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In this video, This Old House tile contractor Joe Ferrante explains how to replace a wall tile.

Steps for replacing wall tile

  1. Protect work area with canvas drop cloth
  2. Use a utility knife to score grout joints around the cracked tiles
  3. Loosen cracked tile using cold chisel and hammer; remove loose tiles
  4. Use trowel to scrape the wall clean of loose debris
  5. Dry-fit the new tile to the wall
  6. If necessary, use tile nippers to remove spacer lugs from edge of tile
  7. Smooth edges of tile by rubbing it with a rubbing stone
  8. Mix thinset mortar with latex additive
  9. Apply thinset to wall with trowel
  10. Spread thinset on back of tile and press tile to wall; repeat for all replacement tiles
  11. Wait 30 minutes, then mix tile grout, following manufacturer's directions
  12. Use a rubber float to force grout into the joints between the tiles
  13. Apply grout with fingertip to fill hard-to-reach areas
  14. Wait 10 minutes, then clean the grout from the tile using a damp sponge
  15. Wait overnight, then buff off haze from the tile using a clean, dry sponge