Cracked tile on a countertop is more than unsightly and dangerous (because of a sharp edge)—it can harbor bacteria inside the crack that can make your countertop less than sanitary.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Masonry cold chisel or dull wood chisel
Nail set and hammer
1⁄4-inch masonry drill bit
Grout tile float
Small pry bar*
Matching premixed or powdered grout
Mixing pail and stir stick (for powdered
Large man-made tile sponge
Be careful! Tile shards are very sharp. Wear gloves and safety glasses.
• Remove the tile by scraping out the grout joints with a grout saw (a).
• Punch small divots in a big X across the face of the tile with the nail set and hammer. With the divots as starting points, drill holes through the tile (but not through the substrate of the counter) to weaken it and create a breAak point (b). Now break out the tile in small pieces with the hammer and
chisel (c and d).
• Once the tile is out, scrape away any remaining adhesive. Use the grout saw to clean the edges of the adjoining tiles.
Express Facelift l Countertops
1) Spread tile adhesive on the back of the tile using the short end of the trowel or scraper. Run grooves through the adhesive. Do the same to the counter space.
2) Insert the tile in the space and gently press it in place using the butt of your fist. Check that the tile is sitting flush with the others. Be sure that the grout lines are even and lined up with the existing ones. Wipe away any adhesive that may have squeezed out onto the surface.
3) Allow it to dry overnight.
4) To fill in the grout lines, use a grout float to press the grout into the joints of the tile lines. It’s best to hold the float at an angle and pass over the area firmly in a diagonal direction.
5) With a damp sponge, gently wipe away the grout that remains on the face of the tile.
6) As the grout dries, a powdery residue will form. Gently wipe it away with a soft, clean rag, being careful not to wipe out any of the grout.
7) Apply grout sealer following the manufacturer’s instructions.
To purchase a copy of Norma Vally’s Kitchen Fix-Ups, go to http://www.wiley.com/Wiley-CDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470251573.html
© 2009 by Norma Vally. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.