Ceramic tiles are considered to be one of the most reliable and practical wall and floor coverings. With high-quality styling, it can serve for decades without any problems.
But sometimes chips appear on it from impacts or falling metal objects. It happens that the tile moves away from the base. Often we are faced with the need to temporarily remove several tiles in order to gain access to the pipes and wires hidden in the wall.
How can you do this without causing catastrophic destruction or remodeling the entire wall? Tips from experienced craftsmen will help you to make a spot repair of tiles on your own.
Before starting work, it will not be superfluous to protect the surface of plumbing fixtures and adjacent tiles from damage. For example, using the cardboard stand shown in the photo.
Dismantling the tiles begins with cutting the seams. How to remove the grout depends on the grout mixture. Cement based grouts are relatively easy to remove with a variety of hand tools. A good option is a construction knife with replaceable blades.
In addition to the knife, there are many more options. From a hacksaw blade for metal to a screwdriver and a spatula. There are even products specially invented for this operation.
Do not remove epoxy grout with any of the listed fixtures. You will need an electric tool such as a dremel with a thin cut-off wheel. If the seams are wide, then you can do with an ordinary grinder, but there is a high probability of damaging the adjacent tiles.
Removing damaged tiles
After the grout has been removed from the joints, we proceed to dismantle the damaged tile. The easiest way to do this is with a chisel and hammer. But knocking on the seam with a chisel, as you already understood, will not work. This will damage the enamel on adjacent tiles.
There are several options for getting out of the situation. One is to drill a hole in the center of the tile using a drill and diamond core bit. Now, starting from the center, you can hit the tiles in small pieces with a chisel.
In the case where the seams are wide enough and the glue is not too strong, you can isolate adjacent tiles with cardboard inserts and try to pick up the problem tile with a strong wide spatula or something similar.
Cleaning the base
Before replacing one tile, it is necessary to remove not only the damaged tile, but also the remnants of the glue used for its installation earlier. This is one of the most time-consuming stages of all work, which is usually done with a hammer drill or chisel.
Installing new tiles
We apply the glue to the prepared base and to the new tile, go over the glue with a notched trowel. Carefully mount the tiles in their original place and align them in the same plane with adjacent tiles. It remains to wait for the glue to dry and fill the joints with grout.
As you can see, if one tile is damaged, it is not at all necessary to change the entire coating as a whole. With a certain skill, defective tiles can be quickly and accurately removed without damaging the neighboring ones, and a new one can be installed in its place.