• Repairing Ceramic Broken Floor Tiles


    Cracked ceramic tiles mar the appearance of a floor and may, in locations like bathrooms or kitchens, make the subflooring susceptible to the dangers of water.
    If the subfloor gets continually wet over time, it will swell and cause damage to additional tiles and will begin to rot as well.
    Replacing broken tiles takes careful work and good DIY skill, so you might want to consider hiring a flooring contractor or handyman with good experience to do the work too.
    Repairing one tile might take 30-45 minutes. Larger jobs will take less time per tile if the tiles are adjoining.
    If the entire floor looks in need of some work, you should consider whether or not you want to repair or replace the entire floor.
    If you have access under the subfloor check first to determine the obvious signs of rot

    Ceramic Floor Tile Repair Tips

    Our goal is to give you information you can use in your decision to do the work yourself or hire a pro for the job.
    The good news is that there’s no harm trying it yourself first. Unless you break several more tiles, which is unlikely, you won’t do anything that will cost extra if you do have to hire someone for the repair.

    In this repair guide, we include ceramic floor tile replacement costs for DIY work and for hiring a professional, so you’ll have an idea of what to expect if you get estimates from tile contractors.
    There are plenty of tips too that give you an idea of what you’ll be doing. Finally, we include resources at the end that offer additional information that will help you evaluate this project.
    These tips aren’t exhaustive. They’re designed to show the scope of the issue.
    We include the tools and materials you need. Let’s get started.

    • Your first job is to find a tile that matches the floor, and that’s why flooring stores recommend buying an extra box of tiles when you install ceramic tile anywhere in your home
    • Look around your basement, attic or storage unit for that box of leftover tiles…you might just find what you’re looking for
    • If you have to buy a replacement tile, consider buying as many as 10 of them for potential future repairs
    • You will also want to get color chips for your grout possibilities in order to match the grout color
    • Safety comes first, so put on eye protection before you begin the work
    • Putting cardboard down around the broken tile will protect surrounding tiles while you work
    • You’ve got two options for removing the broken tile – a tile grout tool to scrape it out or using a masonry drill bit and drill to drill holes in the broken tile that can be used to remove it
    • A cold chisel and small hammer can be used to remove the tile itself as long as you’re very careful not to damage surrounding tiles
    • Once the tile is out, scrape remaining mortar off the subfloor – though you don’t have to get every bit of it as long as the surface is fairly smooth
    • Vacuum out the area where the tile was to remove chips and dust
    • Your options for adhering the new tile are tile adhesive or thinset mortar (follow the instructions on the packaging) applied with a notched trowel
    • Apply the adhesive and set the tile in the space, being sure to center the tile with equal spacing on all sides
    • Let the tile sit overnight before adding the grout
    • Follow the directions on the packaging carefully to get the grout the proper consistency
    • Force the mixed grout into the spaces between the tiles, and press it with a rubber float before removing the excess with a float or damp sponge
    • When the grout develops a light skin, remove it with a damp sponge or rag
    • Several hours later, polish the entire area with a clean towel to remove excess grout
    • Wait one day before putting weight on the new tile

    Ceramic Floor Tile Replacement Cost

    Here are costs for a DIY job and what you can expect when you hire a professional for the work.

    DIY Ceramic Floor Tile Replacement: Hopefully you’ll have the extra tiles you need left over from the original job. If not, replacement tiles cost $2 to $15 depending on the size and style. A cold chisel and small hammer cost about $10 each, and so does a rubber grout float. The adhesive or mortar you choose will cost less than $10. If you choose to use a drill, they start at about $35, and a masonry bit will cost $8 to $12.

    Professional Ceramic Tile Replacement: Most ceramic tile installers have a minimum charge for repairs which is usually $125 to $1750. That cost should cover the replacement of several tiles at least.

    Save Money on Ceramic Floor Tile Replacement

    If you’re doing the work yourself, borrowing tools you don’t have is the best way to save money. However, none of the tools are very expensive, and if you have tile floors, you will like use them again.

    The best way to save money when hiring a tile contractor is to get several estimates to get the best price. Let the companies know that they’re competing for the work, and they’ll give you their lowest estimates. Before taking the lowest estimate, make sure that the person you select has good experience replacing ceramic flooring tiles.

    Do It Yourself Ceramic Floor Tile Repair Resources

    These pages will give you additional help as you consider this house repair job.

    YouTube – Here’s video from a local flooring company that makes everything very clear. It includes discussion of the tools you’ll need.

    Trevathan Floors – These tips from a pro are very helpful.

    North Jersey – This basic overview will help DIYers do the job quickly and successfully.

    Pecos Softwareworks – These step-by-step instructions include photos to help.


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