How to remove wall tiles – in five easy steps

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If you are readying a refresh for a room oregon bathroom, you whitethorn request to cognize however to region partition tiles. Taking connected the task of removing partition tiles yourself isn’t arsenic hard arsenic you mightiness imagine. Messy, yes, and we can’t committedness your manicure volition survive, but it’s 1 of the little skilled DIY tasks and virtually intolerable to get wrong.

For this step-by-step usher to removing partition tiles, we asked tile and DIY experts for their apical tips to summation your chances of success; with old, cracked oregon uneven tiles off, you tin past larn how to tile a wall for that slick caller look. 

‘Removing tiles is an casual occupation but determination are a fewer tools and tricks that volition guarantee the occupation goes smoothly,’ says Anna Forden, caput of buying at Walls & Floors (opens successful caller tab). ‘If you person a person who tin assistance wide up down you arsenic you go, it volition the task overmuch quicker and much fun.’ 

How to region partition tiles

The easiness with which you negociate to region partition tiles depends connected however good they were installed successful the archetypal instance. If the tiler was cautious with the adhesive, you whitethorn find they practically autumn disconnected erstwhile you get going. 

In immoderate event, partition tiles thin to beryllium easier to region than level tiles due to the fact that they are mostly thinner and much lightweight, positive you’ll person gravity connected your side. That done, you tin put successful your new kitchen partition tile ideas and bathroom partition tile ideas.

You whitethorn good person a fewer of these items to hand, but we person collated a database of the essentials for removing partition tiles. 

You volition need:

Safety gogglesProtective glovesDust maskOld cardboard oregon heavy particulate sheetsHammer oregon malletMasonry chiselScraper 1. Protect the space

The country straight beneath the partition tiles volition request to beryllium good protected from falling debris. ‘Sharp pieces of tile falling from a partition into your bathtub, ablution tray oregon adjacent conscionable the flooring below, tin origin irreparable damage,’ explains Anna Forden at Walls & Floors. ‘Cardboard is beauteous bully for protecting these spaces from falling tiles. It’s worthy redeeming immoderate packaging from the recycling bin successful the weeks earlier you commencement this task.’ 

Use particulate sheets to support surfaces further distant from the main occupation tract – you’ll beryllium amazed by however acold particulate and ungraded volition question arsenic the tiles commencement tumbling down. 

2. Remove the archetypal tile

Once you’ve donned the due protective deterioration (don't hide closed-toe shoes), it’s clip to enactment retired the champion starting point. ‘The perfect spot to statesman is with a tile that is already coming escaped oregon has immoderate grade of damage,’ says John Geraghty, Tiling adept at My Job Quote (opens successful caller tab)

If you are incapable to find a breached oregon escaped tile, effort to loosen a tile oregon pat 1 with a chisel until it begins to break. ‘Alternatively, usage a grout rake to scrape retired the grout astir the tile until you person a spread wide capable to wedge your chisel,’ adds Harriet Goodacre, Tile Consultant at Topps Tiles (opens successful caller tab). ‘This is besides a bully method if you are trying to salvage tiles to reuse.’

One of benefits of opening with an undamaged tile is that it gives you much power implicit the commencement point. If you are right-handed, experts hold that it’s champion to enactment from the top-left country of your tiled area, and determination to the close arsenic you work, dilatory moving down the partition arsenic each horizontal enactment of tiles is removed. Left-handed radical should enactment successful the other direction. 

3. Lever tiles disconnected the wall

Once your archetypal tile has been cracked sufficiently to wedge a chisel in, you’re successful business. ‘Insert a chisel betwixt the edges of the tile and the wall, and mildly pat with a hammer oregon mallet until the tile comes away,’ advises Abbas Youssefi, manager at Porcelain Superstore (opens successful caller tab). ‘You mightiness request to chisel successful a fewer antithetic places and usage the chisel arsenic a lever to pry the tile away.’

The archetypal tile is ever the hardest, but the pursuing tiles should travel distant reasonably easily. The deeper you tin wedge the chisel nether the tile, the amended accidental you’ll person of getting it disconnected successful ample chunks. Chipping distant astatine tiny shards of tile is tedious. 

If you person assistance connected hand, inquire them to effort and drawback bigger tiles earlier they fall. This is peculiarly utile if you are removing partition tiles made from dense earthy chromatic oregon ample format tiles, which mightiness origin harm to the country beneath careless of however good it is covered up.  

4. Tidy up the wall

Planning to tile close backmost implicit the partition you’ve conscionable worked on? It’s worthy taking a small clip now, portion the particulate sheets are inactive on, to scrape disconnected each remaining tile adhesive. Tap disconnected immoderate ample chunks with a chisel and mallet and usage a tile scraper oregon sander to creaseless down immoderate remaining roughness. 

If immoderate plaster has travel disconnected the walls with the tiles, you whitethorn request to get immoderate holes filled and sanded. A earnestly patchy partition volition payment from being re-plastered earlier you instal caller tiles. 

5. Clean up

Gather up your particulate sheets from each country and transportation them extracurricular earlier emptying the contents into a cardboard box. Even heavy-duty bin bags thin to rip erstwhile filled with dense gathering waste. 

Next usage a particulate cookware and brushwood to stitchery up immoderate escaped rubble that escaped the particulate sheets, and past spell implicit each surfaces with a vacuum cleaner followed by a damp cloth. 

How tin I region partition tiles successful 1 piece?

Salvaging tiles to merchantability oregon reuse surely makes dependable biology sense, but it does instrumentality learning however to region partition tiles to a caller level, and the occupation volition instrumentality a full batch longer. The benignant and prime of the tiles you are removing volition play a large factor. If they are looking tired, chipped and outdated, and truthful improbable to beryllium reused, it’s truly not worthy the effort. 

‘Success mostly depends connected the tile itself, the adhesive utilized and the installation method,’ explains Abbas Youssefi, manager at Porcelain Superstore. ‘Larger porcelain tiles are much hard to region without breaking, particularly if they've been installed correctly utilizing a modern porcelain tile adhesive. However, if you’re removing smaller ceramic partition tiles (such arsenic metro tiles) that person been fixed with ‘ready-mixed adhesive’, there’s a bully accidental you’ll beryllium capable to region tiles without damaging them.’

A grout rake is simply a utile summation to your tile removal toolbox. Use it to scrape the grout distant from each the edges of the tile earlier mildly levering it distant from the wall. A specializer tile scraper is besides worthy the other expense, arsenic it has a wider, flatter caput than a chisel.