Tiles or grout on a tile patio table can cracked due to many factors, such as direct impact, extreme temperature, etc. Although the entire tiled top can be removed, it is more economical to repair specific parts that are damaged. If the table has other structural damage, refer to general table repair guides.
Step 1 – Spot Damaged Tiles and Grout
Inspect every tile and grout joint, to see which parts need to be repaired. If the grout lines are cracked, the tiles do not need to be removed. A simple re-grouting can do the trick. If some of the tiles are damaged, prepare replacement tiles, so that these damaged ones can be replaced. When purchasing replacements, find those that are an exact match, or at least the nearest possible color, pattern and texture.
Step 2 – Replace Damaged Grout
When the damage only involves the grout on the joints, use a grout saw to remove the cracked top layer. Be careful not to saw too deep. Just remove the damaged portion and leave the inner grout intact. Remove the residue from joints to prepare for re-grouting.
Mix new grout in a container accordingly. Apply it to the joints using a rubber float, and let it set for about 20 minutes. Clean the surfaces of the tiles with a damp sponge, and let the grout cure for 48 hours. Apply grout sealer to the grout lines, to protect them from liquids and other contaminants. Use a small, artist's brush when applying sealer. When grout sealer touches the tiles, wipe it with a damp cloth.
Step 3 – Remove Damaged Tiles
Wear protective gloves and safety goggles before working. Use a small sharp chisel and a light hammer for this purpose. Position the sharp edge of the chisel on the grout around the tile, and lightly tap it with the hammer to break the tile free. Cut the grout around the edges along the tile perimeter, until the tile can be removed easily. Extract the tile and clean the adhesive with a putty knife, scraper or sandpaper. Before installing the replacement, make sure the entire cavity is free from grout, adhesive, and other debris.
Step 4 – Install Replacement Tiles
Fit the replacement tile into the vacated cavity to check if it fits. Cut the tile accordingly, until it can fit through the hole perfectly, with enough space for grouting. Apply adhesive on the base of the cavity according to manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the adhesive at the underside of the tile as well. Place the tile into the cavity, and let the adhesive cure for about 6 hours or so.
When the tile adhesive has cured, prepare some grout. Use a rubber float to apply the grout around every replacement tile. After about 20 minutes, clean the excess grout on the surfaces of the tiles using a damp sponge. After 48 hours, apply grout sealer onto every grout surface, to ensure that it is impervious to moisture and other contaminants.