When visiting a client’s home, I regularly see broken floor tile. Not everybody is plagued by this problem, however more often than not if there is a ceramic floor in a house, you can find broken floor tiles. Considering there is much walking back and forth in some common areas such as the kitchen or entrance hall, it is no surprise to see this problem often in a residence.
The other day I saw this problem in a client’s kitchen. She has a beautifully kept home, except for some broken floor tiles. My client, who I will call Linda, has a lovely over sized kitchen that has just been renovated with new up to date amenities and high tech appliances and even has a washer and dryer in her kitchen with a sliding door leading to her back yard.
Linda’s kitchen also has attractive ceramic tiles, which she likes to keep very clean. What is noticeable, and ruins the beauty of her ceramic floor, is some broken tile with cracks running along the tiles that look like black ragged lines.
Linda said that she would call me in the fall to fix her tiles, however I expressed to her that she did not have to wait so long to do the repair. I advised her that replacing a few broken tiles is an easy job for a do it yourself person. If you have a broken or unsightly tile floor like Linda, this is what you should do about replacing the ceramic tile.
1.The first thing you need to do is remove the grout around the tile. This can be done by using a grout saw.
2.Next you need to remove the tile. Removing tile can easily be done; you just have to chip the tile out. Before doing this, I would advise scoring the top of the tile with a glass cutter. You then gently chisel away at the tile removing the pieces one at a time. It is imperative to use safety glasses when doing this.
3.Your next step is to clean out the area either by using your chisel, or a similar tool. Any remaining residue will result in your tile not being laid flat, and it will not look good.
4.Once you have the area clean you need to install the replacement tile. For this, you can use a notched trowel or putty knife to spread the adhesive to the back of the tile. I favor thinset mortar when doing an installation, however if you have an area that is not exposed to too much water, you can use ready-made tile adhesive. Push the tiles into place and wipe away excess adhesive.
5.Lastly, wait 24 before applying the grout. This is to give the adhesive time to dry.
It would be helpful if you had some left over tiles from the original tile job to get an exact match. However do not fret if you don’t have extra tiles, there are ways to get around that issue.
Many tile stores carry a large selection of different tiles, and you may be able to find an exact match for your replacement. Be aware that someone with experience can also remove tile from an unnoticeable spot and replace the broken tile.
Finally, you can get your tiles made to order. This can be an expensive option and places like North Prairie Tileworks in Minneapolis, can match your tile as long as the glaze color is available.