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Despite their solidity, porcelain stoneware tiles do not always withstand the passage of time. They can crack or even break in case of shock. However, it is easy to replace the damaged item with a little patience.

Replacement of a sandstone tile

Placed on a concrete screed, the tiling of this covered terrace frequently undergoes small shocks.
The fall of a dumbbell finally came to the end of a tile.
The repair of the broken element is all the easier on this site, as being located at the edge of terrace, garden side, it is surrounded by three tiles.

Test to avoid collateral damage

Depending on the thickness of the joints (and tile), they can be stripped with a simple tile scraper, a flat chisel and a hammer, or with a grinder (the example presented here). This tool is also used to cut the tile. But before starting, it is advisable to test the gesture on the surface to "open", tool in hand and engine off, so as to verify that the operation is possible without damaging the surrounding tiles. Then proceed slowly, tilting the tool down.
Wearing a mask and protective gloves is recommended.

Remove the damaged tile

To remove the damaged element, the technique is simple. The flat chisel should be placed at the center of a cutting line, tilted, and made with a small whip to loosen the pieces, proceeding from the center to the edges so as not to damage the contiguous tiles. Once the tile is broken, it can also be loosened by slipping underneath a flat chisel.

An invisible repair

The old mortar is removed by chisel (or chisel) taking care, again, not to damage the neighboring tiles.
Small plates and cement residues are blown up by advancing the tool (held at approximately 45°) at each flash.
DIY TIP:
Accidents (scratches, cracks...) usually happen after several years of use. The tile pattern is then often not available in stores. It is therefore recommended to buy some extra tiles at the beginning, so that such repairs are always possible.

saw the joints of the damaged tile

  • Using a grinder equipped with a diamond disc, saw the joints surrounding the damaged tile and cut it diagonally.
  • Break the tile then with the chisel and the hammer.

remove the old sealing mortar

  • After removing the pieces of tile, remove the old mortar and scrape the residue with a flat chisel.
  • Brush the surface and dust off.

Glue the surface with adhesive mortar

  • Dust carefully the screed.
  • Glue the loose surface generously with adhesive mortar, spoiled in a trough.
  • Smooth by slightly tilting the mason's trowel.

sprinkle the cement

  • Moisten the adhesive mortar without delay, using a garden sprayer, then sprinkle a little cement on the surface to absorb the water and increase the adhesion of the material.

tile laying

  • Put in place the new tile, keeping the spacing of the joints.
  • Press on the surface for good adhesion.
  • Allow the excess material to escape.

control of horizontality

  • Check the tile for evenness by dragging a mason ruler over the surface.
  • It is also possible to control its horizontality using a spirit level.
  • Adjust if necessary.

preparation of mortar for joint

  • Once the tile has leveled, dig the joint with your finger.
  • Leave to dry for 24 hours.
  • The next day, prepare the mortar for joints in a trough and mix until you get a fairly liquid paste.

finishing the laying of the tile

  • Fill with a cat tongue trowel.
  • Wait for the mortar to settle before removing the excess with a damp sponge and then a cloth to remove all traces.
  • Avoid walking on it for 24 hours.

Tips for DIYers

  • In the absence of a tile identical to the one to be replaced, unseal a few symmetrically to compose an original pattern.
  • Do not use cement or glue that has been exposed to moisture for too long: they are ineffective.
  • If white marks appear at the joints when dry, remove them (cement laitance) with a special product (available in GSB) or white vinegar.


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