(This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. To return to Part 1, click here.)
At this point, you should have the damaged porcelain floor tile removed from the floor. You are now ready to proceed with replacing the damaged tile with a new one. Here are the basics of how to finish the process of replacing a porcelain floor tile.
Step 1--Apply Adhesive
In order to install the new tile, you will need to apply adhesive to the back of it. You should know that you have options when it comes to what type of adhesive you can use for this project. Some people prefer to use a thin-set that comes in powder form in large bags. Others prefer to use mastic that is already mixed up in buckets. Both options will stick the tile to the floor, and in both cases, you should wear gloves to protect your skin and when using powder from thin-set, you should also add the wear safety glasses and particle masks to protect your eyes and lungs.
In most cases, your job will be easier if you use mastic. For one thing, you do not need to use a large bag of thin-set for only one tile. Mastic usually comes in smaller buckets and is perfect for this size of a job. In addition to that, it is already mixed and you will not have to worry about adding the wrong amount of water. Apply an even coat of adhesive over the underside of the tile and to the full area of the floor where the tile goes, making grooves in the adhesive with the notches provided on your trowel , making sure to remove all the excess. You should now have some straight grooves in the adhesive and there shouldn't be any gaps in the adhesive that could potentially cause the tile to break when pressing it down onto the floor or later on, when walking on it.
Step 2--Install the Tile
Now that you have properly coated the vacant area of the floor and the underside of the tile with adhesive, you can insert the tile into the empty space of your tiled floor holding it by its edges and being careful not to get any adhesive on anything else around it. Making sure to center your tile inside its space, apply a gradual pressure on the tile to set it firmly into place while checking to maintain an even grout gap all around between the next 4 tiles around it, and cleaning up the excess adhesive getting squeezed out. You'll have to be careful during this process so that you do not break the new tile by pushing it down with sudden or uneven pressure throughout the surface.
Although a tile is usually set level into the thin-set or mastic, more importance should be given at each of the 4 edges of the tile so the surface comes out even at the same level as the tile next to it so you don't feel a dip or a bump in the finished floor. You may need to press down harder into some areas of the tile in order to even out the surfaces. After you have installed the tile, let it sit overnight before moving on with the process.
You can then apply the grout to the grout joints around the tile. Take a grout float or trowel and use it to apply the grout. Fill up the joints with grout and try to get the excess grout off with your trowel.
Step 4--Clean Up
Take a bucket of water and a sponge and use them to clean the tile. You will be able to remove extra grout that is on top of the tile as well as smooth out the grout joints.