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10 Steps To Replacing A Broken Ceramic Floor Tile

By Michael Hilton

It can happen in an instant. A heavy frying pan or a glass jar slips out of your hand and crashes onto your kitchen floor. While the resulting mess can be cleaned up with sponge in moments, the cracked floor tile is an entirely different story.

Here's how to replace a broken ceramic floor tile:

  1. The first thing that you need to do is remove the broken tile. In order to this without damaging any of the adjacent kitchen tiles, you will need to remove some of the grout surrounding the damaged tile.
  2. Remove any shards or tile pieces that have broken free of the grout and underlying mortar. Then, using a steel chisel or a large flathead screwdriver, break the bond between the grout and the broken floor tile. Gently tapping the chisel with a hammer, work your way around the perimeter of the tile.
  3. Now you can safely remove the rest of the broken tile without damaging the adjacent ones. Using your chisel or flathead screwdriver, carefully pry loose the rest of the tile pieces. You may have to use the tool to break the bond between the tile and the underlying mortar before the pieces will come loose.
  4. If the damaged tile is only cracked, but remains in one piece, it can be helpful to break the tile into a few pieces before you try to remove it. One way to do this is to drill several small holes in the tile and then strike it with a hammer and chisel.
  5. Once all of the broken pieces have been removed, carefully remove all of the mortar and any grout that remains in place. Work gently when removing the remaining grout, as it is bonded to the adjacent tiles, and it would be nice to keep this repair job to just one tile!
  6. Vacuum out any dust or debris that remains, and dry fit the new tile in place. It should sit level and remain firmly in place when pressure is applied to it.
  7. Apply some tile adhesive to the new ceramic floor tile, just like you would butter a piece of bread. Keep the adhesive away from the very edge of the tile, and make sure that it is evenly spread on the underside of the tile about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  8. Position the tile in place and gently press down on it to help insure a good bond with the underlying substrate. Make sure that the tile is evenly spaced between the adjacent tiles, which will help insure a consistent grout line when finished.
  9. The tile adhesive will need about 24 hours to cure, during which time you can purchase a small bag of grout with which to finish the repair job.
  10. Follow the preparation instructions that come with the grout and then grout the new tile in place, using a damp sponge to wipe off any excess grout.

Replacing a broken floor tile is not that big of a deal, and the job can be made much easier if you have the needed grout and an extra tile on hand.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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