Removing Ceramic Wall Tile

Success in removing ceramic wall tile depends a lot on how it was installed. If attached directly to a substrate such as wood or plywood, and if it is has formed a good, solid bond, removing ceramic wall tile may be a real task, especially if you are trying to not break or chip the tile.

When removing ceramic wall tile under these conditions, it is advisable to use a hammer and chisel and carefully tap away at pieces no larger than 4 inch x 4 inch. Regardless of how careful you may be, however, it will be almost inevitable that you will destroy some of the tiles. In fact, in most cases of removing ceramic wall tile from wood or plywood, you may even have to use a reciprocating saw or sawzall.

Cutting a portion of the wood or plywood when removing ceramic wall tile means you will need to replace this substrate after you have removed the old tile. Depending on where the tile is located, replace it with the areas conditions in mind. For bathrooms or anywhere you are installing tile that has high moisture content, use cement fiberboard (also known as cement board or cement backerboard. If replacing substrate in dry parts of the home, gypsum board makes a suitable backing for which to attach tile.

If all else fails, you can always call a professional in if removing ceramic wall tile becomes an overwhelming proposition or if you are tired of working with and want to get the job done fast. Professional ceramic tile installers know how to remove their product as well as install it, so it is a given they will be able to help you.

But if you are insisting on having the tile intact, be prepared to spend a premium price. And even at premium prices, many professionals do not offer a guarantee of not chipping or damaging it when removing ceramic wall tile.

It is true that removing ceramic wall tile means work and maybe even money. But once it is off, you will be in the market to re-tile that room with something really special, or not re-tile at all. But at least you can begin anew with whatever look you want, and the walls are there, bare, ready and waiting.

See Also:

Installing Ceramic Tile
Ceramic Hand Painted Tile