Occasionally a backsplash tile will come loose or be damaged. Tile fields are fairly easy to repair. Here’s an overview of how this is done.
Replacing Loose or Broken Tiles in a Kitchen Backsplash
Use a putty knife to scrape the thinset off of the tile and the wall. If you have a grinder, you might want to use it on the back of the tile.
Mix up a small amount of thinset, and apply it to the wall. Press the tile firmly into place, and remove any thinset that squeezes up from beneath.
The same approach can be taken with broken tiles. First, remove the entire broken tile to create a space for the new tile.
Note: If possible, keep up to a box of tile from the original job to use for replacement tiles.
Replacing Loose Grout
This is both easy and difficult. Start by removing all the loose grout. Poke the surrounding grout gently with a screwdriver to check if it is loose.
The easy part is mixing up a small batch of grout, pushing it into the area where grout is missing, and removing the excess with a damp sponge. The grout package will give clear instructions.
The difficult part is getting the grout color to match the old grout. There are three approaches to this.
First, buy several brands of grout, mix them up, and let them harden without being installed between tiles. You’ll know what color each one is when dry. Use this information to choose a single grout for the job or to mix grouts to produce a dried grout that closely matches what’s already there.
The second approach is to buy grout tint and experiment with it to create the right color.
Either way, trial and error will be needed to get a good grout match.
The third approach is to attempt to clean or bleach the existing grout first to restore it to its original color. This is a good choice if you have grout left over from the original installation. Use a grout cleaning product on the existing grout before installing the new grout. If the new grout doesn’t match, then you can attempt to create a match using the methods we’ve suggested.
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