Tips for Removing Porcelain Tile Adhesive

Hand on a square of porcelain tile.
  • 8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100
What You'll Need
Razor blade
Adhesive remover
Angle grinder

The process for removing tile adhesive is normally determined by the sort of adhesive used on the tiles. Some tiles that are porcelain may have been on the wall of your bathroom for a very long time and it may not be easy to remove the glue keeping them together. However, with the right tools and materials, it is not difficult to do this even though it may seem confusing and daunting.

1. The Removal of Mastic Adhesive

Use a small blade from a razor in order to scrape off the majority of the glue you need to remove. This will not, of course, get rid of the entire adhesive on the wall. However, it will remove enough from between the tiles so the remover you are using can work more efficiently and more easily.

With the use of a paintbrush, spread the glue remover all over the tiles and make sure you spread it liberally. Make sure all the cracks and crevices are covered so as to have the most effect in removing it. It should soak into the glue holding the tiles together and this will, in time, soften it. Test it after a little while to see if the adhesive is coming off a bit easier. Begin by scraping off the adhesive that is soft by using the razor blade again after the remover has soaked in. Ensure the tile dries after this and then it can be reused again if it is still in good condition.

2. The Removal of Thin-Set Mortar

cutting grout

Again, use the razor blade to scrape off the vast majority of the adhesive from the tiles and between them in order to get some of it off. Once you have done this, grind the rest of the glue off the wall with an angle grinder. Move the grinder over the tiles in a smooth way in order to get the majority off. It is important not to hold it in one place as you will not get complete coverage.

Ensure the tiles have a smooth finish and are level and flat. Wipe the tiles with the aid of a sponge to get rid of any remaining glue and debris and then allow the area to dry completely. After this, it should be relatively simple to wipe off the rest of the soft glue.

3. The Removal of Traditional Adhesive

With traditional adhesive on tiles, again use a blade to get rid of excess glue and then use the remover to soften the rest enough to remove it. The important thing to note is if you manage to do this successfully then you will be able to reuse the old tiles you have taken off the wall or perhaps put them on another wall somewhere else.