DIY, Home Improvement

No Handyman Necessary: Tackle Tile Repair Yourself

As important as they are, home repair projects are often the cause for big spending when it comes to the world of homeownership. There are plenty of home improvement and repair projects that should be left to the professionals, no matter how ambitious you might be feeling, but, believe it or not, there are a number of repairs you can do yourself, with the right preparation and supplies!

If you’ve got tile troubles, for example, you might not need to call in the pros! Some specific issues, like shifting tile in a shower or bathroom, could be signs of a greater issue and should be addressed by an expert, but simple problems, like a broken tile in your floor, are right up your alley! If you notice that one of your floor tiles is chipped or not sitting right, replacing it yourself is a totally doable DIY. First, remove the surrounding grout with a dremel or grout saw. Hometalker and home improvement expert Robert, of Woodbridge Environmental TipTop House, cautions that this is a dusty endeavor, so you should carefully close off your work area, use a dust mask for your protection, and have a good shop vacuum nearby.

For the tile removal, all it takes is a hammer and chisel and a bit of elbow grease. Pry the tile out so that there’s space to insert a new one, and clean the empty area well, so that your new tile can lay flat. If you’re removing a patch of tiles, Hometalker and flooring expert Kevin, of KMS Woodworks, recommends using an air chisel, which is like a baby jackhammer, or an electric chisel, for easier and more efficient tile removal. Just be sure to hold the tool so it’s only slightly angled, and doesn’t damage the wood sub floor.


After the space is cleared, stick the new tiles down with a strong adhesive. Before applying fresh grout, thoroughly clean the grout of the surrounding tiles, to keep any accidental grout cover from trapping a layer of debris. Now it’s time to apply the grout. Use a grout float, with the necessary amount of grout for the job, to apply grout to the space around the new tile(s). Although you should try not to get your grout over your other tiles, it won’t cause any damage, especially since you’ve scrubbed the area.

Let the grout set for about 20 minutes, and then clean the area with a damp sponge. After a week, it might be a good idea to apply grout sealer, but this step is not necessary.

Now, simply enjoy your renewed tile floor, and the fact that you’ve got yourself and your hard work to thank for it!

For more helpful fixes, tips, and solutions, check out Hometalk’s home maintenance and repairs topic page, or follow our experts, like Woodbridge Environmental TipTop House, for great ideas on how to make the home of your dreams!

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