I had radiators removed from original bathrooms and it left behind these holes in the tile. Looking for an easy but not egregiously bad patch until I’m ready to renovate. Limited ceiling access for one, none for the other. Because there was piping going through it there’s no subfloor at the place of the holes themselves. One has a new baseboard over it but can still access, the other is free n clear.

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1 Answer 1



Find some tile (to match, or not, as you prefer.) Pick to fit or cut to fit.

Use some combination of a stick or sticks and/or wire mesh (small holes) that you can tie wires to the middle of and stuff through the hole, then pull back up against the floor to block the bottom of the hole. Tie off the wire to hold the sticks or mesh in place

Mix up a small amount of mortar in a stiff (low-water) mix, and partially fill the hole. After the mortar hardens, cut the wire at the mortar surface. Also cut out the extra grout so your new tile will fit nicely. [could also do this step with wood-putty or an epoxy putty - has to be something not runny so it stays in place until it hardens.]

Add additional mortar (can be a slightly wetter mix) to fill the hole to [tile thickness + 1/8-1/4" (3-6mm)] below finished floor level, and let that harden.

Apply thinset to the back of the replacement tile and push into place, leveling it with the rest of the floor. Remove excessive squeeze-out from the grout lines.

Grout it.

Quick & Dirty:

Given the usual position of radiator pipes, not going to get a lot of foot traffic. Remove the excess grout at the corners, find (or cut) a suitably sized (single) replacement tile to hit the corners and cover the hole, apply some construction adhesive to the corners and squish it in. For extra Q&D points, spray-foam around the inside of the hole just before gluing the tile in place. Grout it if you feel so inclined.

  • Will go for the Q&D — any suggestions for cutting out the original grout? Sawzall maybe?
    – user176121
    Dec 2, 2023 at 15:26
  • 2
    A grout saw (manual, or perhaps one of the attachments for an oscillating tool if you have one of those) or a small hammer and chisel (and safety glasses for you.) A sawzall would be wicked awkward, given that you want to leave the subfloor in the corners beyond the drilled hole to support the tile.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 2, 2023 at 15:33
  • Alternate Q&D: get a piece of vinyl tile/sheet and glue it on.
    – Huesmann
    Dec 4, 2023 at 14:16

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