How I Repaired My Tiled Step of Happiness

I have a small tiled bathroom in my apartment which has a tiled step at the base of the bathroom door. One day I was about to enter the bathroom, when I put my foot on the step, one of the tiles cracked. The tiles on the step are the standard four inch size commonly used in bathrooms. The tiles are a yellowish white color and I had great difficulty trying to find a piece of tile to match it exactly.

Taking out the cracked tile wasn’t that difficult, but I found out quickly that you must be extra careful when removing a cracked tile, so as to not break the surrounding tiles in the process. I used a scoring tool to rake out the grout around the cracked tile. I did accidentally chip one of the adjacent tiles while raking out the grout, but it wasn’t noticeable. I continued raking out the grout at a much slower pace to ensure I didn’t damage any other tiles. I then remembered a friend of mine once told me to put duct tape around the edge of the adjacent tiles to protect them from damage, which I then did.

Once I removed the grout surrounding the broken tile I then used a small half inch chisel and a hammer. I started to gently hit the chisel in the middle of the tile to try and loosen it. I was surprised how easy it was to remove. When I examined the back of the tile I had noticed that the thinset had not fully adhered to the tile when it was installed. I then began to remove the old thinset from the step with a two inch chisel I have, and then cleared away all the dust and broken tile chips.

I then applied a small amount of thinset evenly to the back of the new tile and slowly put it into place. It set a little high but evened out with the other tiles when I put pressure on it. I let it set for about two hours and then mixed a little bit of grout, and then I used a piece of cardboard to grout around the tile. After 15 minutes I then used a moist sponge to clean off the excess grout. Now I feel good every time I step into my bathroom and look down at my new tile.

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