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How to Reset Loose Ceramic Tiles

Kevin McDermott

If one or more of the ceramic tiles on your bathroom floor or kitchen back splash is loose, it's important to reset it immediately. Tiles and grout together prevent moisture from getting underneath the tiles; if that protection is breached by a loose tile, you could end up with more loose tiles. It's best if you have extra tiles of the same type available. If not, you'll have to be extra careful when you remove the tile to avoid cracking it.

  1. Use your grout saw to remove the grout around the tile. Scrape the blade back and forth, with firm downward pressure, gradually loosening the grout. Stop and vacuum up the debris as necessary.

  2. Work your putty knife under the tile, tapping it with the hammer. Don't try to pry it out (you'll break the tile), but gradually work it around the edges until the tile pops out in one piece.

  3. Use your hammer and chisel to remove all residual grout and dried glue from the hole. Be careful not to chip the adjacent tiles. Vacuum the area thoroughly.

  4. Spread tile adhesive on the back of your tile, using the putty knife. Set the tile in place in the hole. Press it firmly and twist it slightly to get a good seal. Let it set overnight.

  5. Scoop up your pre-mixed grout with your rubber grout trowel and press it into the lines around the re-set tile. Run the edge of the float sideways along the surface, to squeeze the excess grout off the tile face. Wipe down the area with a damp sponge. Let the grout set for a few days before resuming use of the area.