Fixing Broken Tiles

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2016)

Do you have broken or worn-out located somewhere in your home? If so, then chances are you wish to have the tiles replaced and are considering whether or not to hire someone to complete this task in your stead. Before allowing any work to be started by any contractor, you may wish to consider doing the job yourself. Since this task only takes about 45 minutes of actual work to accomplish, but about three hours for work and material preparation, this is a perfect afternoon home improvement project. Use this step by step list and you are soon going to have replacement tile that looks like it was set by a professional.

Tools:

  • Scoring tool or glass cutter
  • Tile chisel
  • Hammer
  • Drill with 1/4" ceramic bit, or a nail
  • Small notched trowel
  • Safety glasses

Materials:

  • Replacement tile
  • Painter's tape
  • Thinset mortar
  • Grout

Process:

  1. Safety glasses. Throughout this process, you are going to want to wear your safety glasses. The reason for this is simple, you don't want to have any flying tile chips or dust get into your eyes, and irritate them.
  2. Grout. Using your scoring tool or glass cutter, begin to remove the old grout from around the damaged tile. Apply just enough pressure that the grout is going to be removed, but not enough that is going to cause a slip and damage the other, neighboring tiles.
  3. Apply tape. Use the painter's tape and "edge" the surrounding tiles. This is going to help protect those tiles from being damaged in the next step. As you are applying the tape, make sure that you complete encircle the tile that you are going to replace.
  4. Score the tile. Using your glass cutter or scoring tool, make an x in the center of the tile. This creates "fault lines" for the pressures of the next step to dissipate along, and not damage the surrounding tile.
  5. Holes. Using either the drill or the nail, create evenly spaced holes in each of the sections of the tile. This is going to help free the tiles from the floor, and easier to chisel out. As you are doing this, make sure that you do not dig into the floor beneath the tile, or you are going to create more problems for yourself.
  6. Remove Tile. Working outwards from the center of the tile, tap out each of the pieces of broken tile. Be gentle as you are doing this because, once again, you do not want to break the surrounding tiles nor dig into the materials underneath.
  7. Remove old grout/thinset. After you have removed all of the pieces of tile, take your chisel and remove or scrape off the old grout or cementing material that was underneath.
  8. Set new tile. Use the small notched trowel to set a little of the thinset into the place that the tile is going to go. For the best possible adhesive chances, make sure that you apply the cementing material onto the back of the tile as well as to the floor or wall. Setting the tile into the center of the space, make sure that you have an even amount of space on all sides, and that you provide gentle and firm pressure.
  9. Fill the joints. You are going to need to wait for at least two hours for the thinset to cure, as you are waiting, go ahead and mix a batch of grout. Using your trowel, or a rubber grout float, swipe some of the grout into the joints, and wait around 15 minutes for the material to harden. Once it has dried to the point that it no longer feels sticky to the touch, clean off the excess material with a damp cloth or sponge.
  10. Allow drying time. Do not walk or use the tile for 24 hours. This will ensure that the grout and thinset have dried properly. Once this has been done, you are finished with your tile replacement project.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Carrot Cake Recipe

Carrot cake is without a doubt one of the most popular types of cakes out there. But since this is one of the most popular ...

Discover More

Joining Plastic and Metal Plumbing

Learning the proper method of joining plastic and metal plumbing is an important skill that any do-it-yourself enthusiast ...

Discover More

Choosing the Proper Wallpapering Tools

Wallpapering a home or office is a rather large task. Make sure that you are able to do the job the right way, the first ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Recycling Old Carpet

If there is one drawback to replacing old carpet flooring, it is trying to figure out what you are going to do with that ...

Discover More

Using Area Rugs to Maximum Effect

When used properly area rugs are a great way to help add accent and comfort to just about any room. However, most people do ...

Discover More

Choosing Long Lasting Flooring

When you begin thinking about having some new type of flooring installed, you want to make sure that it is one that will be ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)