas that see little wear and exposure to moisture can go much longer) to maintain.

  10. Hjordis says:

    I dont have any solution ( but i like the mosaic idea) – however, this happened to me also. Before you tear down all the tiles you can really find out if the others are also loose. Just knock on them and if you hear a hollow sound it is loose. However if the knock is solid the tiles are ok and should not come loose ;) Good luck!

  11. Suz says:

    If you can get a reasonable match then replace all on the section, the light on different areas is always different so it probably wouldn’t look a different shade…not noticeable anyway
    Or A mirror cut to size to fill the space
    Good luck and l’d agree the fixing/adhesive looks as if it was too dry to hold the tiles

    Just tiling a bathroom myself and l’m spreading the adhesive on the tiles one at a time so it can’t be too dry and sticks well to the wall
    Just a tip, l found it so much easier to do too

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m going with Keter’s point C. That tile wasn’t installed properly, and eventually you will probably have more falling off of your walls.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately I agree that the rest might come down the same way as these six tiles and you might need to start planning your next bathroom.

    But, meanwhile I suggest you find som odd plates and dishes, smash them to pieces (good way of getting frustration out of your system :) ) and then make your own creative mosaic where the tiles used to be.

    I’ve tried this when re-making a bathroom, using odd dishes and plates that had emotional value to me but weren’t good enough to set a table with. Makes you think lovely thoughts of your grandma (or whoever left you the dishes) everytime you see the wall :) . A lot better than this sight every morning.

    PS Or maybe better – since this is IKEA Hackers – go find your odd bits and pieces in your nearest IKEA store.

    good luck!

  14. Pamela says:

    Hi, dear co-hackers. I wish I could be an Ikea hacker, but there’s no Ikea in Chile. Knew it real well growing up in Vienna, though, and still have Ikea furniture purchased 20 or more years ago!!!

    I actually had EXACTLY the same problem two years ago, and solved it with a mirror I had lying around waiting for a frame, and pieces of broken tiles. If you tossed the broken tiles you still can use broken plates or really anything ceramic or glass, or buy mosaic mini-tiles. I’d got with recycling, though.

    Here goes picture set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pocojo/sets/72157627537857090/

  15. Anonymous says:

    I would have simply ‘stolen’ 6 tiles from a inconspicuous place, like from behind the toilet tank, to replace the ones that broke, and then replace those with something else.

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