Q:

How do you remove ceramic wall tile?

A:

Quick Answer

Remove ceramic wall tile by first removing the grout between the tiles and then carefully prying the tiles off the wall. Repair any damage to the underlying surface before re-covering.

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Full Answer

Before beginning the removal process, place a drop cloth underneath the work area to protect the floor. Wear safety goggles and heavy gloves to protect against sharp edges if the tile breaks, and wear a face mask to prevent breathing dust particles.

To remove the grout, use a manual grout removal tool to chip it way, or use a rotary grinder to carefully file it down. Soften hardened grout with a heat gun to help make it easier to remove.

Once the grout is gone, carefully place a chisel on the edge of the first tile you want to remove. Use a hammer to carefully tap the chisel working your way around the tile. Once the tile is loosened, place a wide-blade putty knife parallel to the wall, and slide it underneath the tile. If needed, use the hammer to help pry the tile off the wall. Remove the remaining tiles in the same manner. If the tile does not remove cleanly, it may be necessary to break it, and then remove the pieces.

After the tiles have been removed, sand or scrape off any remaining residue and repair any damage to the wall that may have occurred during the removal process.

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