How to Replace a Slate Floor Tile Part 1
Slate floor tile is one of the most popular flooring materials in the world. The look that it provides is unlike anything else out there. The one common problem with slate floor tile is that it is prone to chipping or cracking. When this happens, the only way to repair the problem is to replace the tile. This is a simple project but it will take some hard work. Here are the basics of how to get started replacing a slate floor tile. (This is Part 1 of 2. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)
Step 1--Protect the Tile
During this process, you should do your best to protect of the tiles around the damaged one. Otherwise, you could force yourself to replace the entire floor. In order to do this, you should take some pieces of cardboard and put them right up to the edge of the damaged tile. Tape this cardboard to the floor so that it will provide you with a sort of template to work from. You should only be able to see the damaged tile and cardboard directly next to it.
Step 2--Grout Removal
In order to get the damaged tile out of the floor, you will need to remove the grout as well. Grout is typically very hard and taking it out is not going to be an easy process. The easiest way to remove grout is to use a grout saw. This is a device that has a grinding blade on it and moves in a circular motion. When using this, it is very easy to break the other slate tiles around the damaged one, so you need to work slowly and carefully. If you do not have a grout saw, you might also think about utilizing a type of drill attachment that is designed for removing grout. This works under the same principle as the grout saw except it is attached to a drill. If you do not have any other options, you can also use a chisel or a screwdriver to get the grout out of the grout joints.
Step 3--Drilling into the Slate Tile
If you simply take a chisel and hammer to the tile, the force could very easily break the other tiles. To get around this, you can use a drill and bore some holes down into the middle of the tile. This will allow you an easy way to break into the tile without damaging any other tiles. Drill several holes in the surface of the tile.
Step 4--Breaking out the Tile
Put your chisel on to one of the holes and hit it with a hammer. Keep doing this until you have successfully broken out the tile.
Step 5--Cleaning Up
After you get the tile out, you need to also remove any of the adhesive that did not come out with it. You may need to continue using your chisel and hammer to get it out. You can also use a scraper to get the small pieces of adhesive.