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How to Replace a Slate Floor Tile


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Gather Your Materials
cracked slate tile
Photo © PebbleArt Inc.

Although natural slate is a durable flooring material, it is possible for individual tiles to become chipped, cracked, or scratched. In the case of chipping and cracking the problem is often caused by the adhesive layer beneath the tile becoming uneven. Scratches are usually caused by external forces acting on the surface of the material. In many cases it is impossible to repair damage to individual tiles requiring the entire piece to be replaced.

This project will walk you through the steps required to remove the broken tile, repair the surface beneath it, and then replace it with a new piece. The photographs shown are of a solid gray slate with a natural clefted surface installed on a concrete underlayment. These instructions should be valid for all basic slate tile flooring installations.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time to Complete

1-2 Hour Labor 24 Hours Drying Time for adhesive and grout.

Materials Required

Carbide Tipped Grout Saw
Nail Set
Putty Knife
¼” Notched Trowel
Thinset Mortar
Rubber Mallet
Piece of 2x4 Hardwood
Needle nose Pliers
Tile Spacers
Small Screwdriver
Natural Stone Sealer
Matched Slate Tile
Matched Grout

Note on matched materials: Slate is a natural stone so the exact color of any given type of tile is variable, which can make it difficult to find a piece that fits the rest of the floor. Finding a matching grout can also be a problem. If possible you should hold on to a few extra tiles, as well as some grout after the installation of a new slate floor.

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