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Removing tile adhesive from plaster walls


Mark B's Avatar
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02-26-06, 05:59 PM   #1  
Mark B
Removing tile adhesive from plaster walls

I'm hoping that someone can suggest an effective way to remove old-style tile adhesive (mastic, I believe, not thin-set cement product used now) from plaster walls. I removed the old tiles from my bath/shower area, and the tiles that had been exposed to water previously seemed to pop right off, and the old adhesive just scraped off with a putty knife (it flaked off, actually; very dry and brittle). However, the adhesive still on the dry plaster area is quite well adhered to the plaster finish coat. Is there any way to easily dissolve this material and then scrape it off? No one at the Big Orange Box store knows of a solvent to use. I've heard someone say that you can just spray it with water and a little dish detergent, and it will eventually soften and can be scraped off. True? I was considering just hitting the wall with a belt sander, but someone else told me that these older adhesives probably have asbestos in them (geez, that stuff was used in EVERYTHING!).

Any help would be appreciated. Last resort, I guess I'll tear out the walls and re-hang greenboard, but I'm trying to avoid that, since I plan on just glueing up a Swan fiberglass surround to replace the tiles. Thanks again.

Mark

 
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02-26-06, 06:21 PM   #2  
I would try alternating from scrubbing with a thinner soaked rag and scraping. Most adhesives will disolve with paint thinner but it won't be easy.


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02-26-06, 06:32 PM   #3  
Mark B
I had thought of using mineral spirits, but was concerned that any petrochemical product might dissolve the plaster and leave it in that condition. I'll give it a try and let you know. Thanks.

Mark

 
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07-16-09, 03:10 PM   #4  
I'm in the same boat! Please Help.

Mark B - I was so excited to read about your situation because my husband and I recently bought a house and our bathroom is EXACTLY as you describe. The stuff around the tub isn't a problem, but the rest is. They had it all around the bathroom.

I'm hoping that emails get sent out when someone replies to these things. (I signed up just so that I could write on this particular thread.) I realize it's been awhile since the original message was posted...

I was hoping you could take the time to share about your experience. What worked? What didn't work? All the good stuff. After searching on line I've become very weary about this project that I took on. I appreciate any information!

Thank you in advance,
Tonya

 
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07-16-09, 04:50 PM   #5  
Welcome to the forums Tonya!

I don't know for sure but I don't think Mark B is still a member..... but this old thread has been brought back up to the top of the heap, so maybe it will generate some more replies


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07-18-09, 07:21 PM   #6  
Thanks, Marksr.

So far I've been using a chisel to slowly scrape away at all the old adhesive stuff. It's working. Just slowly...and with lots of elbow grease. I've put a few small nicks/marks in the plaster, but I plan on putting some stuff over that and sanding it down when I'm done.

 
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