Who Put The Energizer In My Bunny???

Jeez!  You’d think that after finally finishing a 2 month project [the catio] last week, and spending 10 hours this past weekend cleaning out the basement that I’d be done for a while.  But today after work I came home and immediately set about tearing up the broken tile in the upstairs bathroom and replacing it with a new one!  It’s the basement’s fault.  During my cleaning I found a small box of spare tiles belonging to our condo.  I’ve always hated the cracked tile in the master bath, but had no way to replace it.  Truth be told, I was too lazy to go to a tile store and look… I always hear on HGTV that it’s impossible to find an exact match, so I used that as my excuse.  But when I found the box of spares I couldn’t wait to rip out the cracked one and replace it:

204b        204a2

I started by using my grout removal tool to scrape out as much grout as I could:


The grout in that area of the bathroom is a mix of original grout and replacement grout, which has always been too dark.  Re-grouting the bathroom where chunks of grout were missing was the 2nd DIY project I ever did!  So I’m not too hard on myself for not doing it very well 🙂

Then I used my new “cold chisel” and ball peen hammer to remove the remaining chunks of tile and mortar:

204d        204e

I had my safety glasses on the entire time!  Safety first *nods*.  What a mess!  After a good vacuum things were looking MUCH better:


It appears we have Schluter Ditra “uncoupling, waterproofing, and vapor pressure equalization” membrane underneath the tile.  Once everything was cleaned up I used my little container of Tile Repair Mortar [which I found at Home Depot this weekend] to frost the membrane and the tile:

204i        204h

Then popped it into place:

204j        204k

Perfect!!!  I’ll grout it tomorrow once the mortar has set.

While I was in the bathroom, I decided to try out the bottle of PolyBlend Grout Renewal I bought last year.  You can paint it on over any grout and it re-hues and seals it.  Score!  The bottle suggests using a toothbrush to apply it, but I used a small paint brush:

polyblend grout renew        204p

I learned about this product on the YoungHouseLove blog, and it’s incredible what it can do!  Here’s a before and after:

204l        204m

It’s it a little grey-er than the original grout, but it’s a lot closer than the dark grout was:

repairing the grout in the master bath        204q2

THEN, instead of stopping, I moved down to the front entrance hall which I’ve been slowly renovating.  I ordered slate tile last week from Home Depot, which should be in next week, so it’s time to start tearing out the old white tile [same tile as what’s in the master bath and laundry room].  I decided to do just a tiny bit in the corner:


I began by using my grout removal tool to try and scrape out the grout so I could get enough leverage with my cold chisel and ball peen hammer to pry the tiles up.  That went nowhere fast.  So I took the hammer and just started whaling on the tile [I hope you like my action shot LOL]:

204o2         204r

Can I tell you how AWESOME IT IS TO SMASH TILES WITH A HAMMER???  OMG!!!  I could do that every day.  It’s a great stress reliever!!!  A few times sparks shot out which was a bit nuts.  I’d highly recommend safety glasses AND construction earmuffs, because it’s very loud and shards fly everywhere.  And gloves.  I just realized I have a chunk of skin missing off the back of my hand from a tile shard – d’oh!

All my pounding woke up a large spider which crawled out of the closet and straight out the door *shudder*.  I had the door propped open for some air flow while I worked because it’s very humid out:


Ugh!!!  I’m just glad he was totally into walking out the door and I didn’t have to coax him.  Gross.  Then I used my Shop-Vac to clean the area:


And called it a night!

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  1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Wish I could catch whatever bug you have. I don’t want to do anything!

  2. You are a driven woman — so much progress. Beautifully done. All the tips and products make this a valuable post for me. I have broken tiles, too. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Thanks, Jo! This is really my first foray into tiling. I have a large learning curve ahead of me, but I know I can do it 🙂

  3. I’m SO happy, because a guy who was replacing our bathroom ceiling (leak last winter thanks to the winter from hell), broke one of our tiles. It’s a small tile (part of a black and white tile floor); we have replacements, and now I know just the person to replace it for us. Thanks Alison for being the cleverest person I know!

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