Many of the old tiles on my bathroom floor are simply coming loose. See the attached photo. The land-lord is not prepared to replace them with new ones and I can't afford to do that myself, so I am looking for a relatively simple/newbie way to re-attach them to the concrete that lays beneath.

In plain English, I need to know what glue/adhesives/products to use, what steps to take and any mistakes I should avoid.

enter image description here

  • How long do you anticipate renting there? (Timeframe matters because some fixes are less durable than others.) Nov 5, 2016 at 13:50
  • Considering all the other things the landlord has not maintained I HOPE to find another place in the next year or two.
    – dave37
    Nov 5, 2016 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


Those tiles did not adhere properly for one or more of several reasons: inadequate substrate preparation, inadequate or improper adhesive, adhesive not used correctly, etc.

My opinion is: not enough adhesive was used to bond the tiles. Also, the concrete may not have been made completely smooth and clean prior to installation.

There are two basic ways to bond that tile to concrete, the most common method is thin-set mortar (a cementitious tile adhesive), the second would be a pre-mixed tile adhesive sometimes called mastic.

You should:

  • use a putty knife or margin trowel to assess how well all surrounding tiles have bonded (pry up just a bit, gently) and remove any additional tiles that are not properly bonded, as these will be likely to come loose soon if they hav not already.
  • scrape all remaining adhesive and anything else from the concrete with a razor scraper, then wash concrete clean and let dry.
  • remove as much old adhesive from the back of the tiles as you can (this will be difficult, especially since the tiles appear to be so small); if you have new matching tiles available then use those instead.
  • install the tiles, following the directions for your chosen adhesive carefully (I would probably use the mastic because you will have a better chance of getting the tiles level with the surrounding field). I cannot tell how large those tiles are because there is nothing for scale in the picture, but it looks like mosaic so if it is and there are specific instructions for mosaic on the adhesive package, follow that.
  • grout only after waiting appropriate time recommended on adhesive instructions.
  • The tiles are 30mm x 30mm x 4mm
    – dave37
    Nov 5, 2016 at 23:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.