Replacing Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tiles are rated among the toughest flooring materials available and are
not likely to
break after being installed. However, accidents may happen. This is specially a
case when large
floor tiles are installed over a base which is not suitably solid. Also, there
may be instances when
accessories installed on the tiles leave behind installation holes or permanent
adhesive when they
are removed. In these cases, replacing the tiles may become necessary. Consider
the list below
when replacing ceramic tile:
Tools & Materials
Here are a few items you may need to replace ceramic tile:
Drop cloth or other covering
Cloth or sponge
Rubber spatula or flexible plastic spreader
Stiff putty knife
Wallboard patching plaster, if needed
Water-based tile adhesive
Take a look at these steps to replace ceramic tiles
Protecting the area: Lay down a canvas drop cloth or other covering
material to protect
nearby surfaces, such as floor, tub or countertop.
Removing grout: It is not always necessary to remove grout from around
the damaged tile.
But, doing so can reduce the chance of damaging adjacent tiles as you remove
the tile. Use
a grout saw (a tool with an abrasive grit blade) to do this. Be patient, and
This is for reasons for safety as much as it is to avoid scratching the tile
Breaking the tile: Using a chisel and mason's hammer (also called
engineer's hammer or
hand-drilling hammer), you can break the damaged tile into as many pieces
remove it. Be careful while applying force to break the tile. It's best to make
sure that you
don't damage the base material. Always exercise caution when replacing ceramic
must wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying chips of tile. Also,
gloves to protect your hands from any glancing blows with the hammer or from
handling the sharp tile pieces.
Preparing the surface: Use a stiff putty knife to remove old adhesive or
bits of remaining
tile. You can apply patching plaster with the putty knife if a hole has
appeared in the wall
during the tile removal. Any hole deeper than 1/4 inches needs to be filled
on to the next step.
Applying the adhesive: Coat the back of the replacement tile with some
adhesive with the help of a putty knife. The coat should be even and not too
thick. Talk to
your local retailer, or your ceramic tile seller about the latest products to
use. And always
read the instructions for best usage.
Pressing tile in place: Press the tile firmly into place while making
sure that it is flat and
leveled with the surrounding tiles. Use the corner of the putty knife to
out any adhesive that may have come out between the tiles. Wipe away any
the face of the tile with a damp cloth or sponge.
Grouting the tile: The adhesive needs at least 24 hours to cure. After
that, follow the
manufacturer�s instructions to mix the grout and press it into the joints with
a rubber spatula
or a flexible plastic spreader. Press firmly and move diagonally across the
tile joints to ensure
they have been completely filled. Usually, sanded grouts are used for floors
grouts for walls. You can also get samples from the dealers to take home and
grout color. Once again, always refer to the packaging of any products you buy
reference to keeping products away from exposed skin. Wearing latex gloves is
advised when working with grout.
Cleaning tile: You must not allow grout to dry on the tile surface.
After just a few minutes
of applying grout, lightly wipe the surface with a large damp sponge. Do not
press too hard
or you may wipe out the grout from the joints. Rinse and wring the sponge after
Polishing off the haze: After waiting for another half hour, buff the
surface of the tile very
lightly to remove any remaining grout haze.
Sealing the tile grout: Tile grout is neither waterproof nor stain
proof. Therefore it must
be sealed. But you are recommended to wait until at least 48 hours or more
to apply a sealer.