The unit of a tile can be destroyed by a single cracked tile following the fall of a heavy object. It must then be replaced. A simple technique can be limited to replacing this single tile without touching or unseal the others. The replacement tile must be identical to the others. If you do not have one in stock, unseal a few tiles symmetrically to have an original pattern.
- Mason's chisel
- Hammer with rubber handle
- Cat-tongue trowel
- Sewing thread
- Powder for cement or mortar
- Setting up the new tile
- Make the joints
Setting up the new tile
1. With a chisel (or mason's chisel) with a cutting edge of about 2 cm, break the tile along a center line in the direction of the width. Hit several small close-ups on this line, from the center to the edges. When it is broken, peel off the tile by giving underpaws with the chisel and hammer. Remove the pieces by hand. To remove the old mortar that sealed the tile, mark the surface to be cleaned around the hole: hold the chisel at 90° or 120°, the wide-angle facing the part to be destroyed. Be careful not to touch the neighboring tiles to avoid damaging them. Hold the chisel at about 45°. Blow up the small cement slabs by moving the chisel a few millimeters at each burst. Brush the surface. Check that the bottom screed is clean.
2. Wet the surface thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of cement or prepared mortar but not liquid. Equalize it with a trowel. Wet the tile to be laid by dipping it in a bucket of cold water.
3. Place a strong enough sewing thread on the mortar, in the direction of the width of the tile. Align the new tile to its greatest length with the edge of the hole. Place it well flat. Check that there is enough cement and that the tile is at the same level as the others. If cement is missing, pull both sides of the wire and remove the tile to add some. When the tile is level, put your hand flat on it without squeezing it; pull the thread on one side to remove it.
4. Marble the tile. Hold it with your left hand to absorb the vibrations. Tap the end of the hammer handle held upside down to adhere the tile to its support. Thus, the cement is distributed evenly. Check that the tile is level with the others by placing a finger around it.
Make the joints
1. Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Smooth between the slits of the tile the cement that could overflow. If there is not enough to fill all the slots, add a little around the hole. The cement must fill the gap; tamp it with the end of the trowel, handled like a chopper. Slide the gloved finger around the edge of the tile without pressing to smooth the joints. Remove the overflowing cement by pushing it away from the trowel.
2. Remove the last traces of cement before it dries with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge with each pass. Traces will appear on the tile 20 minutes later, asking for a last blow of sponge.
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