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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Walls Category: Interior Walls: Ceramic Tile Walls


Ceramic tile(s) is/are broken.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Appropriate replacement tile(s)

  • Tile saw (cordless, preferably)

  • Grout saw

  • Hammer

  • Chisel (cold chisel, preferably)

  • Grout

  • Ceramic tile adhesive

  • Grout sealer, like Aqua Mix Sealer

  • Putty knife/joint knife

  • Tile grout float

  • Tile grout sponge (such as a hydro sponge), used moist

  • Fine-pointed brush (like what an artist uses)

  • Broom

  • Broom dustpan



So, either in your bathroom or kitchen, you find that your whole beautiful tile wall scheme is ruined--spoiled--because one of the tiles is visibly cracked or otherwise damaged.  What to do? Well, if you're lucky, you can find a replacement tile of the same type and have it installed in place of the damaged tile in no time to restore the beauty of your ceramic tile wall.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with sharp objects, such as a grout saw or tile saw, make sure you take precautions.  When dealing with chemicals, such as those found in tile adhesives, grout and a sealer, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Replacing a damaged tile of a ceramic tile wall can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. First, using a tile saw or grout saw, remove the grout that forms the surroundings of the damaged tile that is to be replaced. 

  2. Use a hammer and chisel to carefully crack the damaged tile completely so as to have the tile completely removed from the wall, being careful not to physically disturb the surrounding tiles.

  3. Taking all safety precautions necessary for your situation, use a broom and dustpan to safely sweep up the debris from breaking apart and removing the originally damaged tile, being careful for sharp pieces of such a tile.

  4. Using either a chisel or joint knife, scrape off the remnants of the old tile adhesive where the now-removed damaged tile used to be; be careful not to scrape off the wallboard layers in the process.

  1. Using a joint knife, apply the tile adhesive on the backside of the replacement tile in preparation for its installation in the place where the now-removed damaged tile used to be.

Upon applying the tile adhesive on the replacement tile per the manufacturer's instructions, take this replacement tile and install it in the place of where the now-removed damaged tile used to be, making sure the replacement tile is squarely placed and that consistent spacing is left on all sides of the tile.

Allow the replacement tile to cure/dry onto the wall for about 24 hours or otherwise per the tile adhesive manufacturer's instructions.

  1. Upon 24 hours passing or any other time period provided by the tile adhesive manufacturer, using a grout float, apply the grout into the sides/joints of the installed replacement tile.  In applying the grout, a good way to get the grout well within the joints without disturbing what grout has already went in is to maneuver the float across the replacement tile at an angle from one side to the other; use a moistened sponge to wipe up any excess grout; wipe again as needed when tile grout haze is seen/occurs.

  2. Allow the replacement tile grout to cure/dry for about 24 hours or otherwise per the grout manufacturer's instructions before you attempt to touch the tile.

  3. After about two weeks since the grout application, apply grout sealer over the grout on the tile with a fine-pointed brush.  This sealer seals the grout around the replacement tile so that it becomes smooth and bears a nice shining-appearance touch.

That's what it takes to replace a damaged tile.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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