Replacing A Cracked Ceramic Tile

9 days ago I found a stack of spare tiles in the basement, belonging to our condo.  I grabbed one and used it to replace the cracked tile in the master bathroom:

fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom        fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom

The grout in this area of the bathroom is a mix of original grout and replacement grout.  The replacement grout has always been too dark.  I used a grout-removal tool to scrape out the old mis-matched grout & a cold chisel and ball peen hammer to chip the remaining mortar chunks out:

fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / removing the grout        fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom

fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / removing the old tile        fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom

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

I slathered it on the membrane and the back of the tile:

fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / applying mortar        fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / applying mortar

I smooshed the tile down firmly – instant improvement!:

fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / new tile placed        fixing the cracked tile in the master bathroom / new tile placed

I let the new tile sit for a few days to make sure the mortar had time to set.  While I waited I researched different types of grout.  I decided to use PolyBlend “Simple Grout” in Delorean Gray, which is a light-weight, pre-mixed sanded grout:

polyblend pre-mixed sanded grout in delorean gray

I used a grout float to spread it around the replacement tile.  Once I sponged off the excess it looked as good as new:

grouting the replacement tile in the master bathroom        i replaced the cracked tile in the master bathroom

i replaced the cracked tile in the master bathroom

Once the grout dried I decided to try out the bottle of PolyBlend Grout Renew I bought last year.  It comes in tons of colors and you paint it on over existing grout to re-hue and re-seal it.  Score!  The bottle suggests using a toothbrush to apply it, but I used a small paint brush:

polyblend grout renew        using polyblend grout renewal to re-hue the old dark grout in the master bathroom

I learned about this product on the YoungHouseLove blog, and it’s incredible what it can do [before & after]:

using polyblend grout renewal to re-hue the old dark grout in the master bathroom        204m

using polyblend grout renewal to re-hue the old dark grout in the master bathroom

It’s it a little grey-er than the original grout, but it’s a lot closer than the dark grout was.  I also touched up the dark grout lines in the laundry room [before & after]:

using polyblend grout renew to re-hue the old dark grout in the laundry room        using polyblend grout renew to re-hue the old dark grout in the laundry room

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4 Comments

  1. Hey Alison,

    Excellent guide on removing and replacing a broken tile. I have so far never tried to DIY and fix a broken tile – always scary in case I do more damage than I fix … however it seems quite simple using the grout-removal tool you mentioned, will surely give it a try

    Excellent flowers too, thanks for sharing
    thanks,
    – Pakhi

  2. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Good husband! I got flowers last week too. Totally out of the blue. Must be something in the air.

  3. SO ambitious, so talented!

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