Tile and Grout Repair

This post may contain affiliate links which won't change your price but will share some commission. Read more here.
A close up of a logo

Today’s Ask Tim question for my guru fix-it hubby Tim involves tile and grout repair:

What can you do when the grout around tile on the wall is cracked and/or the tile is loose? Do you have to replace everything?

A close up of a device
Good question and a bit outside my area of expertise, but I have seen guys chunk out a piece of bad or cracked tile and replace it.  It can be a bit tricky, because you don’t want to damage anything that is still structurally and aesthetically sound.  If the grout is already loose, you’ve got a head start.  However, you want to locate a replacement tile first that matches the one you’re working on.  If you break it, you want to have a Plan B in your pocket.  I once removed all the hinges on our kitchen cabinets and threw them away, thinking I could easily buy their matches.  Very bad idea and a valuable lesson learned!

Anyway, once you’ve secured a potential replacement tile, break out all the remaining grout around the tile.  You can use a small screwdriver and hammer or even a painter’s tool.  A super fast way is to use a specialized bit with a Dremmel tool, but you still have to be very careful not to bounce it off the good tiles.  You may get lucky in the process and the loose tile will fall off the wall – be ready to catch it!  If not, use that painter’s tool or even a 2″ spackling blade and gently pry behind the tile from every direction.  It is likely held there with dried tile adhesive in kind of a squiggly pattern.  If you haven’t broken the tile, this is the most likely point it will happen…be patient and work gently.

Once the tile is off, you need to get that surface where it was as smooth as possible.  Again, some taps with the tool/blade/screwdriver will do the trick.  You need it clean for new adhesive, tile, and grout.  For one piece of tile, you can use Liquid Nails as the adhesive.  Install temporary tile spacers (4), apply the adhesive to the back of the tile, and press on the wall.  The rest is just a normal grout job and some clean up!

Sorry for the long links!  Hope this helped.

If you have a question for my handy hubby you can comment on this post, visit my facebook page or email me (envelope looking link on my side bar). We’d love to try and answer your questions. Yes, I said we. Ha!

Here are some more great tips from my DIY hubby:

Tips on Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting 101: Tips on Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating Tips and Hacks
Get my FREE guide: How to decorate your home for practically nothing!
Featured Image

 How to Avoid a Paint Can Mess

Simple Trick to avoid a Paint Can Mess from Marty's Musings

 Exterior Painting Tips

Painting 101: Exterior Painting Tips 

How to Care for Your Brushes

Painting 101: How to Care for Your Brushes

This post contains affiliate links.


Decorating Tips and Hacks
Get my FREE guide: How to decorate your home for practically nothing!
Featured Image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. My bathroom tiles were a sight for sore eyes: the grout was stained and looked filthy. Sadly I couldn’t afford to replace the grout for the entire bathroom. I found out about Nugrout products and decided to give it a try. I am amazed by how new my bathroom now looks with the new grout color, and how affordable the entire process was. Check out their website at http://www.nugrout.com. I highly recommend them.

  2. Pingback: Peeling Wall Paper
  3. Thanks for answering my question!

    How about what to do with peeling wallpaper in the bathroom? Should I invest in wallpaper glue or can I just stick it back with Elmer’s?
    Same question with linoleum that is peeling up from the edges allowing water to seep to the floorboards underneath. Do I need to yank it up farther and check out the damage or can I just glue it down (and with what should I do this?). Also it’s pretty curled.- suggestions on getting it to lay flat once I apply adhesive?

  4. I’m wondering is Tim has a recommendation for a tile guy (or gal) in Greensboro. We need some regrouting, sealing and fixing done in the master bathroom. Much beyond my DIY skills. Would love to find someone who comes highly recommended to do this work for us. (Entire shower needs regrouting/sealing and we have a few cracked tiles. Otherwise, I’m going to go crazy scrubbing with Clorox stains that won’t go away.

    1. Let me know if Tim didn’t get back to you and you still need a referral. Isn’t there always something that needs fixing? I’d rather decorate than fix any day!