Removing tiles from walls can be one home renovation projects most individuals can do without the intervention of a professional contracting company.
While it appears straightforward, there are certain ways of tackling this task to make it easier and make it safe with far less cleaning up.
In our guide, you can find out how to remove tiles from wall the right way and how you can do so without the services of professionals.
By the end, you’ll better understand what you need to carry out any wall tile removal project in your bathroom. (Find the Best Tile Saw)
How Do You Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Drywall?
For backsplashes and bathroom walls, ceramic wall tiles offer an easy-to-clean surface. They fit most designs since they come in a range of colors, styles, and sizes. Tiles, however, can break or wear with time.
Ceramic tiles on drywall can be removed, so long as you take it steady. You’ll discover that there are most likely minor drywall repairs to be done as you remove tiles from drywall.
Safety is also essential, so as you remove ceramic tiles from drywall, wear a mask and goggles and keep the windows open for ventilation. Grout removal techniques can lead to pieces of grout and tile shards being airborne. (Read Concrete Spray Paint)
To avoid breathing in harmful dust, it’s recommended to wear a protective face mask. Ceramic tiles, when chipped, can have sharp edges, and you need to handle them with caution. Wear safety goggles and gloves for added protection.
Here you can find an overview of how to remove tiles from a wall without too much underlying damage.
Grout Removal Tools
The most time-consuming part of this project is removing the grout. Special tools can help do the job faster and avoid damaging the drywall underneath. The sharp edges of manual grout tools look like an ice pick, where it slices old grout.
A handheld rotary grinder can grind away old grout in the same way. Also, you can use a heat gun near hardened caulk seams, so it is loose enough for your manual grout removal tool. (Learn How To Soften Grout For Removal)
The way tiles are stuck to the wall impact how easily they come off. Tiles stuck with thinset, or another tile adhesive can take considerable effort. A putty knife with a wide blade is useful to pry tiles from the wall once they’ve become loose.
Breaking tiles stuck on with mortar then scraping off the mortar bed may be the only way to remove them.
Drywall Adhesive and Preparation
You can remove some wall tile without damaging drywall, and there is little sign the tiles were ever there. However, this doesn’t happen too often, and the bonding agent will remain. Common wall tile adhesives are thinset and mastic. Thinset is cement-based, and mastic looks like thick glue. (Find the Best Rear Tine Tiller)
Carefully grind thinset using a rotary grinder with a carbide blade. To remove mastic, you’ll need to scrape it off with your putty knife; if drywall has any damage from the tile removal process, repair using a skim coat of drywall joint compound.
How Do You Remove Tile From a Bathroom Wall?
Removing wall tiles is more challenging than removing floor tiles since wall tiles sit closer together and grout lines are thinner. If you need to remove some tiles, rather than all of them, you need to be careful to remove wall tile without damaging the surrounding tiles.
Here is the step-by-step way to remove all wall tiles in your bathroom.
Ensure you and your surroundings are safe. To protect yourself from sharp tile pieces, wear safety goggles, long-sleeves, slacks, and work gloves.
To protect fragile surfaces, make cleanup easier, clear the surrounding space, and lay down a cloth or tarp. Cover ceramic shower pans and bathtubs with cardboard to protect them from falling tiles.
Decide where to remove the grout, as knowing which area to tackle means removing grout won’t lead to broken tiles as much. While removing a lot more grout can help, many remove it in the most important areas to save time and effort.
If you are replacing a single tile, remove the grout on all sides. If removing a full wall of tiles, ensure you remove grout at the floor, ceiling, and corners.
To help, you can heat the wall grout as a heat gun can soften hard grout if necessary. Scrape your grout away using a grout scraper or utility knife. It takes longer, yet you stand less chance of damaging the surrounding tiles. (Read Sanded vs Unsanded Grout)
If it is hard, you can use a rotary grinder as these are faster than a utility knife, but these will break tiles far easier. Remove grout until spacers are visible. It isn’t necessary to remove all the grout, but enough to make tile removal easier.
Locate a loose tile and if removing a full wall of tiles, tap the edge of each using a chisel to find a loose one. The first tile will be the hardest to remove compared to the rest.
Chisel tiles from the wall. You can discover not many will be fit for reuse as they break, chip or the back is full of tile cement.
However, insert a flat chisel, putty knife, or any other hard flat tool between the tile and your wall, and tap with a hammer until the tile pulls from the wall.
You may need a helper wearing gloves to catch tiles before they fall. If trying to repair a couple of tiles, cover the tiles to remove using masking tape or stronger duct tape. Tap the taped tiles with your chisel in the center and work outward.
Once you loosen them, you can pry the bits out on the tape. Break tile when needed, as many will be set in the mortar. Take your hammer and chisel to make a hole in the center of the tile. Chisel away cracked tile pieces without damaging the surrounding tiles.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles break with extremely sharp material shards. Care needs to be taken, and gloves need wearing at all times, as does a face mask.
What is the Best Tool for Removing Ceramic Tile?
DIY tile removal can be done inside a weekend with a prepped wall. Removing tile isn’t for the faint of heart as it is hard work, and you are better to have some experience to carry out the tile removal process without too much aggravation.
Removing a tile backsplash from the cement board is a suitable first-time job as there will be minimal dust to contend with.
Finding the right tile removal tool can make all the difference. It is possible to rent ceramic tile removal tools that offer dust removal capabilities and a jackhammer-styled action for quick removal. These are, however, geared more toward tile floor removal rather than a wall surface.
Tile floor may appear a tougher job, yet you can find a wall more of a challenge. A standard putty knife or flat chisel and a hammer can be your best solution as a tile lifter to pull old tiles off drywall. The use of a grinder is also recommended to remove the thinset.