Planning & preparation
- Hopefully, you already have a spare tile left over from when the tiles were installed, but if not, try and colour match the tiles as best you can
- Once you have followed the instructions on how to remove the damaged tile, ensure that the surface is level, clean and dry before continuing. Thorough preparation is key to a long-lasting finish
- Be sure to use an adhesive that is suitable for your wall surface
- If you are removing a wall tile then lay heavy-duty protective sheeting onto the surrounding floor to prevent any damage
Do it right
- When removing the old adhesive, using a hot air heat gun to weaken a small area at a time can reduce the chance of the wall becoming damaged.
- Always remove tiles as gently as possible to avoid damaging the wall and surrounding tiles
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions for advice on adhesive and grout drying times
- Wear safety goggles and gloves when drilling, chipping away tiles, removing adhesive and clearing up tile fragments
- It is advisable to wear overalls or a long-sleeved top
- Use a grout protector spray to reduce penetration by water, dirt and limescale. Grout protector also helps to make the grout easier to clean. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product
How to Remove & Replace Tiles
To stop the drill bit from slipping on the tile, start by sticking a piece of masking tape over the centre of the tile.
Drill a small hole into the tile using a ceramic tile bit. Take care not to drill right through the tile and into the wall. Then, carefully remove the masking tape.
Use a grout removal rake to remove the grout from around the tile, being careful not to cut through into the wall or damage adjoining tiles.
Use a hammer and chisel to chip away the broken tile, starting from the hole in the centre.
Take care not to damage adjacent tiles when removing pieces near the edge of the broken tile.
Use a scraper to remove hardened adhesive.
If the adhesive is particularly tough, you may need to use a hammer and chisel - but again, try to avoid damaging the plaster wall.
Once all the adhesive has been removed, brush away any remaining dust until you have a clean, dry surface.
Apply adhesive to the back of the new tile using a ridged tile adhesive spreader.
Press the new tile firmly into position. If the tile is not flush with adjoining tiles, gently remove it and add or remove adhesive as necessary.
Insert tile spacers to maintain a consistent gap between the new tile and the adjoining tiles.
Once the new tile is in place, wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp sponge. Leave the spacers in place whilst the adhesive dries.
Once the adhesive has fully dried, remove the spacers. Then use a grout float to work the grout into the tile joints. Wipe off any excess grout from the tile surface.
When the grout has started to harden, run a grout finishing tool along the grouted joints to create a smooth finish.
Finally, once the grout has dried, wipe down the tile surface with a clean, dry cloth or sponge to remove any remaining residue.