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I am looking to re-grout some tiles in the shower which have come loose. However I have a couple of tiles which have completely broken.

However while trying to remove half the tile, it is really stuck down to the waterproof membrane. When I start to pull on it, I can feel the membrane pulling with it.

My question is what should I do? How do I take the tile off without messing up the waterproofing?

1) Will it matter if I just yank up the tiles? I'm suspecting it will! 2) When I replace the tile will grouting it be fine. (I have waterproof grout)

I've included some some pictures. The black under the tile is the waterproof membrane.

Thanks in advance.

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  • Have you tried to break them up more with a chisel? Perhaps use a heat gun to heat a little to see if they un-bond from the membrane. – Jeff Cates Feb 20 at 19:25
  • Hey Jeff. I did think about that but didn't want to disturb it and make it worse. The shower is upstairs so I am being very cautious. As you can tell, I am not very good at this sort of stuff. – VirtualBrandy Feb 20 at 19:57
  • Silly question but when I grout it, can I just add the grout straight on the membrane? – VirtualBrandy Feb 20 at 19:59
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I'm no pro, but if the membrane is loose, then anything you attach to it will flex, and there goes your new grout and/or tiles. I'm guessing you'll need to redo the whole thing. – Daniel Griscom Feb 21 at 1:40
  • Hey Daniel. Okay, thanks for the info. I will look at taking the next steps. – VirtualBrandy Feb 21 at 8:18
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1) if you can yank the tiles without damaging the waterproofing layer below, you are fine. You can do a water test leak once the broken tiles are removed. Plug the drain, put a stack of coins on the floor, put water up to the coins level and check back in 24h.

2) you can regrout no problem. not sure what you call waterproof grout, but you can use any. its purpose is not to hold water above the tiles. The shower is designed to handle water that penetrate under the tiles and redirect it to the drain.

that said, what exactly is that black thing under your tiles? Are you sure it is the waterproof membrane? it might just be your deck mud. In that case you could just patch it.

redoing a shower is a lot of work, thus make sure you have no other option first.

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