Removing individual tiles: an easy way to touch up your kitchen and bathroom design
Sometimes it’s because of a bottle that has been dropped on the kitchen floor, or an incorrectly drilled hole for the towel rail in the bathroom – we all have broken individual tiles here and there at home. There are three ways to go about fixing it. Option one is to just leave it – and probably be annoyed by it every day. Option two is to completely re-tile the wall or floor. Or option three is to simply remove the broken tile and replace it. Read our article to find out how easy it is to remove a tile from the wall or floor.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount at every stage of the project. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find everything you need to know about the protective clothing required for each type of task in our guide.
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- multi-function tools
- fitter’s hammer
- Drop cloth
- Masking tape
Let's go - step by step
Preparing the room
You need: Drop cloth, Masking tape
Before you start removing the tile, make sure you clear out the room and then mask off the doors and windows with a drop cloth. All of the light switches and plug sockets in the room should also be masked off because dust from the building can damage the electrics.
And if you want to remove a broken tile from the wall, we recommend protecting the area below it with a cover.
Once the room is prepared, you’re ready to go.
Removing the grout around the tile
The first thing you have to do is to remove the grout from around the broken tile. To do this, attach the correct saw blade to the multi-function tool, carefully position it at one corner and move it slowly and evenly to the next corner. You should cut into the grout to about the same depth as your tile.
Please note: Make sure that you completely remove all of the grout so that the new tile and grout won’t push any residual old grout into the surrounding tiles and damage them.
Breaking off the tile
You need: fitter’s hammer
Once you have removed the grout from around the broken tile, you will then need to break it carefully. The best tool for this is a fitter’s hammer. Position it with the thin side on the tile and hit it gently. It makes the most sense to start in the middle of the tile and hit it until a hole appears. Then, move in a circle, gradually moving further and further away from the centre. Start hitting the tile lightly at first and then increase the pressure with each blow until the tile gradually breaks.
Removing the remnants of the tile
You need: fitter’s hammer, chisel
Normally, a few more light blows are all it takes for the individual pieces of tile to fall to the floor. Otherwise, you can also easily remove them using your hands. If the pieces are still a bit stuck, you can help get them off the wall with a hammer and chisel. However, be very careful if you do decide to use a hammer and chisel – hitting the pieces too hard might quickly lead to damaging the surroundings tiles next to them.
Removing the mortar
You need: scraper
Once you have removed all of the tile from the wall, you then need to remove all of the mortar that stuck the tile to the wall. You can use a scraper to do this, but it’s even easier if you use a multi-function tool.
Make sure that the surface is smooth. The bend-proof scraper adapter for the multi-function tool is useful for the finishing touches, and a simple box knife is great for the edges to the next tile.
Now simply sweep up the last remnants from the floor, and you have successfully removed your broken tile.