How to Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard


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Let’s talk about how to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard!

Ceramic wall tiles offer a simple to clean area for kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls. Since they are available in various colors, designs, and sizes, they fit into any decor. However, over time, the tiles can crack or exhibit other signs of wear and tear. It is feasible to remove ceramic tiles in plasterboard, but patience is required. Sometimes, complementary inferior repairs to the gypsum board are possible when the tiles are out of the way.

It is always important to avoid damaging the wall underneath whether searching for your bathroom or replacing only a broken tile. It is possible to remove the bathroom tiles without harming the drywall, but doing so may be challenging, time-consuming, and discouraging. The right procedures may make things easier while also guaranteeing a pleasant outcome.

The removal of tiles from a wall is distinct from and more difficult than the removal of tiles from a floor. The grout lines between the wall tiles are often kept to a minimum. This implies that more caution is needed to remove a tile from a wall without causing damage to the adjacent tiles.

If you want to plaster a wall, you should leave this job to a professional.

How to Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard: Materials Needed

Grout removal is the most time-consuming aspect of this undertaking. There are particular utilities available to speed up the work and ensure that you do not accidentally tear the drywall underneath.


How to Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard

Follow the following steps to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard

  • Preparing for suppression
  • Decide where to remove the grout
  • Warming up the grout
  • Scrape the grout with a knife
  • Instead, try a rotary grinder
  • Remove the grout until the spacer ears are visible
  • Try to locate a loose tile
  • Remove tiles from the wall with a chisel
  • Breaking the tile if required
  • Clean the area of any leftover setting material
  • Get rid of the spacer lugs before attempting to lay a replacement tile

Now, let’s dive into details;

Step 1: Preparing for suppression

Removing tiles from the bathroom can be a problematic development, so proper processing is essential. First, you must make sure that your tiles are as clean as possible. This will provide help with suppression. You should remove anything that can be moved from the bathroom. You also have to stick plastic sheets near the doors to contain the most considerable dust that is viable. Don’t forget to look at the heaters or screens.

You must also make sure you use the correct safety set for the job. Wear long sleeves and closed pants and shoes. You’ll also want to wear goggles, a dust mask, safety gloves, and knee pads if your work involves a lot of kneeling.

Also, cover the drains by, among other things, putting tape over them.

You should also make use of some grout removal tools.

Step 2: Decide where to remove the grout.

Beyond the fact that removing more grout will always provide help, most people save time and only remove it on the essential surfaces:

When removing only one tile, remove the grout from all sides to avoid damaging the other tiles that cover it.

If you are removing an entire tile wall, be sure to remove the grout along with the ceiling and floor correctly.

Step 3: Warming up the grout

Wall grout tends to be simple to remove, but a heat gun or hairdryer can soften hard grout if required.

If you can only rub small portions, you will need to spend at least thirty seconds heating the grout line and then try again.

Step 4: Scrape the grout with a knife

This procedure takes some time but has a low risk of damaging the surrounding tiles. Put your knife in a strong holder if you have one, and pass it carefully and repeatedly near the tile or tiles you plan to remove.

An ordinary grout saw will not often work for wall tile, thanks to the lug spacers that connect adjacent tiles under the grout.

Step 5: Instead, try a rotary grinder.

Using a Dremel or other small rotary grinder, these tools can remove a grout much faster than a knife. However, you can break tiles much more quickly if your hand slips.

Set the utility on the lowest setting and move it slowly during the grout line.

If you have stable control over the utility and the tiles don’t crack when you nick them, you can consider increasing the rotor’s agility.

Step 6: Remove the grout until the spacer ears are visible.

It is not required that you remove all of the grout particles, but remove the most considerable portion to make it viable to remove the tiles. At a minimum, scrape the grout until the metal spacer lugs are visible.

Step 7: Try to locate a loose tile.

If you plan to remove an entire tile wall, try tapping each tile’s edge with a chisel to locate signs of slack.

