How to Remove Ceramic Tiles in 3 Easy Steps

As much as ceramic tiles are beautiful to have in any area in your HDB flat, they can also be expensive, and there can be many times in construction and renovation jobs that don’t always need new tiles when old ones can still be removed and set in place again at a different area.

With the right care, you can remove old tiles without damaging them and still use them for all kinds of projects at home. Here’s how you can remove and reuse ceramic tiles in seven easy steps:

            1. Observe proper safety

The first step you need in any work is to observe proper safety steps, such as wearing safety googles and a mask to keep debris from entering your eyes or to keep you from accidentally breathing it in.

            2. Chisel the grout

In order to remove tiles, you need to start chiseling the grout or caulk filling the gaps between them. You can do this by scraping with a sharp utility knife, or chipping slowly away with a putty knife and a hammer.

Alternatively, you can also remove the grout a lot more quickly using a dedicated grout remover tool that will allow you to remove the tiles in a specific section or area in your home that you want to remove.

            3. Pry the tiles

The first tile is arguably the hardest to pry off, and while many owners simply break this, you don’t have to follow suit.

Once all the tiles are free of any grout or caulk, tap the tiles lightly to see if they are loose before gently prying off with a putty knife. This can be a lengthy process because not only do you need to be careful to keep the tile from breaking, but mortar is also difficult to pry off.

Individuals vs. Sections

Tiles can be removed either individually or by sections, but this depends on the type of material. For instance, even though you’re not likely to remove entire sections successfully if the tiles are installed on top of wood, drywall is a much easier surface to work with.

You should also feel around the area first before you can remove tiles. If you encounter a loose tile, that’s the one you should focus on removing first.

Re-using Ceramic Tiles

Reclaimed ceramic tiles can be used for all kinds of locations just as you would a new tile, or even used for different projects.

Once the ceramic tiles have been fully removed from their surface, be sure to clean both sides using a wire brush in order to remove any remaining dust, debris, and grout while being careful not to chip or scratch the tile.

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