Replacing a broken or damaged tile is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require much in the way of tools. It’s not too difficult to update your grouting either. Here are the fix-it tips you need to get the job done easily.
Read more: 12 beautiful kitchens we wish were ours
1. How to fix a damaged tile
Gather your material and tools: you will need your replacement tile, grout rake, small chisel, hammer, grout, tile adhesive, grout squeegee and sponge.
Top tip: For safety, ensure that you keep all tools and materials away from children and also wear goggles when breaking the broken tile.
- Start by removing the grout from around the tile with a Tilemate grout rake, which can be bought from most tile retailers.
- Run the blade back and forth in the middle of the grout joint and eventually you will wear away a line of grout all the way to the substrate. Don’t use too much force as you may knock the tiles loose. It might also be a good idea to cover the adjacent undamaged tiles with newspaper to ensure that they don’t chip or crack.
- Once you’ve cut a clean line all the way around the affected tile, carefully break it with a hammer and remove the fragments with a chisel. Clear away any adhesive that remains on the substrate.
- Carefully and patiently remove the grout that remains attached to the sides of the adjacent tiles with the use of a small chisel and hammer. Tap the chisel gently with the hammer to avoid chipping or breaking the edges of the undamaged tiles.
- Once clear of debris, the new tile can be installed. Use TAL’s rapid-setting adhesives, which means you can walk on the tile soon after installation. Mix the necessary amount of adhesive according to the instructions and press the tile firmly into place.
- Once the adhesive has set, clear the joints of any adhesive residue, mix some matching grout according to the instructions and apply into the joints with a grout squeegee. Allow the grout to set for 2 to 3 hours, and remove any excess with a damp sponge.
2. How to update your grouting
Depending on the state of the grout, you can use specially formulated cleaning agents to clean old and dirty grout, use a grout pen or scrape out the existing grout with a Tilemate grout rake and regrout the joints.
In terms of choosing the correct grout for your tiles, here are a couple of tips to help you select and apply grout:
- Where possible, avoid using white or light-coloured grout for floor applications. Light grout tends to discolour over a period of time and any dirt or debris that accumulates in the grout joints tends to show up more — darker grout hides dirt better.
- Read the packaging instructions before grouting. Important information regarding water to powder mix ratios, application steps, drying time and cleaning are included in these instructions, so don’t skip this step!
- When applying cement-based grout to soft glazed tiles, highly polished tiles or glass tiles, work carefully to ensure that you don’t scratch the tile’s surface.
- Test the grout on a sample tile to ensure that there is no staining caused by the grout being absorbed through the glaze or into the tile body.
- When applying TAL Wall & Floor Grout to high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen, passage and entrance hall, as well as wet or exposed areas, replace the water in the mix with TAL Bond, a latex additive, to improve water resistance and flexibility. This will also deepen the colour of the grout.
- Use TAL Goldstar Grout Sealer — an aerosol sealer that seals the top layer of the grout and minimises discolouration.
Visit tal.co.za for more information on TAL’s product range or visit the TAL Talk blog where you’ll find more handy tiling and maintenance tips.