Unfortunately, sometimes porcelain tiles can break over time, and then there is a need to replace them. But you may not want to replace your entire floor. You can just replace the tiles that are broken. First what you will want to do is to remove the grout. To do that you will need a handheld grout saw, and carbide-tipped cutting knife, a triangular grout saw, and an oscillating multi-tool with grout.
Once you have removed the old grout, you can start removing the tiles. Start removing your tile by applying blue tape to it and then drilling a few holes into the center of the surface. Use a 1/4 inch carbide-tipped tile drill bit. Then grab a chisel and hammer. Always make sure to chisel the tile from the inside to the perimeter taking care not to damage any of the surrounding tiles.
Now that you have removed the broken tiles use your chisel to remove any of the mortar that is underneath the tile. You can then place the new tile down to make sure it fits properly. This is called dry fitting. Make sure that when you fit it, it sits lower than the other tiles. When you add the new mortar, it will raise the tile a bit and you want to make sure it’s an even layer across the entire floor.
Now that it fits properly you can add a thin layer with your 1/4 in the trowel. Make sure to place some mortar on the back of the tile to keep the underside set. Then firmly place your new tile in place. Make sure all grout joints are even and straight. Let that sit and dry for about 2-3 hours.
Once it’s all set then you can place grout in between the tiles to create a long-lasting grip with the other tiles. Make sure to remove all of the grout from the tiles with a wet sponge so the film doesn’t set into the tiles. Once it has set about an hour you can then wipe the surface down with a microfiber cloth.
This is a fairly simple process but needs to be done precisely as to not damage any surrounding tiles. If you have any questions with tiles or mortar you can contact one of our Plumbtile specialists for assistance.