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Replacing a Tile

Easy step by step instructions showing how to replace your own broken tile, presented by Crafty Corner

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I recently discovered that one of the tiles in my house had cracked after somebody dropped something heavy on it and the tile started lifting. The problem was, how do I just replace the one tile without damaging any of the other tiles or having to re-tile the whole place?


What you need:

  • Grout saw, or rotary tool with cutting attachment
  • Safety goggles if you're using the rotary tool
  • Hammer
  • Towel
  • Wood or cold chisel
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • New tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Putty knife
  • Notched trowel
  • Pre-mixed grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge

Step 1

You need to further break the damaged tile with a hammer so you can get it out. To prevent the hammering shockwaves from damaging the neighboring tiles, first isolate the tile by removing the grout that surrounds it with a grout saw, or use a rotary tool with safety goggles.

grouting saw rotary saw

Step 2

Once the grout is out, lay a cloth over the tile and use a hammer to break the tile beneath into more manageable pieces. Remove the tile pieces, wear gloves if they're sharp.


Step 3

Use a wood chisel or some type of cold chisel to lift the old tile adhesive from the floor. Be careful not to gouge the floor beneath the adhesive.

chisel adhesive

Step 4

Vacuum the debris from the chiseling. If the floor's not completely clean, the new tile won't adhere properly.

Step 5

Find a replacement tile, either buying or cutting a new one to fit, or relying on the extras you may have saved when the floor was first installed.

Step 6

"Butter" the back of the tile with tile adhesive using a putty knife. Then use a notched trowel to smooth the adhesive evenly across the back of the tile.

tile adhesive

Step 7

Place the tile and tap it down firmly with a hammer handle to make sure it's attached to the floor. Let it dry for 24 hours before applying grout.

Step 8

Use a grout float to press the grout around the edges of the tile. Use a sponge or towel to wipe the excess from the top of the tile.

grout tile

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