Cleaning mastic from ceramic tile

Old 04-18-02, 10:29 AM
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Cleaning mastic from ceramic tile

I have had really good luck solving problems through these forums so here is another question. In the house my son leased the tile surrounding the tub had been removed and replaced by a (ugh!) fiberglas surround. This is an older home and we would like to put the original tile back. It was stored in the basement and I have been trying to clean it up. There is nothing on the front of the tile but I have been unable on a lot of the tiles to get the mastic (I think that is what it is) off. If I can accomplish this, I hope we have all we need to replace them. If not, I also need to know if there is a place to buy tile of the same color (a kind of mint green - probably used sometime in the 50s to 70s. I have looked at various tile places but have been unable to match it. Need input on this. Thanks.
Old 04-23-02, 05:32 PM
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Mineral spirits might remove the mastic. The mint green tile will probably be impossible to find. Honestly speaking, it might be a lot easier to just get new tile.
Old 04-23-02, 07:40 PM
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Mastic removal from tile

There are mastic and adhesive removers available. If the tile was set with thinset, this is dried concrete. Once dry, concrete is next to impossible to remove short of grinding it off. It is difficult to salvage and reuse old tiles. I agree that new tile would be a better option and give the bathroom an update, or at least replace the tile that surrounds the tub in a complementary color and/or design.

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