A floor or wall tiled with the same color of tile can become drab and uninteresting over time. Changing towel colors often can break the monotony of a bathroom wall, and scattering rugs across a tiled floor can help change the look of a room, but those are just temporary fixes to a drab appearance. You can remove a row or two of tile around the perimeter of the floor or wall and replace it with a row or two of decorative tiles or those in a contrasting color.
Things You'll Need
- Hand-held manual grout saw or electric rotary tool
- Carbide grout removal bit
- Carbide scoring tool
- Point punch
- Cold chisel
- Bricklayer’s chisel
Remove the grout around all sides of each tile along the perimeter. Use a hand-held manual grout saw, or an electric rotary tool equipped with a carbide grout removal bit to remove the grout down to the subfloor or cement backer board.
Score 1/4-inch deep diagonal lines from corner to corner across the face of one tile with a carbide scoring tool. This creates an X-shape across the tile, weakening it.
Place a point punch in the center of the tile where the diagonal lines intersect. Strike the point punch with a hammer to break the tile.
Break up the remainder of the tile by placing a cold chisel along the scored line and striking it with a hammer. Remove the pieces of broken tile from the area.
Position the chisel against the edge of the adjacent tile where the bottom of the tile adheres to the floor or backer board. Strike the chisel with a hammer to break the tile free from the mortar. Repeat this step to remove each tile from the perimeter.
Remove the remnants of mortar from the subfloor or cement backer board with a bricklayer’s chisel. Hold the chisel at a 20- to 30-degree angle to the floor or wall. Strike the chisel with the hammer to remove as much of the old mortar as possible.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear safety goggles and thick work gloves when removing the tiles.
- Don Vandervort’s Home Tips.com: Replacing a Cracked or Broken Tile
- Lowe’s: Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile
- Tiling 1-2-3; Charlie Wing