Tips For Replacing Ceramic Tile Or Stone Tiles!


The trickiest part of replacing ceramic tile or stone tile is when you don't have the extra tiles needed to replace it.  It's always good to get a few extra tiles to stash away when you purchase your tiles.

If you do run into the problem of a damaged tile or two and need to replace them, you can check the back of the tile for any of the manufacturers markings and check with a tile retailer to see if the tiles are still available.

If you can't find your particular tile this way, the next best thing is to head for the internet And find The companies that specialize in helping customers to find replacement tile designs.

You can also look up Preserving Historic Ceramic Tile Floors. It's publication by the National Park Service that is available online.

If your replacement tile is a nontraditional tile design you shouldn't have as much of a problem finding a replacement, as these tiles are relatively new and more easily accessible.

Tips For Replacing Ceramic Tiles Or Stone Tiles

* If you find that you have more than one or two loose or broken tiles, there is probably an underlying problem.  And If the problem is not taken care of it will only cause the same thing to happen after replacing ceramic tile or stone tiles.

To test for problems in your wall or floor tile installation you can lightly jump on the floor or push on the wall or countertop with the heel of your hand. If you feel any flex, you may need to remove all the wall tiles, countertop tiles or floor tiles in this area.

Once you've removed the tiles, check your substrate underneath for damage. If you find any, You'll need first to locate and fix the source of the problem. Then install a new patch of the original substrate which could be dry-wall or cement backerboard.  Then reinstall the tiles.

* If you are replacing ceramic tile to a wall and using a slow curing thinset, secure the new tile to the old ones with masking tape to prevent it from sagging.

* Old tile grout goes bad over time, so if you find an old package of tile grout don't use it, But instead use the packaging to get the brand and the color information, so you can purchase the new grout to match your old grout color.

Even though it's the same grout color, it won't look the same as your existing tile grout, because the old tile grout has darkened over time.

It's a good idea to use a grout cleaning product to refresh all of the existing grout. So you can match the new grout to the old grout, and both will darken together.

Removing Porcelain Tile

* Porcelain wall and floor tile designs have a very hard surface that a drill won't be able to cut through. So You'll need to use an angle grinder.
But the problem with using an angle grinder is it can easily damage the adjacent tiles, So you'll need to protect them.

To protect these tiles use pieces of fiberboard and adhere them to the adjacent tiles with duct tape. Then use the angle grinder with a masonry cutting blade to cut an x through the center of the tile you want to remove, and proceed on to smashing it with a hammer and a cold chisel. Once the tile is smashed be sure to remove all of the debris.

Replacing Ceramic Tile Or Stone Tile

1- Remove the Tile Grout

It's best to begin by loosening the tile grout around the perimeter of the damaged tile. It will help in preventing damage to the neighboring tiles.

The easiest way to loosen the tile grout is by using a rotary cutter loaded with a grout bit and attachment. It will reduce your chances of damaging surrounding tiles.

You can also use a grout saw, or even a utility knife turned sideways. Just make sure to cut through the full depth of the tile grout, and slicing through the Thinset underneath makes it all the better.

3-Weaken The Tile

Use your drill loaded with a masonry cutting bit, Start in the center of the tile and work outward, drilling holes in the damaged tile. 

It helps to weaken the tile. And it also helps in removing it without damaging the surrounding tiles.

3- Break Up the Ceramic Or Stone Tile

Chip away the damaged tile using a cold chisel and a hammer. If you're removing a damaged tile from the wall, that was installed with tile mastic tile adhesive removing it should be quite easy.

But for any tile rather it is a wall tile, countertop tiles or floor tiles,  if Thinset tile adhesive was used or worse yet an old fashioned mortar bed, Your in for a bit more work, especially if you try to pry it out.

And you also run the risk of damaging the neighboring tiles. In this case, the best way to remove the tile is to break it up!

Just keep banging at the tile until the fragments breaks loose from the tile adhesive.

Remove the tile pieces and then use a putty knife to remove the old tile adhesive from the substrate.

4- Patch Your Substrate

It's crucial that you get out all the old tile adhesive before replacing ceramic tile, but it's a sure thing that in the process you'll damage the substrate.

If the substrate is a drywall surface you'll probably come away with not only tile adhesive, but also  pieces of drywall as well.  If the substrate is cement backerboard you'll probably pull out clumps of it along with your Thinset tile adhesive.

So next you'll need to smooth out the damage to your substrate with a two part epoxy filler that's recommended by your tile supplier.

5- Replacing Ceramic Tile Or Stone Tile

When replacing Ceramic tiles or stone tiles, you'll want to use the same tile adhesive that was originally used to install the tile. It would be either tile mastic or Thinset. You want to back butter the tile liberally with the tile adhesive rather than spreading it on the substrate. This way you'll avoid getting the tile adhesive on the neighboring tiles.

Since you don't use spacers for replacing ceramic tiles, visually center the ceramic or stone tile into position and press down until it's flush with the neighboring tiles.

If excess tile adhesive oozes out from the sides of the tile, wipe it off the surface with a damp cloth and clean the excess from the joints with a flathead screwdriver.

6- Grouting Tile

Before you begin grouting tile, let your tile adhesive harden over night.

As you're grouting tile rather than spreading the grout over all the tiles, just trowel it over your newly cleared grout lines of the tile you just replaced.  Then press it into place with a wet sponge.

Spread just a touch past your new tile, slightly grouting tile to overlap the old grout. When grouting tile this way it will help to blend the new tile in with the old tiles.  Follow the tips above for making the new grout match the old tile grout.

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