Remove and Reuse [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : Remove and Reuse

08-07-2001, 03:51 PM
Some tiles have fallen off my bath room wall, and I've just discovered that the previous owner did not keep 10% behind and that the tile range has been discontinued.

Good News

I've found tiles where they won't be missed (behind the medicine cabinet).

Bad News

They're on cement.

Even Worse News

I'm a DIY novice.

Is there anyone brave enough to give advice to this DIY novice?

Sponsored Links

Rob Z
08-07-2001, 04:03 PM

I've never tried to salvage tiles like this. John or bud may have. They'll be along in a bit.


Bud Cline
08-07-2001, 04:13 PM
"You in big trouble Joey".

Understand there are no guarantees here but it appears you may be desperate, so try this, I said "try".

Behind your medicine cabinet remove the grout between the tiles with a grout removal tool available at most hardware stores, go as deep between the tiles as you possibly can, you must relieve the pressure you are going to create while removing the tiles.

Then, carefully break out one tile (I'm assuming your talking about four inch tile) just bust it out of there, this is a calculated sacrifice.

Then using a 3 inch scraper/putty knife, the heavy duty type, wedge this scraper between a tile and the wall and tap the putty knife with a hammer hoping for the adhesive to seperate and give up before the tile does. Be ready to catch the tile before it falls to the floor and you have two sacrificial tiles.

We don't know if your adhesive is thinset or mastic, hopefully mastic. I also assume your walls are made of sheetrock. You may suck a big divit in the sheetrock but not to worry, we can fix that too.

Go for it.

08-07-2001, 04:22 PM
I've got about 50sq.ft. of 4 1/4" tiles with sky-blue dots laying in my back yard waiting for me to remove the thinset.They came from a job where the old mudbed(over 30 years) had begun to crack.I had to take it all out and start over.The degree of difficulty in successfully removing the tiles without shattering them greatly depends on what was used to set them.If it was a modified thinset or a good mastic your chances of success are slim and none.How old is the installation? This will be a good indicater of what was used.

If it's a really....really OLD installation,John or Bud will have to help.LOL

Bud Cline
08-07-2001, 04:31 PM
"Now YOU in big trouble Keithy".

actually that's pretty funny

John Bridge
08-07-2001, 04:43 PM
I want to know why the tiles fell off the wall in the first place. Were they in a shower area? If you are the proud owner of a "sheetrock shower," we will want to talk you into a more extensive repair.

08-08-2001, 02:13 PM
The tiles fell from the shower area (actually just above the WC, the tiles near the shower itself are fine).

You must remember that I'm English and a DIY novice so all these terms are unfamiliar, but if it's any help the house is brick and mortar - like just about every other British house.

Bud Cline
08-08-2001, 02:18 PM

What terms are unfamiliar? If it's my post your referring to let me know and I'll somehow try to translate from english to English.

08-08-2001, 02:42 PM

I'm sorry, for being so dum but these terms stumped me:


I told you I was a novice!

Bud Cline
08-08-2001, 03:27 PM
I'm not familiar with construction techniques that exist where you are but someone here will be.

thinset: the cementuous adhesive product used to install tile in this country.

mastic: the thinset alternative adhesive but contains no cement and is never waterproof, only water resistant.

sheetrock: the wall board used to cover the structural components of a wall, studs for example are covered with sheetrock/wallboard.

mud: another term for thinset and also a mixture of basically sand and cement that is also used to cover wall studs, in place of sheetrock wallboard.

Obviously terms used here are quite different than what is used there, dumb doesn't even enter into it.

We can backup as much as necessary. Where do you want to begin, again?

John Bridge
08-08-2001, 03:29 PM
Sorry Spencer. I didn't look to see where you're from.

Sheetrock = plaster board

Thin set = tile adhesive made from portland cement

Mastic = tile glue made from synthetics

Mud = anything used in our trade that contains portland cement, including thin set, brick mortar, tile grout, etc.

From everything that's been said so far, can we assume the tiles were installed over cement mortar (mud)? If that's the case, I doubt you'll be able to free any intact. Perhaps you could build or install a small cabinet over the W.C.

Another idea might be to use some decorative tiles to fill in the space. You might have to break out more of the originals.

I must say it's rather unusual for tiles to simply fall off the wall, but we'll do what we can to help you resolve it. If we have any more translation problems, we do have a Cockney on board who speaks English as well. Where are you, Dereck? :D



Derek & Jacqui
08-08-2001, 06:25 PM
I'm heeere!!
Whatcha cock. Where abouts are you in London - I'm from Thornton Heath.
Let's have a butchers at your problem. A couple of questions:
How old is the house and is the whole bathroom floor to ceiling?
Is it brick behind the sand and cement render where the tile fell off?
Is the render cracked or loose? (Tap with a hammer, does it sound hollow)
Do the tiles recess about 4' up the wall?
Look forwrd to "talking" with you.
WC = Commode
Sticky = Mastic
Compo = Sand and cement

John Bridge
08-08-2001, 06:35 PM

Been to Europe. But in England isn't it a loo? :D