Best way to remove 40 year old bathtub tile

Old 08-19-14, 01:12 PM
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Best way to remove 40 year old bathtub tile

I am gutting my 5x9 master bath and expanding it by demoing a closet next door. I am to the point of taking down the wall tiles around the tub and then take out the tub itself.

Prying tiles off the wall does not work as they were not applied with thinset over backer board. There is a wire mesh with about an inch of mortor between the mesh and the tile.

So far the only way I've removed 2 or 3 is by smashing them. Am I doomed to smash the rest?

I took photos but am unable to upload them.

Any time saving ideas will be appreciated!
Old 08-19-14, 01:39 PM
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Easiest for me is to get started at an edge and rip the whole sheet of mesh, mortar and tile down. A long pry bar works to get underneath and apply enough force to break, pull out or cause the nail heads to pull through the material. It is not easy by any means and generally some blood is drawn.
Old 08-19-14, 02:05 PM
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You are in for a bunch of work! And it will make a pile of trash. Be sure to wear eye protection and gloves as this stuff cuts like glass in shards.
Old 08-19-14, 04:58 PM
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Yep, as they have already stated, you are virtually assured of not separating the tile from the cement as long as the installer did a respectable job.

You could try tapping around a little and see if you get a hollow sound anywhere. That would indicate detached tiles and a possible starting point but in general you might get a few loose ones and then back to the well adhered ones that you won't get off without breaking.
Old 08-19-14, 06:24 PM
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The best way I have found to Demo a mud bed tiled wall is with a demo hammer. Find the area between the studs and use the demo hammer to pop off the tile and then go to town on the cement bed. Get it down to the wire mesh and then use the demo hammer to "pop" and snap the wire iteself. Then pull the wall down in manageable strips. Heed previous warnings.... you will get bit, and you will bleed. Use leather gloves and wear long sleeve shirts.

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