How to Replace Bathroom Tiles that Have Fallen Off?

Have one or more tiles in the bathroom fallen off? If so, you should replace the tile immediately before moisture enters into the gap.

In this blog post, we will share some tips to replace bathroom tiles that have fallen off.

You will learn how to replace the floor and wall tiles that have fallen off in the bathroom.

Replacing Shower or Wall Tiles

Here are the steps to replace tiles in the bathroom that have fallen off.

Step 1: Remove Fixtures

Remove any fixture surrounding the area on the wall where the tiles have fallen off in the bathroom. You should remove the faucet, showerhead, or overflow drain that intersects with the tiles.

Pull or unscrew the fixtures off the wall that surrounds the tiles and place them aside so that you can reinstall them afterward.

You don’t have to remove the fixtures that don’t intersect with the tiles that need replacing. Contact a plumber if you don’t know how to remove the fixtures.

Step 2: Cover the Drains

Cover the drains using a cloth or a plastic sheet. This is important so that any harmful chemical doesn’t accidentally go down the drain.

Consider spreading the cloth or plastic sheet over the entire place where you will be working. This will prevent any scratches on the bathroom tiles if you accidentally drop the hammer or nails on the tiles.

If the broken tile is over the drain, you should drain the tub completely and plug the drain. This is important so that no pieces get stuck in the drain pipe.

Step 3: Cut through the Grout

Use a grout removal tool with a saw-like tooth to grind through the grout. Move the grout removal tool in a straight line. Go over the entire section of the tile applying a medium pressure to remove the grout.

Removing the grout will allow you to pull the wall bathroom tile that has fallen off. This step is optional but it will make it easy to remove the tiles from the wall.

Step 4: Pull off the Tile

Use a flat chisel and hammer to pry the tiles off the wall. You should start from the outer side of the top part of the tile to make it easy to remove the tile.

Now, hold the flat chisel against the tile edge at an angle. Use a hammer to force the chisel underneath the tile and remove it from the wall.

You should protect your hands and eyes by wearing gloves and safety glasses. This is important to avoid injuring the hands from sharp edges or tiny tile shards. Wear boots and long pants as old tile pieces could fall and injure you.

In case the tile that has partially fallen off is in the middle of the tiles, you should drill at the center and start from the middle. By doing so, you will not damage the surrounding tiles when you chisel away a tile.

Step 5: Remove Mortar and Adhesive

After you have removed the tiles, you may find some adhesive and mortar stuck on the wall. You should use a metal scraper to remove the adhesive.

Hold the metal scrapper at an angle and apply pressure to lift the mortar and adhesive. Clean the area completely before installing a new tile.

Step 6: Spread Mortar

Spread a layer of tile mortar onto a wall using a notched trowel. Now, you should scoop out a handful of tile mortar and spread it evenly on the space in the wall. You can mix the mortar yourself or with a premixed solution.

You don’t need to spread the mortar over the entire space. Spread the mortar using the trowel to cover three to four square feet area. In case only a single bathroom tile has fallen off, you should apply the mortar directly to the tile.

This will prevent the mortar from spilling into the surrounding tiles.

Step 7: Install Replacement Tiles

Buy a new tile that is of the same size as the one that has fallen off. Hold the tiles carefully around the edges when placing them on the wall.

You should push the tile firmly in the space where you want to install the tile. Apply pressure to the tile surface so that the tiles fix firmly on the wall.

If multiple bathroom tiles have fallen off the wall, you should install tiles with spacers between them. This is important to ensure that there is a uniform distance between the tiles. Not using the spacers will result in uneven spacing between tiles.

Consider working in horizontal rows and apply additional mortar is required. Press each tile firmly on the ground so that they stick on the ground. Make sure that you apply the same pressure on each tile otherwise they would be uneven.

Step 8: Apply Grout

You should avoid getting water in the area where the new tiles are installed. It is important to let the mortar set for about 24 hours.

When the mortar had dried, you need to pull the spacers out from the wall. This is important so that there is a clean work surface. You must follow the directions on the packaging when applying the grout.

Pick the grout using a rubber grout float and apply it in the spaces between the edges of the tiles. You should pull the grout float diagonally across the edges. Apply the grout evenly across the tiles and wipe out any excess mixture from the tile.

Use a wet sponge and wipe the tile surface after about 20 minutes. You should rinse the sponge and continue cleaning the tiles until no grout is left on the surface. Make sure that you remove all the grout from the tiles as it will be difficult when the solution hardens.

Step 9: Reinstall Fixture

Reinstall the fixtures after about a day of application of the grout.

You should screw the fixtures without damaging the tiles. Also, caulk the area around the fixtures to prevent water from getting underneath.

Replacing Floor Bathroom Tiles

Sometimes floor bathroom tiles can become loose. You should follow these steps to replace floor tiles that have loosened over time.

Step 1: Inspect the Tiles

Inspect the bathroom tiles to see if it has totally or partially loosened. If the tiles have not loosened totally, you will have to pry them off the floor.

Use a hammer to gently tap on the tile. You should continue tapping until the tile has broken completely. Use a putty knife to collect the broken tile pieces. Clean up the area after removing the broken pieces.

Make sure you take precautions when using the knife and hammer. Take care not to injure the finger when using the objects.

Step 2: Replace Grout and Adhesive

Measure the vacant space from where you have removed the tile. You should buy the same tile from the local hardware store.

You should next remove the grout and adhesive material before placing the new tile. The putty knife will be helpful here. You should soak the area with water after cleaning it.

Next, you should make a new mixture of adhesive applied to the place where the bathroom tile has fallen off. Make sure that you apply the adhesive throughout the place where you have to install a new tile.

Step 3: Place the New Tile

The next step is to place a new tile over the adhesive. You should level the tile using other tiles. Make sure that there is no ridge in the tile.

Now, press the tile until it is fully attached to the adhesive material. Use a clean cloth to remove any glue that appears over the tiles.

Step 4: Apply the Grout

Let the adhesive set on the floor tile for about 24 hours. You should let the glue set until it bonds with the tile. Keep water away from the tile otherwise, it won’t attach firmly to the floor.

Apply a grout mixture as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You should apply the grout on the edges of the tile.

Wait for at least 24 hours for the grout to set in. Remove the excess grout using a putty knife.

That’s all that is required to replace floor bathroom tiles.

Final Remarks

You can easily replace the bathroom tiles that have become loose and fallen off. The cost of replacing the tile can be between $150 and $500.

Bathroom tiles may become loose and fall off due to various reasons. Hot water deteriorates the grout and adhesive that secures the tile. This will cause the tile to fall off the wall.

Sometimes bathroom tiles fall off if the surface has not been primed before installation of the tile.

Using substandard adhesive and mortar can also result in bathroom tiles falling off early. Some contractors use water-soluble adhesives that don’t adhere to the surface of the wall. Moreover, not letting the adhesive dry out before installing the grout can also result in the bathroom tile falling off.

Lastly, the grout used in the bathroom should be waterproof. If the grout used around the tile edges is not waterproof, water can get beneath the tile destroying the mortar and adhesive.

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