The first tile is much more complicated to remove than the rest, so it is fine if you take more time to see if you have a chance of getting lucky.

If you find one, use one of the following procedures to remove it.

The highlight you can do is on surfaces where you have removed the grout and surfaces with water damage signs.

Step 8: Remove tiles from the wall with a chisel.

This approach should allow you to store more tiles for reuse unless the tiles are unusually well bonded or are a subjectively recent installation. Try it by inserting a chisel, spatula, or other flat tools between the tile and the wall, parallel to the wall.

Tap the utility handle with a hammer until the tile separates from the wall. You may need to pry it in two or three places if it is firmly attached.

If the tile breaks rather than comes loose, try an air chisel.

Have an assistant with leather gloves grab the tiles as they break, before they fall.

The first tile is usually much harder than the rest. Take your time to touch the first one and then attack the exposed edge of the next tile. Be sure to use extreme caution near the edges because the tile will chip easily.

If you are only trying to replace 1-2 tiles because they are cracked, use tape or masking tape to stick the tiles you want to remove.

Then, hit the tiles with a chisel, starting in the middle and working your way out. When you have removed part of the tile, use your chisel to get behind the tile. After that, tap it sideways to remove the rest.

Step 8: Breaking the tile if required

If the tiles are placed directly in the mortar, you should probably stop storing them and break them into pieces. Start by using a hammer and chisel. Use those to make a hole in the center of the tile, chisel out the cracked pieces of tile, and be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles.

Eye guarding is primarily substantial for this procedure.

The porcelain tiles will break into incredibly sharp, glass-like extracts. If this happens, consider breaking them from the side with a hammer and chisel to reduce quotes.

You must make fair use of and be careful with the tile removing tool.

Step 9: Clean the area of any leftover setting material

Use a cold chisel to remove the setting material until the exposed wall area is thoroughly dressed. Maybe you won’t remove all of the adhesive and grout, but you need to be sure that a unique wall tile is flush with the surrounding wall tiles when installed.

In this procedure, the essential thing is to have all the tools to remove tile.

Step 10:  Get rid of the spacer lugs before attempting to lay a replacement tile.

These are metal elements that have the possibility of being left behind throughout the extraction. You can remove the spacer tabs by cutting them with scissors, breaking them with pliers, cutting them with a knife, or sanding them with sandpaper.

Some wall tile removal power tools can leave certain marks on your plaster, which is terrible.

How to Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard: FAQ

Can the tiles be removed from my drywall?

Removing the tiles from your drywall is very easy to do. However, it is something that requires a lot of patience. On multiple occasions, small additional minor repairs to the drywall after removal may be paramount.

How complicated is it to remove the tiles from the wall?

Removing the tile from the wall is different than removing the tile from the floor. The wall tiles are usually placed very close together, with grout lines very close together.

Simply put, more caution is required to remove a tile from the wall without damaging the surrounding tile.

Can I fix the tiles on my drywall?

Yes, you must apply an acrylic-based primer such as BAL Primer to the gypsum board. Do this with a brush or roller and let it dry before using any powder adhesive.

All board joints and inside corners must be reinforced with the correct alkaline joint tape before placing the tiles.


Removing tile mounted to gypsum board can be an easy or challenging task, depending on which tile adhesive was used and how it was applied. It belongs to the first considerations you will have to make before you want to remove the tiles.

It is essential to repair plaster walls after removing tiles to have a complete and clean job.

On the other hand, you should be aware that you will have to hold the windows open to accept proper ventilation while removing the gypsum frames’ ceramic tiles. Loose pieces of grout from developing grout suppression have a chance to become airborne. Besides, it is an acceptable initiative to wear a protective mask to avoid breathing the dust.

Since the tiles can break unexpectedly into small extrusions, wear goggles or other protective eyewear.

If you are not prepared for this work, it is necessary to call in an expert. Otherwise, you may lose time and money.

Read More: How to Cut Mosaic Tile

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