How to repair a slate floor tile

Written by james j. siegel
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How to repair a slate floor tile
Cracked slate tiles will need to be replaced. (slate image by BONNIE C. MARQUETTE from

Homeowners often choose slate tiles for bathroom and kitchen remodels because they are cost-effective, durable and sturdy. But when accidents happen, even the most well-made tiles can crack or get scratched. Fortunately, slate tiles are simple to replace. Even if you didn't install your tile floor yourself, you can replace a broken tile without calling in a professional. Your most difficult task could be finding a replacement tile that is the same shape and design of your broken tile.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement tile
  • Utility knife
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Adhesive
  • Masking tape
  • Grout mix
  • Sponge
  • Jointing tool or toothbrush
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Break away the grout around the damaged slate tile with a utility knife. Scrape away as much of the grout as possible, and try to remove the tile. If the tile will not budge, use a hammer and a chisel to break the tile into smaller pieces. Lightly chisel the centre of the tile until it breaks into smaller pieces. Do not use too much force when breaking apart the grout or the tile to avoid damaging nearby tiles.

  2. 2

    Remove the pieces of tile. Remove remaining grout by scraping it away with the utility knife. The area behind the tile should be as smooth as possible. Use a piece of sandpaper if necessary.

  3. 3

    Fit the open space with the replacement tile. The tile must have the same dimensions as the broken tile. If it fits flush with the other tiles, spread an adhesive on the back and press it into place. Secure the new tile with masking tape, and let it dry overnight.

  4. 4

    Remove the tape from the tile. With a sponge, apply a premixed grout over the entire surface of the tile. Allow the grout to cover part of the neighbouring tiles to ensure that the grout enters the joints around the replacement tile.

  5. 5

    Round out the edges around the replacement tile using a jointing tool or the rounded end of a toothbrush. Drag the tool along the edges of the tile where the grout has been placed. Keep dragging it along until the grout has a concave look that matches the rest of the tiles.

  6. 6

    Wipe away the excess grout with a wet rag. Allow the grout to dry for the next hour. Polish the replacement tile with a dry cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • If your replacement tile is too large for the space, you can cut the tile to fit. Measure the dimensions for the space you need to fill, and cut the tile to fit with a masonry blade or a circular saw.

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