How to Replace Tiles

Customers always ask about replacing broken or cracked tiles. The first thing I always ask is if they have replacement tiles and if they do are they the correct color. Yes, there are times when a customer thinks they have the correct tiles but at a closer look the tiles are for another part of the house.

If you don’t have replacement tiles, don’t try going to one of the Big Box stores looking for a match. Chances are they won’t carry the style or brand. Tiles houses usually carry a specific brand of tile for a few years then the lot color or style will change

If you do have have a replacement tile and it matches, the first thing you will need to do is cut out the grout along the tile edges. This can be done by a grout saw, but remember you will need to remove a significant amount of depth when taking out the grout. The reason you need to remove the grout is to release the pressure around the other tiles to keep from breaking tiles around from the one you are removing. Next, with a steel chisel and heavy hammer begin chipping out the center of the tile.

Once you begin chipping out the center, continue to chip under the tile at a slight angle to get under he tiles. Continue in a “T” pattern until you have removed the entire tile.

Be extremely careful while lifting the broken pieces because they are sharp like razor blades. I suggest using work gloves while lifting the pieces.

Now that the tiles are removed, you will need to remove the thinset that is still on the floor, so the new tile sits leveled to the other tiles. If you do not remove the thinset from the foundation, your tiles will sit higher and uneven to the tiles around them.

You can use a Scrapper or a chisel to remove the thinset or a chipping hammer with a flat bit.

Once you have the thinset removed, clean the area and lay the new tile down to ensure an even and leveled fit. Make improvements where needed.

Now use your trawl to place the thinset on to the floor pulling in one direction. Correctly trawling will allow better adhesion to the tile. Once the motor is laid down and ready grab your tile and place it in the empty area. Gently pat the tile down and make sure it’s aligned with the grout lines and is leveled.

Now all you needs to do is let it dry for a few hours, about 45 minutes if you use a speed set. Once tiles is set, grout it with your choice of sanded or unsanded grout and you are done.

This tiles removing instruction can be applied for wall tiles as well. The only thing to be aware of is there are no solid concrete walls, so use care when using a chisel and hammer to tap out tile.

Good luck!