How to Repair a Tile Backsplash

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If you discover that a tile in your kitchen backsplash is cracked, chipped or loose, it doesn't mean you have to replace the whole backsplash. Chipping out the tile and replacing it is a relatively easy job, as long as you can find a replacement tile to match the one that's coming out. Undertake the project right away, since waiting could allow moisture to get through the damaged tile and compromise the wall behind it, which could ultimately mean having to replace more than just a tile.

Things You'll Need

  • Grout saw (looks like a thick razor blade on a handle)
  • Small, sharp chisel
  • Hammer
  • Replacement tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Putty knife
  • Pre-mixed grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Use your grout saw to remove the grout around the damaged tile. Do this by scraping away the grout surface with the blade and then working your way down, breaking out the grout as you go. Get it out all around the tile, while taking care not to scratch the adjacent tiles.

  • Set your chisel into the grout line, against the base of the damaged tile, and begin tapping at it with your hammer. Don't smash it, but tap firmly and repeatedly, until either the tile pops out or a piece of it breaks off. If a piece of it breaks, move the chisel into the line of the break and work from there. Continue until the whole tile is out.

  • Use your chisel to remove any residual dried adhesive or grout pieces from the space left by the tile, getting the space smooth, clean and free of any obstructions.

  • Use your putty knife to spread tile adhesive on the back of your replacement tile. Press it firmly into place. Twist it slightly to form a tight seal between the tile and the wall. Let it set for 24 hours.

  • Scoop your pre-set grout onto a grout float and press it into the lines around the new tile, filling them completely. Run the side of the float against the tile face to squeeze off the excess grout and smooth out the grout in the lines, making the new grout even with the grout around it. Allow it to set for two days before resuming full use of the area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear eye protection when removing the old tile.

References

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