Summary: Learn how to remove a tile and replace a tile.
Removing and replacing damaged or broken tiles should be a straightforward task, however it is advisable to wear safety goggles and work gloves when removing ceramic tiles.
How to remove a tile
- To remove a damaged tile, scrape away the grouting around it. A tool called a grout rake is best for this purpose. See our how to remove grout project.
- Use a power drill to drill a dozen or so holes through the damaged tile, taking care not to damage the wall behind.
- Then using a cold chisel and club hammer, carefully chip away at the tile from the centre outwards to avoid damaging adjacent tiles. As the tile fractures and splits loose pieces may fall, so if the work is being carried out over a bath or shower tray ensure you have positioned some dust sheets to catch the debris.
- Once the tile is fully removed, chisel away the old adhesive that remains and clean away any dust.
How to replace a tile
- You now have a space in which to fit the replacement tile. Find a matching tile (if the old tile was cut to size, then make sure you cut the new one to the same dimensions).
- Spread tile adhesive onto the back of the tile using a notched spreader, then fix into place using spacers to maintain even joints.
- To make sure the tile you have fixed is perfectly level with the rest of the tiles, lay a straight wooden batten across the face of tile and tap gently into position. Add or remove adhesive as you go, wiping away any excess with a damp cloth before leaving the adhesive to dry for 12 hours.
- Once the tile is dry, you can proceed to grout between the joins.
- Grout rake
- Power drill
- Cold chisel
- Club hammer
- Notched spreader
- Tile adhesive
- Plastic spacers