A loose tile in a ceramic floor is easily repaired. Once you notice it is loose, try to fix this problem as soon as possible to avoid accidentally cracking the tile. If you do crack the tile, you’ll have to find a match before you can complete this project.
Step 1: Remove any surrounding grout with the grout saw. Use a vacuum to keep the area clear of dust, while you remove all of the grout.
Step 2: Use a putty knife and hammer to pry up the loose tile from the floor. If the tile is already cracked, you may just want to break the tile with the hammer and pry it up in pieces.
However, if the tile is in good condition, try this technique to remove it from the floor without breaking it. Start by wedging the putty knife under the edge of the tile and using the hammer to wedge it underneath the tile a bit more. Pull out the putty knife, then try the same technique on the opposite end of the tile. Slowly, the mortar still attached to the tile should loosen, allowing you to remove the tile.
Step 3: Remove the mortar from the hole in the floor and the back of the tile with a razor scraper. This will ensure that you can install the tile perfectly flat. Of course, if you are using a replacement tile, and not the original tile, you should not scrape the back of the tile you removed.
Step 4: Butter the back of the replacement tile with mortar using a putty knife. Be generous, and be sure to coat the entire back of the tile before proceeding.
Step 5: Press the tile into place with a slight twisting motion. Make sure that the tile is perfectly centered, with even grout lines around the tile. You should also make sure that the new tile is not higher or lower than the existing tiles. Wait overnight before continuing to allow the mortar a chance to set.
Step 6: Grout the new tile in using a rubber float to force the grout into the channels surrounding the tile. Wipe off any grout haze with a damp sponge after the grout has set for 15 minutes. Wait 48 hours before allowing foot traffic on the tile.