Archive for August, 2014

Replacing a broken or cracked tile

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Someone drops something heavy, something bangs hard against it or a careless bit of DIY causes a tile to crack….oooops! This article shows how to replace a cracked tile easily.Step 1: Remove the Grout
• Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes from chips and dust, then rake out the grout around the broken tile using a carbide-tipped scoring tool.
• Apply just enough pressure to remove the grout but not so much that a slip will gouge the neighboring tilesStep 2: Loosen the Tile
• Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the adjacent tiles to protect them.
• Drill evenly spaced holes into the tile’s broken sections with a 1/4-inch ceramic bit. This helps free the pieces from the substrate and makes them easier to chisel out.Step 3: Chisel Out the Pieces
• Working from the center out toward the edges, gently tap out the broken pieces with a hammer and a narrow (3/8- or 1/4-inch) chisel. If you don’t have a tile chisel, a cold chisel or even a flat-blade screwdriver will also do the job. Start with the chisel at 90 degrees to the floor, then switch to a 45-degree angle after you penetrate the glaze.
• Once the broken tile is removed, use a wider chisel to clean all the old thinset off the substrate. The same technique applies for all substrates, including mortar, cement backerboard, or plywood.Step 4: Set the New Tile
• Comb a small amount of thinset mortar over the substrate in straight furrows using a 1/4-inch notched trowel.
• For best adhesion, also butter the back of the new tile with thinset.
• Set the tile in place and press down firmly to level it with the surrounding tile. Adjust it so the spacing is even on all sides.Step 5: Fill the Joint with Grout
• Wait at least two hours for the thinset to cure, then mix up a batch of grout.
• Swipe the grout into the joints with a rubber grout float held at a 45-degree angle, then wait 15 minutes for it to harden.
• When the grout no longer feels tacky to the touch, clean off the excess with a damp sponge.Step 6: Allow the Grout to Dry
• Don’t walk on the tile for 24 hours.