I have a couple of ceramic floor tiles (approx 12"sq) that I need to replace
in an upstairs bathroom due to hair-line cracks.
I wondered if anyone could offer any useful tips for replacing the tiles
without damaging their neigbours? I'm fortunate to some extent in that the
two tiles are adjacent to each other and are at the edge of the tiled area
next to the bath panel. My initial thoughts are to drill the centres and try
to work out from there.
With hindsight I'm regretting tiling an upstairs floor, but all reasonable
precautions were taken - the floor was fully-reboarded with thick-ply (with
lots of screws). I'm hoping that any movement has stopped now, but obviously
I'll be taking a close look under the tiles.
Scrape out the grout with a stanley knife or grout remover all around the
neighbouring edges. Then do as you say above. Work from the centre out &
take things carefully & you won't crack the adjacent tiles.
Good sharp scraper to remove the old adhesive. Fix the new tiles with No
Nails or similar & you can grout more or less straight away.
Personally I think tiling on a wooden floor is a very bad idea no matter how
well you try to do it. Asking for trouble.
Dave - The Medway Handyman
The guy who laid my tiled floor had to come back to replace a cracked
one and just broke it with a hammer and removed the bits.
On one hand I agree with TMH, though I don't agree that it is a "very
bad idea" I think the error lies in laying tiles that are large. I
really like my tiled bathroom floor and I would do it again, but I
might look for a smaller tile so that there is less stress on each
The secret is three fold.
1/. stiffen the floor a LOT.
2/. use a very THICK bed of flexible cement.
3/. Don't dab and dot it. Use a proper bed and take time.
By doing this on two upstairs bathrooms, the original cracked tiles
were replaced, and no further problems.
On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:10:12 GMT, "The Medway Handyman"
Since we're on the subject, can anyone offer some advice on this one:
When I connected my washing machine (three years ago now) I made a
boo-boo. I didn't check a day or two later that the hose connections
were absolutely leak-free. Many MONTHS later I discovered that one had
a drip, but one so minor that it could have amounted to no more than a
drip a day. Absolutely minimal. No trace of water on the tiled annexe
floor where the washing machine is located.
And then I began to notice a musty smell in the adjacent downstairs
loo. Didn't connect that to any leak, just thought, oh, well, I don't
use the annexe much anyway. Probably need to open the window more
often and let the air circulate a bit.
And then a floor tile developed a hairline crack. Bugger! I thought.
Still didn't think anything about the w/m though.
Finally, I just happened to be cleaning the tiled floor and noticed
that the grout in the vicinity of the w/m was wet even though I hadn't
got that far with my mop! I pushed down on the tiles and water
squeezed out through hairline cracks in the grout! Omigod! What's
So I removed the kickboard from beneath the annexe sink unit into
which the w/m is mounted. Underneath just concrete, and the concrete
was sopping wet.
I had finally, months after installing the w/m, discovered a leak!
Well, after fixing the leak, the underfloor dried out pretty quickly.
Matter of days only. BUT....
...The tiles, even though downstairs, are mounted on some kind of
chipboard base, with the chipboard laid on top of the concrete.
Perhaps this is the way modern houses are built - or just the ones on
this estate. There is a layer of black plastic, then the chipboard,
then the tiles.
The chipboard got damp, swelled, and the tiles cracked (two of them)
and lifted. Before I sell the house I'm going to have to do something
about it, but what? Could I remove the tiles closest to the w/m, fix
the swollen, now dried out chipboard, then replace/renew the tiles? Or
will the entire annexe tiles have to come up and the chipboard
replaced across the entire floor area? The annexe is tiny. About
enough room to swing a small cat in. So we're not talking about a
Ok. I had a similar experience. Swelled chipboard and cracked up tiles.
This is what worked for me.
First, fix the leak.
Then remove anything that is loose. In my case I went for a room re-tile
Then LEAVE it for a LONG time till its all properly dried out.
If the chip dries flakey, seal with dollops of PVA. It will replace the
original bonding and make the thing good,
Leave to dry agfain
On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:09:10 +0100, The Natural Philosopher
Thanks. It doesn't seem quite so bad when one gets a second opinion!
What is the purpose of the chipboard (ground floor)? Insulation?
Otherwise I thought floor tiles were laid directly onto concrete or
Scrape grout out using grout scraper, drill hole in centre of tile and use
hammer and tineist cold chisel possinle remove tile working from drilled
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Well I managed to get this job done today and it was a lot easier than I
I began by scaping out the grout between and around the 3 cracked tiles
which were all adjacent. Rather than drill through the centre of a tile I
used a screwdriver in the gap between two cracked tiles to lever one up. The
tile I chose was split in two by a crack and fortunately one half came up
cleanly. After that I just worked my way around with a scraper and had all
three up in a few minutes leaving behind almost all of the adhesive. I
noticed there were quite a few hollows in the adhesive - not quite dabs and
spots but certainly not a continuous bed! I also noticed that the contractor
had placed ashort wooden noggin at the edge of one of the cracked tiles
which was taking some load from the bath. I couldn't see the need for this
and I strongly suspect it had caused the cracking so I removed it.
The old adhesive looked in pretty good nick so rather than try to chisel it
out I decided to fill in the cavities with more flexible adhesive and skim a
very thin layer over the top. Then I just popped some fresh tiles back in
place, grouted and re-siliconed the bath panel back. All feels nice and
firm, but only time will tell!
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