Repairing bullnose tile is best done with care. Though you can easily replace a bullnose tile without damaging the surrounding tiles or countertops, removing the damaged bullnose can be a tedious task. As long as you can locate a replacement piece (or you’ve kept one on hand, it involves a chisel, a stable hand, and a bit of skillfulness. If your tile is expensive and you feel unsure about your ability to remove it, perhaps calling in a skilled professional would be your best route to take. However, if you are confident in your capability, follow some simple steps to get the job done without the added cost of a professional.
Tape the Border
Use painter’s tape to create a frame around the damaged tile. Since you don’t want to break or damage anything new, this will help to protect the surrounding tiles or countertop.
Donning your safety glasses before you begin, use an electric drill with a masonry bit installed in it to drill through the tile in several spots. If your tile is broken into quite a few pieces, drill at least once into each piece. Drilling will help loosen the tile from the mortar underneath, making it easier to remove.
Remove Damaged Tile
Remove the marred tile. Use a hammer and a chisel and be sure to work carefully. Slower is always better in this case since you likely aren’t willing to damage and subsequently replace the surrounding unmarred tile. Attempt to remove the grout by starting along the outside and working your way to the center.
Once the tile is gone, remove the mortar you’ve exposed. Use a hammer and chisel to achieve this goal. After, sweep the spot with a handheld broom to clear any debris.
Install New Mortar
Use a notched trowel to apply new mortar to the area. Add mortar to the backside of the new tile also.
Install Replacement Tile
Put the replacement bullnose tile in place, twisting just a bit to settle it in securely. If there are grout lines in existence already, make sure that your new tile has the same line spacing around it.
Let your new tile dry for at least 2 hours.
Apply grout in the space between the tiles. Make sure it matches the grout used elsewhere. Use your rubber float at a 45-degree angle to get the grout in deep. Let it harden for 10 minutes before cleaning excess grout off the tile face with a damp sponge.
Remove the tape. Buff out any remaining grout with a dry cloth.