How to Repair a Slate Patio
A slate patio does not require a great deal of maintenance, but unlike other types of stone used in patios, slate is relative fragile, and can get broken easily. Fortunately, repairing and removing slate patio tiles is not particularly difficult, and is easily within reach of any DIY enthusiast. When repairing slate patio tiles, it is important to make the correct preparations, and apply the correct sealant. Doing so will save you a lot of money and time in the future, and help to ensure that your patio stays looking good for years to come.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Utility knife
- Thin-set mortar
- Grout with grout gun
Step 1 – Remove the Grout Surrounding the Broken Tile
Remove the grout from the joints between the tiles. This needs to be done before you can remove the damaged tile. Use a strong utility knife to cut away the grout in the joints. Dig the grout out of the joints and dispose of it. Take care not to damage the surrounding tiles. Hold the knife at an angle pointing inward towards the damaged tile. Be sure that all of the grout is removed, before continuing on to the next step.
Step 2 – Remove the Broken Tile
You still won’t be able to remove the broken tile just yet. To make it more manageable, you need to break it up, removing one piece at a time. To do this, strike the tile’s surface with the hammer, causing it to crack in different directions. If the tile is cracked already, then you may not need to do this. Break the tile into several, more manageable sections. Lift up each piece, by getting the chisel in underneath the tile and lifting it up. Break it off the mortar beneath, and then repeat with the next piece of tile. As before, take care not to damage the surrounding tiles. Chip away any remaining mortar in the hole left behind. The surface should be as flat as possible, before you can install the replacement tile.
Step 3 – Place the New Tile
Mix a batch of the mortar following the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply a thin but level layer of the mortar to the area where you removed the tile. Make sure that there are no gaps in the mortar. Firmly press the new tile in place, making sure that it is completely level with the surrounding tiles. Leave this to adhere to the surface properly. This should happen overnight. The following day, apply grout to the joints between the tiles. The grout can be applied using a grout gun, sealing the joints between the tiles. Make sure that the grout is evenly distributed along the joints, and wipe away any excess as you work, using a sponge. The grout should then be left to thoroughly set, before using the patio. 2 days should be plenty of time for this.