How to Replace a Damaged Tile

How to Replace a Damaged Tilethumbnail

If the majority of a tile installation is in good shape, there is no reason to tear it out if there are a few damaged tiles. You can replace damaged tiles quickly and without harm to the surrounding tiles by chiseling out the old tile in minutes, and installing the new tile on the same day. Make sure you purchase not only a matching replacement tile for the job, but also a matching grout color to ensure a seamless installation.

Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Trowel
  • Thin set
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
    • 1

      Tape off the edges of the surrounding tiles to protect them during the damaged tile's removal. Cover only the tiles themselves, and not the grout joints. You will be replacing the grout along with the damaged tiles.

    • 2

      Place a nail in the center of the damaged tile and hit the nail head firmly with a hammer. This will crack the tile into pieces, while breaking it away from the substrate and making it easier for you to remove.

    • 3

      Position the chisel in the center of the damaged tile, pointing away from your body at a 45-degree angle. Hit the chisel with the hammer into and under the damaged tile from the center out to the edges of the tile. Bring up both the tile and the mortar, down to the substrate, extending out to the edges of the surrounding tiles.

    • 4

      Spread a thin layer of thin set mortar onto the back of the replacement tile with a trowel. Apply only enough mortar to skim coat the back of the tile, not so much that it will come up around the edges of the tile when pressed. Line up the tile with the space left and press it firmly into place. Allow the mortar to dry overnight.

    • 5

      Grout the tile into place by spreading the grout across the joints with a grout float. A float is a flat, lightweight tool for pushing the grout into place, and packing it into the joints. Wipe away any excess grout from the surface of the tiles.


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