How to Replace Ceramic Tile Floors


Any time there's cracking or loosening of tiles on a ceramic floor, the affected area should be pulled up and replaced immediately. Ceramic floors are designed to form a moisture-proof barrier, and those cracks and loose tiles let moisture underneath, which means the problem will inevitably spread to other tiles if you don't stop it.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Grout saw
  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
  • New tile to match the existing tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Notched putty knife
  • Plastic tile spacers
  • Powdered grout
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Remove as many of the loose or damaged tiles as you can by hand. Use your hammer and chisel to remove the rest. Take out any tiles that show any sign of cracking or moving, so all the tiles at the perimeter of the area are solid and undamaged.

  • Chisel out all the dried mortar from the exposed underlayment. Use your grout saw to clean the surrounding tiles of all dried grout on the sides facing into the area you're replacing. Use your vaccum cleaner hose to thoroughly pull up all remaining debris and dust from the area.

  • Spread tile adhesive into the area with your notched putty knife, creating a "bed'' of adhesive that goes right up the adjacent tiles.

  • Press your new tiles into the area, putting tile spacers between them. With your finger, wipe out any adhesive that squeezes up between the tiles, so you have full open lines between them. Take out the tile spacers and let the tile set overnight.

  • Mix your grout with water to the consistency of thick mud. Spread it over the newly tiled area, pressing the grout down into the open lines. Wait three minutes, then wipe down the tiles with a wet sponge, getting the new grout lines at the same level as the surrounding lines. Let the new tile set for a day before using the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Chiseling out tile floor can be very physically challenging, so make sure you're up to it before you start the project.
  • Wear protective eye goggles when chiseling out the floor.


  • Photo Credit
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