Repairing Ceramic Tiles

Learn how you can replace cracked tiles and save replacing the whole area.

There can be nothing more annoying to see than a cracked tile in your bathroom or kitchen area. As time goes by, the cracks gather dirt in between, and then it is even more obvious to see.

Replacing a cracked tile is not as hard as it sounds. But, whatever you do, never try and lever the tile out by using a screwdriver or knife, otherwise you could end up cracking more than just the one.

Getting the tile out can be relatively simple though, if you follow the guidelines recommended. Finding the replacement tile may be more of a challenge. If you find it hard to find an exact replacement for your cracked tile, then what you may be able to do is to choose a replacement tile that will become a feature on your wall. Something like a pattern tile will do the trick, as long as the colors all match in nicely.

To remove a cracked tile, you will need a grout rake, a hammer, a fine cold chisel, a large screwdriver, a putty knife, a sponge and a polishing rag. You may also need a hand or electric drill with a small masonry bit. You will also need some tile adhesive, some flexible grout of matching color plus some tile spacers.

So now here is how you can repair that cracked tile yourself:

1) Carefully rake out the grout so that the tile is completely separate from the rest of the tiles.

2) Drill a hole with the masonry bit directly into the center of the tile.

3) Working your way outwards from the center of the tile, carefully chip out the tile using the hammer and cold chisel. Make sure that you only take out small pieces at a time, and also be sure to wear safety glasses of some kind to avoid getting and chips in your eyes.

4) Once the tile is completely out, carefully clean around the edges, and then prepare the surface for the new tile. Make sure that the surface area is clean, dry and level. You may need to level the surface by using gypsum products.

5) Use a generous amount of adhesive, glue the replacement tile back into position. Check that the tile is exactly in line with the other ones and that the joint around it is clean and dry. You may need to work fairly fast while doing this as some adhesives begin to set very quickly after application.

6) When the tile has fully set in place (usually approx. 24-48 hours after), you can then re-grout the joint. Remember to wipe the grout off the tile BEFORE it dries. Then a quick polish with a clean rag will blend the new tile in nicely.

Yes, replacing cracked tiles is not a very difficult job to carry out. And, with a bit of common sense and know how, then you can save yourself the embarrassment of having those annoying cracked tiles in your bathroom or kitchen.

© High Speed Ventures 2011