How-To Videos

How to Remove and Replace a Damaged Ceramic Tile

By: Danny Lipford
Removing cracked floor tile

Using a cold chisel to break up a floor tile.

Removing and replacing a broken ceramic tile isn’t that difficult if you have matching tile leftover from the original installation. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Remove Grout: First isolate the broken tile from the rest of the floor by using a hammer and chisel to remove the grout around the tile.
  2. Remove Tile: Use the hammer and chisel to remove part of the tile, then position the chisel under the remaining tile and tap and pry it to remove it from the subfloor.
  3. Remove Adhesive: Use a putty knife or chisel to remove the old adhesive on the subfloor.
  4. Clean Floor: Use a shop vac to thoroughly clean the area of the broken tile.
  5. Apply Adhesive: Apply all purpose thin-set tile adhesive to the subfloor in the tile area with a notched trowel.
  6. Position New Tile: Put the new tile in place, making sure the margins around the tile are equal, and the tile is flush and level with the rest of the floor.
  7. Allow to Set: Allow the tile adhesive to set for several hours.
  8. Apply Grout: Apply grout to the margins with a rubber float.
  9. Remove Excess Grout: Remove any excess grout while wet using a damp sponge.
  10. Clean Existing Grout: If needed, clean the old grout with a bleach solution to match the new grout.
  11. Seal Grout: Once the grout has dried for the recommended period of time, seal it with grout sealer to prevent staining.

Watch this video to find out more.

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4 Comments on “How to Remove and Replace a Damaged Ceramic Tile”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    November 14th, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Hi, Janet,
    We recommend checking out this resource to learn more about painting over ceramic tile:
    Since this is near a fireplace, we do recommend asking your local fire inspector to check out the area and ensure it would be safe to tackle this project.
    Thanks for your question!

  • Janet Smith Says:
    November 12th, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I need to paint my tile that is on around my fireplace. I live alone so this is my project. I am not sure how to do this or even if it is possible to paint over the tile?
    Please help me.
    Thank you
    Janet Smith

  • Jeanmarie Says:
    March 4th, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    I just stumbled on your site through a Google search. Thank you for your help. You are really easy to follow, your video is high quality and you are concise.

    Thank you again.

  • wiloliam Says:
    August 29th, 2017 at 10:52 am

    how do remove the adhesive if it sticks to subfloor

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How to Remove and Replace a Damaged Ceramic Tile