How to Replace a Wall Tile
Step 1: Remove the joints around the tile to be changed
Step 2: Break the tile to be changed
Step 3: Remove the tile
Step 4: Glue the new tile
Step 5: Install the tile
Step 6: Grout the tile
Step 7: If there are white marks on the grout
Changing a wall tile is easy if you use suitable materials to avoid damaging the surrounding tiles.
To change a wall tile, remove the surrounding tile grout, remove the tile to be changed, replace it with a new tile and then grout the new tile. Let’s see closer below.
1. Remove the grout around the tile to be replaced
To remove tile grout:
Scrape the grout with a tile scraper.
Be sure to scrape the joints to their total thickness.
If you don’t have a tile scraper, you can use a sharp spatula to scrape the grout around the tile.
2. Break the tile to be changed
Note: Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any splinters.
Break the tile with a chisel and a hammer:
Place the chisel tip in the center of the tile.
Tilt the tip of the chisel downward.
Hit it hard with the hammer so that it cracks.
3. Remove the tile
With a flat chisel, loosen and remove the fragments of the tile you broke:
Remove the pieces of tile with a flat chisel and hammer.
Remove the pieces starting from the center and ending at the edges.
Be careful not to touch the surrounding tiles.
Once the pieces are removed, scrape off tile adhesive residue with the flat chisel.
Clean the area with a brush, then wipe with a damp sponge to remove any remaining dust and allow the thin-set mortar (tile adhesive) to adhere better.
4. Glue the new tile
Once the surface has been cleaned, proceed to glue the tile you are about to install. Use ready-to-use thin-set mortar for this purpose:
Using a notched spatula, place the adhesive mortar in the center of the tile.
Spread the mortar glue over the tile without coating it completely: allow a maximum margin of 30 mm.
If the tile is thick or large (more than 40 × 40 cm), also coat the wall:
Lay the adhesive mortar in the center of the space to be glued.
Spread the adhesive mortar with the spatula and make ridges.
Clean any traces of adhesive mortar on the surrounding tiles with a damp sponge.
Read more: 7 Steps To Install Bathroom Wall Tiles
5. Laying the tile
Follow these steps to lay the tile:
Observe the space provided for the tile joints.
Press it down gently to adhere to it.
Be careful not to press it in too far. It should be level with the rest of the tiles.
Clean any traces of adhesive mortar on the tiles with a damp sponge.
Tip: fix the tile to the wall with adhesive tape while the glue dries. This will prevent it from falling or shifting.
6. Make the tile joints
Once the adhesive has dried, you can make the tile joints.
The joints ensure that your tiles are watertight and will stay in place because the tiles may come loose if water gets in.
Use ready-to-use grout.
Use a rubber squeegee to spread the grout over the tiles.
Fill the joints with mortar using an angled motion with the squeegee.
Smooth with the squeegee or your finger, running it along the joints.
Once the grout begins to set (after an hour or two), clean up any marks on the tiles with a damp sponge, but do not press on the joints.
Wipe with a dry cloth to remove any moisture.
Finally, let dry for the time indicated on the package.
Tip: Wait a few days before washing your tiles with water.
7. In case of white marks on the joints
In some cases, white marks appear on the joints once they are dry; this is the cement veil.
Using a special cement veil product or hydrochloric acid, you can remove the cement veil.
Example 1: Removing traces with a unique cement veil product
Use a unique product to remove traces of cement fog.
Spread the product over the joints and tiles with a sponge.
Leave it on for the time indicated on the packaging.
Scrub the joints with a brush until the traces disappear.
Rinse with clear water.
Example 2: Remove traces with hydrochloric acid
You can clean the cement veil with a mixture of water and hydrochloric acid:
Wear household gloves to protect your hands.
Mix water and acid in the following ratio: 1/4 hydrochloric acid to 3/4 water.
Always pour the acid into the water, not the other way around.
Dip a brush into the mixture.
Scrub the tiles and the joints until the traces disappear.
Once you have removed the marks, rinse the tiles with clean water.
Materials for changing a wall tile