How to Repair a Cracked Wall Tile

Lead Image for How to Repair a Cracked Wall Tile
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
Replacement Tiles
Putty Knife
Grout Saw

When you notice that you have a cracked wall tile you will want to fix it quickly before the crack spreads to other tiles. The good news is that fixing a broken or cracked tile is much like installing the tile in the first place. If you have worked with tile before you already know the steps involved. However, if you are new to working with tile, you can easily do this repair yourself without any problems. Here are the steps to follow.

Remove The Old Grout

To get the tile off the wall you will need to use a grout saw to remove the grout around the broken tiles.

Break Out the Broken Tile

Remove the tile with your hands if you can. It will make less of a mess. However, usually, the mortar is keeping the tile from coming off the wall. Use a hammer and lightly tap the tile to break it up into smaller pieces so you can remove it easier. For those that are not going to come off easily, you should use a chisel under the tile and pry it loose.

Remove Remaining Mortar

Using a flat-edged putty knife or a scraper, work at the mortar that is remaining on the wall. It is important that you remove all of it and get to the bare wall that is behind it. This will give you a flat, smooth surface to put the new tile on without worrying about it cracking when you put it in place.

Clean Wall

After you have finished removing the tile and the remaining mortar, you will now need to clean the wall to remove any tiny particles. Use a sponge and water for this part. You are not looking to get it sparkly clean. You just want to make sure that all the tiny pieces are removed. You can also use a shop vac for this to suck up the small tile and grout pieces.

Spread The Mortar

Usually, you would apply the mortar to the wall area, but working in a small place such as this you will need to apply the adhesive to the back of the tile itself. Spread it out with the putty knife. Leave at least a 1/8 inch of tile that is free of any adhesive so it will not squeeze out into the grout area.

Press onto Wall

Press the tile onto the wall so that it fits into the tile space and is level with the other tiles on the wall. Let this tile remain overnight before doing any other work to it.

Grout The Tile

Mix a small amount of grout and apply it to the seams of the tile. You can use your finger for this process and you do not have to spread it out over a large area. Use a grouting tool and press it flush with the other tiles on the wall. Once the grout has had time to set up you can wash any remaining grout off with a sponge.