How to Repair Tile in 10 Steps

If you have minor tile damage—a few chips, cracks, or installation blips—you only need a quick repair, not an entire retiling project. Just do a minor replacement on the problem area and no one will be the wiser. Follow these quick ten steps for a simple, small tile repair job.

1. Remove the damaged tiles—loose, cracked, buckled—with a chisel and hammer. Take care with your aim to chip out only the tiles you want to remove and not damage the surrounding good tiles.

2. Clean the surface to get rid of any loose debris. Simply remove larger shards by hand and vacuum the entire surface thoroughly to pick up the smaller pieces.

3. Prepare a mortar, such as Thinset—enough for only as many of the replacement tiles. Mix the mortar thoroughly according to the package directions.

4. Let the mortar rest and slate for at least ten minutes.

5. Cover the project area with the mortar. Use a small trowel to apply just enough so that the new tiles are level with the existing ones.

6. Lay the new tile. First, back-butter the tiles with the mortar. Then, place and press down each tile into the surface mortar until each piece is level with the rest of the surface.

7. Gently wipe down the new tiles with a damp cloth to remove any spills or overflow without upsetting any of the tiles.

8. Let the tiles set.

9. Let the tiles set for at least 24 hours before you grout. Then, mix just enough grout for your job and apply it at a 45-degree angle to the tile edges.

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10. Wipe away the excess grout from the tile faces and allow them to dry for

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an additional 24 hours.

If you follow these ten simple steps, at the end of the process you won’t be able to tell which tiles you replaced. Enjoy your good as new surface!

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