Removing and Replacing a Damaged Ceramic Tile

Amherst, NH homeowner asks: How can I remove and replace a damaged ceramic tile?

Porcelain TilesTo remove a damaged tile, you must first remove the grout surrounding the tile with a scoring tool. Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the other tiles to protect them and drill evenly spaced holes in the damage tile. You can then use a chisel to remove the pieces of the damaged tile.

Ceramic tiles are made to last and to withstand every day wear and tear, but as a family in Amherst, NH discovered, excessive force can cause them to break or chip.

Protecting Surrounding Tiles, While Removing the Damaged Tile

If the damage is limited to one tile, this can be fixed without having to replace the entire floor. The first step is to remove the grout surrounding the tile. This can be done using a carbide-tipped scoring tool to gently rake the grout out from around the damaged tile. Be careful not to apply so much pressure that the scoring tool slips, gouging surrounding tiles.

After most of the grout has been removed, you will want to make the tile easy to extract while also protecting the surrounding tiles from damage. To protect the tiles nearby, apply painter’s tape over them securing them in place. Using a ¼” drill bit, make evenly spaced holes in the damaged tile. The drilled holes will weaken the tile making it easier to remove.

You can now use a hammer to gently tap out the pieces of the ceramic tile. Start in the center of the tile with the hammer, working your way towards the outer edges. After the broken tiles are removed, use a wide chisel to clean the area until smooth, making it optimal for laying down a new, replacement tile. You are then ready to grout the area and adhere the new tile.

The family in Amherst followed these steps to replace their own damaged tile and the floor looks as good as new again.