At best, ceramic tile removal can be tricky. Removing the initial tile successfully often precludes the remaining tiles coming off with major problems.
Assuming your ceramic tile removal project means taking tiles off wallboard and not a cement-based board or that the tiles are not mortared into the wall, you have a fair chance of removing them without damage. Otherwise, ceramic tile removal almost always means breaking tiles to get them off.
The first step in ceramic tile removal encompasses scraping the grout from the outer edges of the tiles you are removing. Next, remove any caulking. Removing both caulking and grout can be performed with utility knives or razor-blade scrapers that employ special holders to keep the blade away from fingers.
Using a heat gun set on low helps in ceramic tile removal by softening any caulking that has significantly hardened. Wall grout, on the other hand, should be soft enough to scrape out without heat since it is usually somewhat soft anyway.
Ceramic tile removal goes much faster once you remove all the grout and caulking. After this is accomplished, tap the tiles to check for looseness. Do not attempt checking for loose tiles until after the grout and caulking has been removed.
Once you locate a loose tile, your ceramic tile removal project most likely will go quickly. Insert a two- or three-inch-wide putty knife between the tile you first want to take off and the next one to it. Pry the tile off, and then go to the next, pushing upward to ease the tiles away from the wallboard. Be careful around tile corners because these areas are the easiest to break during ceramic tile removal.
Continue your ceramic tile removal this way until all the tiles you want have been taken off. To remove cement or adhesive residue from your tiles or from the wallboard, try products containing methylene chloride. Because fumes from products with this ingredient can be toxic (and flammable!), make sure you do not smoke and that you maintain adequate ventilation during this step of your ceramic tile removal.
That is all there is to ceramic tile removal! Sometimes even the best ceramic tile removal plans often go awry. But cheer up. At least the darn ceramic tile removal project is over!