Tile Porch Repair: How to Replace Cracked Tiles

Repairing a cracked tile porch can be a frustrating and difficult job. Fortunately, however, replacing broken tiles is well within the reach of almost anyone who feels comfortable with common DIY tasks and doing it yourself will save some much welcome cash as well. Replacing a broken tile on a porch is barely any different from replacing tiles in a bathroom or a kitchen. However, you may need some more appropriate sealant and adhesive for exterior usage.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Replacement tiles
  • Grout and grout gun
  • Tile adhesive
  • Chisel
  • Paint scraper
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Tile cutter (if replacing edge tiles etc.)

Step 1 – Remove Old Tile

Removing the cracked porch tile needs to be done with extra care as it is easy to inadvertently damage the surrounding tiles. To begin with, scrape away any grout around the tile. Use a putty knife or a specialized grout saw for this. Remove any loose fragments of tile beforehand if there are any. To remove the tile itself, you will likely have to break it up. To do this, apply some gentle taps of the hammer in the center of the tile, causing it to break into smaller fragments. Remove the broken tile piece by piece using a chisel and a hammer to pry up the parts of it from the old adhesive.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Adhesive

The surface needs to be completely smooth and clean before the replacement tile can be installed. This means that any remaining tile adhesive must first be removed as well. You will have to work at this by using a firm scraper to scrape away any remaining adhesive. Be carefully not to let the scraper slip and damage a neighboring tile. Clean away any adhesive residue or dirt left behind making sure that you have a surface which is as flat and smooth as possible. You are now ready to install the replacement tile.

Step 3 – Apply Adhesive to Replacement Tile

Apply the adhesive to the new tile providing a light coat with full coverage. You need to avoid any adhesive from getting into the join which you will grout later so make sure that the adhesive does not cover any area of the back of the tile which is less than a quarter of an inch from the edge.

Step 4 – Install Replacement Tile

Place the new tile in the location and press it firmly in place making sure that it is completely level with the surrounding tiles. Before you can grout the joints, leave the tile to adhere to the surface overnight or as directed by the adhesive manufacturer.

Step 5 – Grout the Joints

Use an appropriate grout of the same type that is already used on the rest of the floor. Apply the grout to the joints between the new tile and the surrounding ones and make sure that you wipe away any excess before it has a chance to dry. Leave the area overnight to dry before walking on it.