While tile is very durable, even the highest quality tiles are not indestructible. If you drop something heavy at just the right angle it can lead to unattractive cracks on just one of the dozens of tiles you have installed throughout your kitchen, living room, or bathroom. But when you have one broken floor tile there is no need to replace the whole flooring throughout the room, because it is possible to remove and replace only the single tile that is causing an eye soar. Fixing a broken floor tile does not have to be a complicated chore if you know what to do. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix your broken floor tile without causing damage or spending the entire weekend doing it.
Select the Right Tile
If you were smart enough to by extra tiles when you had your floor installed, gearing up for the project will be a lot simpler. If you purchased your home and the homeowners did not leave replacement tiles behind, you need to take time to find a replacement tile that will match. If the tiles are old, you might have to deal with a replacement that is close but not perfect.
Choosing the Right Grout
After you find the tile, you need to make sure you buy the correct colored grout. While many people choose white grout, you might find that your floor has a special color that will require matching.
Preparing the Tile For Removal
Once you find everything you need for the project, the next step is to remove the cracked tile without causing any additional damage to tiles that are intact. To protect the salvageable tiles, cover them with cardboard. Make sure you never try and pry the tile out by placing pressure on tiles that are not damaged.
Once you are ready to extract the tile, use an electric drill and use a masonry bit to drill holes about 1-inch apart all the way across the tile diagonally. You can then use a chisel or a similar tool to split the tile along the holes that you have drilled. When you are splitting the tile, be sure to tap lightly several times. Pounding too hard can cause the grout joints to crack, making the project more difficult than necessary.
Removing the Tile
The fragments of the tile will start to pop loose as you start to tap. Remove all of the pieces that are loose and discard them. If some pieces are not loose, you need to pry these pieces from the floor and then remove any of the grout that remains on the floor. Use a scraper to remove the glue and vacuum up any dirt before you start to install the new tile.
Installing the New Tile
Use about 2 cups of adhesive for each 8-inches of tile you are installing. Prepare the adhesive and use a drywall knife to cover the entire area of the subfloor. Once you do this, set the new tile and use a piece of wood to cover it when hammer it down. Wait for the tile to adhere to the floor by letting it dry overnight. Be sure to clean out the gaps for the grout if they are filled with mortar or adhesive glue before the drying process starts. Mix the grout by following the instructions and force it into the joints of the tile with a putty knife. Wipe away excess grout and allow the grout to dry.
As you can see, tile removing does not have to be the end of the world, and take pride in completing the project on your own while follow these steps. Once you’re done, your floor will look just like it did before you accidentally dropped that cast iron pan.