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The tiles are complete and intact. Over time they have displaced from their locations. The grout around the tiles have chipped away.

What kind of adhesive is required to put these tiles back into place?

What's the best way to fix these displaced tiles?

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  • The problem that I see is a insufficient backing or flexing, cracked tiles and loose ones including grout chipping away you may as well put bubble gum down because if you get a solid bond the tile will crack due to the flex. I have remodeled quite a few diy jobs that had the exact same problem and the root cause was flex because of insufficient backing. Possibly chip up the thinset and put down a new cote making sure to back butter the tiles this was not done previously but a solid bond may cause additional cracking like the other tiles. – Ed Beal Aug 22 '20 at 0:34
  • Are those tiles sticking over an edge unsupported, adding to their woes? – Ecnerwal Aug 22 '20 at 0:39
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The best and proper repair (short of addressing what's under them by ripping the whole thing out) is to chisel out the old thinset (might as well get the broken tile behind) and use new thinset, probably with a polymer admixture (liquid instead of water) as well as polymer modified thinset (the dry part), since the area has evidently been less than ideal for tile staying put, so more flex in the mortar is better.

Wait the proper time (tyically 24-48 hours) without traffic, grout between the tiles, wait more time (typically 24-48 minimum again), and ideally limit or avoid traffic for as long as is practical up to a couple of weeks.

For quick & dirty repairs in a similar situation I've used polyurethane construction adhesive. It's not best, but it beats a loose tile if you need it done quickly.

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