REMOVING THE OLD TILE
You want to remove the cracked tile without damaging any others. Work carefully, be patient and, above all else, do not pry against surrounding tiles. You might want to lay cardboard around the cracked tile for added protection. First, use an electric drill fitted with a 1/4-in.-dia. masonry bit to bore a series of holes diagonally across the cracked tile (photo 1). Space the holes no more than 1 in. apart. Next, wearing safety glasses and work gloves, split the tile along the holes using a 1/2- or 3/4-in.-wide cold chisel and ball-peen hammer (photo 2). Don't pound too hard on the chisel or you'll crack neighboring grout joints. Make several light taps until tile fragments pop loose. Remove loose pieces and pry up any remaining shards with a flat bar (photo 3). Then use the bar or cold chisel to carefully remove any surrounding grout remnants. After clearing away the damaged tile, take a stiff-bladed scraper or toothed chisel and scrape the old mortar from the subfloor. Don't worry about removing every last bit - just smooth the surface. Then vacuum up all loose dust and debris.
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