Removing marble tile from Drywall

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Old 07-21-09, 12:34 PM
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Removing marble tile from Drywall

I have a fireplace that has a surround of marble tile, mounted directly on the drywall. The tiles are 12 x 12 and have no edging, finishing, etc. My guess is that it's about 20 years old.

I need to remove these tiles so that I can do a new tile surround. I assume that the drywall will get all torn up, but is there any way to remove them without damaging the sheetrock? I don't want to have to replace the sheetrock.

I've included a photo so you can see what I'm talking about.



I am also open to tiling on top of the old tile, but I don't know how to do the edges. The existing tile is less than 1/4 from the corner of the wall, so I can't figure out how to do a finished edge, and it looks awful with just the exposed edge of the tile showing (which is what it has now). The picture shows what I'm talking about.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,
Jenn
 
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Old 07-21-09, 02:21 PM
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Jenn: Hopefully there is concrete backer underlayment under the tile and not sheetrock. There can be no combustible materials over the top of the unit for about 3 1/2", so we usually stop the sheetrock and put in cbu to install the tile. Now, are you using the old tile back? If not, pry them off the sheetrock and be done with it. You will have to replace the underlayment anyway, so tearing the sheetrock is no big deal.
As far as finished edges, are you using the old stuff back, or installing new tile? How wide is your fireplace front, and how wide is the total wall that you will be placing the tiles on. Will you be using 12 or 16" tiles? Is this a wood burner or gas, and if gas, is it vented or non-vented?
Sorry for all the questions, but you will see why later on in the game.
 
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Old 07-21-09, 03:07 PM
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Chandler,
thanks for the reply. No, I'm not using the old tile at all; I don't mind if it's damaged. The wall is about 70 inches wide, and the current fireplace surround is about 69 1/2. I'm not sure how wide the fireplace is; probably about 36 inches.

I am planning to use 12" tiles when I re-tile, or possible smaller decorative ones on the wall and 12" tiles on the floor.

The fireplace is gas, and I believe it's non-vented. We very rarely use it - I think we've used it twice in three years.
 
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Old 07-21-09, 07:28 PM
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Good answers, thanks. Go ahead and bring down the wall, all the way back to the studs. It will be easier to replace the wall covering than trying to save the old. Once you have it down, replace it with 1/2" concrete backer underlayment (Durock or Hardie), using the appropriate screws. It comes in 3x5 sheets so make your measurements accordingly. Once it is installed you can install your tile. As you will note on your old installation, they started in the middle and worked their way outwardly. You will probably have to cut tile to get a good fit, so be prepared, likewise to rent a tile saw.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 09:17 AM
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If the tile was installed correctly, you'll one heck of a time trying to save the wallboard. But who knows how it was installed?? Maybe with silicone or construction adhesive, who knows. Try getting a broad knife or something flat behend the tile and see if you can pry it off.

Most likely, chandler is right here, and you wont be able to save the wallboard. It'll likely be a lot faster and more cost effective to take everything down to the studs and start over.
 
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Old 07-24-09, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I was hoping to save my wallboard, but that seems pretty unlikely. I appreciate the suggestions.
 
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