Removing Thinset from Backerboard [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-30-2019, 03:10 PM
I am trying to replace some cracked and loose tiles. I have the tiles and and while the thinset did not adhere well to the tiles, it has adhered very well to the backerboard.

I got up a little with a putty knife and hammer but it did pull some of the surface off of the backerboard. Is there a way to remove the old thinset without damaging the backerboard?

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06-30-2019, 04:55 PM
A rub stone like this

Or a fein tool or similar with a carbide rasp

06-30-2019, 06:29 PM
Thanks, Lou. I am actually working with the rub stone. It is fairly slow but it is doing the trick.

John Bridge
07-01-2019, 06:30 AM
Hi Fionn, :)

The best way I know of is to use a small cold chisel and hammer. You will do some damage to the backer board, but that can be filled in with thinset when you install the new tiles. Thinset is very hard materiel and will take forever to remove with a rubbing stone.

Another idea: If you have a grinder you can grind off the backs of the replacement tiles to accommodate the dried thinset. :)

07-01-2019, 06:40 AM
Thanks, John. I was thinking of just knocking down the thinset some then using an adhesive to reset the tiles. Would that make sense? There are only 5 tiles that have to be reset.

07-01-2019, 04:51 PM
Yes. I would make sure the adhesive is a thinset that you mix with water. Not premixed.