Finding Matching Replacement Tile

What to do When You Can’t Find an Exact Tile Replacement

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Mark, I have a matching replacement tile problem. My bathroom has ceramic tile flooring and one of the tiles broke. I want to find a replacement tile that looks identical to the original one so that it matches the rest of the tiles on the floor.

However, I have never seen this particular tile’s likeness at any tile store in my area. I was wondering how I would go about finding an exact matching replacement tile for it.

Answer: C.M. Finding a replacement tile that exactly matches your old tile may be impossible to do. For just your situation I always buy a few extra tiles and store them away in a safe location after completing a tile project.

The first thing I would do is to take the broken tile to a store that focuses on tile and see if they can come up with a close matching replacement tile.

If they do not have a close enough matching replacement tile then I would check on-line for a tile company that makes tiles to order.

Often they will be able to manufacture a replacement tile that nearly exactly matches the old one. However, having a tile made-to-order can be a bit pricey.

Another alternative is to find a replacement tile that contrasts well with the existing bathroom floor tile. With this approach you would effectively replace the old tile with an accent tile.

How to find matching replacement tile

If you want to go one step further, you could consider removing a few more of the bathroom floor tiles, and then replace them all with accent tiles to develop a custom floor tile pattern.

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

Related Information

Additional Ceramic Tile Resources from


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