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Porcelain Tile Articles

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

  • Replacement tile

  • Grout saw

  • Cloth or sponge

  • Safety goggles

  • Latex gloves

  • Work gloves

  • Wall grout

  • Chisel

  • Rubber spatula or flexible plastic spreader

  • Mason's hammer

  • Large sponge

  • Stiff putty knife

  • Water bucket

  • Wallboard patching plaster, if needed

  • Grout sealer

  • Water-based tile adhesive


Procedure:

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 work slowly. This is for reasons for safety as much as it is to avoid scratching the tile surface.

  • 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 required to 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 tile. You must wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying chips of tile. Also, wear heavy gloves to protect your hands from any glancing blows with the hammer or from cuts while 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 before moving on to the next step.

  • Applying the adhesive: Coat the back of the replacement tile with some water-based 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 immediately clean out any adhesive that may have come out between the tiles. Wipe away any adhesive from 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 and unsanded grouts for walls. You can also get samples from the dealers to take home and match your grout color. Once again, always refer to the packaging of any products you buy with reference to keeping products away from exposed skin. Wearing latex gloves is strongly 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 every pass.

  • 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 after grouting to apply a sealer.

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