How to Repair Broken Glass Mosaic Tiles

Glass mosaic tiles can help you create unique artistic effects in your home. They consist of tiles made from various pieces of glass attached to some backing. The tiles are especially popular for kitchen and bathroom backsplash areas. You can also use the tiles to enhance the visual appeal of certain walls in your home or entryways. Glass tiles are, however, prone to breakage. You may use silicone glue to join the broken pieces together. However, it is likely that some portions of the tile may be missing, which makes it harder to create a uniform appearance. The alternative is to remove the damaged tile and replace with a new one.

Materials Needed

  • Glass mosaic tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Hand trowel
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Painter's tape
  • Masking tape
  • Scraper
  • Paintbrush
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Grout
  • Glass cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Thick gloves
  • Water
  • Rags

Step 1 – Protective Wear

Wear a long sleeved shirt and pants to reduce the risk of cuts. A thick pair of gloves will help protect your hands as you handle the broken glass. You also need to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from splinters of glass and fine debris.

Step 2 – Apply Tape to Adjacent Tiles

Use painter's tape to cover all tiles that surround the broken tile. This helps to protect the tiles from damage as you remove the broken tile.

Step 3 – Use Nail and Hammer

Position a nail in the middle of the broken tile. Strike the nail head with a hammer. This helps to detach the tile from the substrate below which makes it easier to remove.

Step 4 - Use Hammer and Chisel

Insert the tip of your chisel in the center of the tile. Strike the chisel with a hammer to help push the tip underneath the broken tile. Continue to apply moderate pressure on the chisel with the hammer as you push the chisel tip further underneath the tile. Once the chisel is close to the edge of the broken tile, gently lift up the chisel to remove the tile segment. Proceed to remove all segments of the broken tile from the substrate in this manner. 

Step 5 - Clean the Site

Scrape away mortar from the site. Dampen a rag and use to clear dirt and debris from the area. Use medium grit sandpaper to smooth out the site. Clear the fine debris with a damp rag. This leaves you with a clean surface in readiness for attachment of the new tile. Allow the area to air dry for about 3 hours. If you wish to proceed sooner, dry the area with a hair dryer. 

Step 6 - Install New Tile

Obtain replacement glass mosaic tiles from a building supply center. Dispense a small amount of tile adhesive onto the site. Spread the adhesive evenly with a paintbrush. Take a new tile and place it firmly into the mortar. Press lightly all around the tile so that it attaches properly. Apply some masking tape over the new tile to help secure it firmly. Let the tape remain on the tile overnight.

Step 7 - Finishing

Apply grout with a hand trowel all around the newly installed tile. Carefully wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge. Clean the tiles with a glass cleaner and soft cloth.