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You know that one ceramic tile that's loose -- or keeps popping off, only to glued back down? It's time to reset it the right way, for long-lasting results.

tile, grout, trowel, floatWant to replace a loose ceramic tile? It's easier than you think. Photo: Corbis

1. If you can lift out the tile easily. If not, use a grout saw to chip out the grout from the spaces around the tile. Make sure to clear our all of the grout; you'll need an even surface to get the best end result.

2. Cover the tile with a heavy towel and use a hammer to break it apart.
Make sure you wear work gloves and eye protection, as shards of tiling can go flying. Use a putty knife to dig out the broken pieces.

3. Scrape as much of the old adhesive off of the floor as you can.
Then vacuum the area well to remove dust and debris. Make sure the surface is clean and level (no bumps) before continuing.

5. Use a notched trowel to cover the back of the tile with tile adhesive.
Keep about a quarter of dry space on all sides.

6. Put the tile in place and align it with the surrounding tiles.
Lay a towel and a block of wood on the tile and gently tap it until the tile is flush with those around it. Allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly, check your package for the right drying time. Wait until the adhesive is fully set before moving on to the next step.

7. Use a grout float to spread grout into the joints.
Hold the tool at a 45-degree angle to the surface and spread the grout in all directions to be sure every nook is covered.

8. Wipe the grout lightly with a damp sponge. Then let the it dry for fifteen minutes or so. Finally, wipe the whole area with another clean, damp sponge.


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