How to remove old wall tiles
Removing old wall tiles is a relatively straightforward but potentially hazardous job. Which is why we’ve created this handy advice guide to help you remove those unwanted wall tiles safely and securely.
How to remove wall tiles – a step by step guide
Step 1: Always wear protective clothing
Tile fragments can be very sharp so it’s better to err on the side of caution and wear protective gloves as well as safety googles. It’s also advisable to wear a long sleeve top and clear up as you go along.
Step 2: Protect your furniture
It’s not just yourself that needs to cover up. Old tiles tend to have a habit of coming off the walls in every direction. So, if you are in the bathroom for instance, make sure to protect your sink, shower or toilet against potential damage. An old sheet should be more than satisfactory although if you have cardboard lying about in the garage even better.
Step 3: Remove the old tiles
Once you’ve covered everything and everyone up, it’s time for the fun bit, namely taking the old tiles of the wall. To do this you’ll need a chisel and a hammer. If you don’t have a chisel, then a large, flat headed screwdriver will be sufficient.
Removing the first tile from your wall will always be the hardest as there is usually no natural access from any side. Using the bottom of your hammer, tap the corners of random tiles, and if you find a loose tile, then prize it out with a chisel.
If there are no loose tiles, then you’ll have no choice but to break one. To do this simply place the chisel in the centre of one tile and hit with the hammer. This will shatter the tile, giving you access to the remainder of that tile.
Once you’ve removed one tile, access to the gaps behind the other wall tiles will be a lot easier. To remove the remainder of tiles, simply sit the chisel against the wall with its point tucked under the tile you’re working on and tap it with the hammer until its sunk behind the tile. Then, pull the chisel towards and it will prize the tile away.
Step 4: Don’t forget to remove old adhesive
Once all of the tiles have been removed, we would always recommend getting off as much of the dried adhesive as possible. It should come away fairly easily (famous last words!) using your chisel and hammer to leave you with a flat wall. This will make life so much easier for yourself when it comes time to applying your new tiles.
How to get rid of old wall tiles
Broken wall tiles tend to have lots of sharp edges so make sure you put all your old tiles etc into a cardboard box before disposing of them (as bin bags tend to rip). Make sure to have a dustpan and brush handy to sweep up any loose pieces that may be on the floor and give the room a good hoover to ensure everything has been cleaned up.
If you’ve managed to take off any old tiles intact, don’t throw them away. They might come in handy for another project. Alternatively, they are perfect for things such as coasters in the home. Check out our upcycling advice article here for loads more tips on what to do with your old tiles.
Need more information?
If you have any questions regarding removing your old tiles, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.
If you would like to know more about tiling in your home, then why not check out these related advice articles: