Recycling bathroom tile

Old 05-14-03, 09:15 AM
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Recycling bathroom tile

I am remodeling a bathroom and would like to re use the existing wall tile. What is the best method to remove tile from wall?
Old 05-14-03, 10:22 AM
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hmm...I don't see how you can get the tile off without a ton of dried mortar on the back of it. The remaining mortar would make it very hard to lay back down. I'm not sure if what you want is feasible or possible.
Old 05-14-03, 12:03 PM
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Generally the mortar used to secure ceramic tiles is designed such that the tiles won't fall off, so assuming that the wall is actually drywall and not cement board each tile will have an imposible to remove layer of mortar stock on the back. If the tiles are mounted on cement board than it's pretty much impossible to remove them in one piece.
Why would you remodel the whole bathrooms but yet use the old tiles? Did you ever remodel a room but put the old wallpaper back?
Old 05-15-03, 06:41 AM
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The previous posts assume your tile is cemented to the wall with mortar. If your tile was put on using mastic, it is possible to reuse them, but still quite difficult. The first step would be to remove the grout, and there are many options for that, from a simple grout rake to a grout removal bit in a rotary tool. I prefer to use a carbide bit in my rotary tool, but it's very dusty and can damage the edge of the tile easily. With the grout removed, you can use a stout putty knife to slowly begin to loosen the tile from the wall. Tapping the knife with a hammer sometimes helps, but it's very easy to break a tile this way. Once the tile is removed, the local big box store should have adhesive remover that will remove the old mastic from the tile, with some elbow grease. After removing all the old mastic, the tile can be reused, but be forewarned - some tiles will break. I recently reused the old tile after replacing a bath tub, and was able to save a little over half of the tile I removed.

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