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Old 01-31-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


Ok...so I'm a newbie to this forum but I expect to make this my 2nd home now (I'm a First-time home buyer & looking to put my credit back into the house). The first thing I'm doing is bathroom work, and I'll begin with removing wall tile around the bathtub.

Background: We live in a townhome (15 years old) and I'm not sure whether I'll find the backer board or typical drywall behind the ceramic tiles. The 1 adjoining wall to my nighbor involves 2 sheets of 3/8" drywall (Could be a drywall/backer board combo as well) on each side of the framed wall. I'm taking this into consideration because I'm looking to see what you would recommend as the best way to remove these tiles in order to be considerate for 1) Noise Disturbance, and also 2) Overall wall repair.

Am I better off removing each tile 1 by 1 using a hammer, chisel, flat bar, etc.?......OR

Are there easier/quicker ways to try & remove large parts of the drywall/backberboard & simply replace the existing drywall & backboard and "start with a fresh canvas"?

I'm trying to do a comparison of 1) Making medium-level noise for a long time by removing the tiles 1-by-1.......or 2) Making a lot of noice for a short period of time while I simply remove large pieces of the wall at a time.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 02-01-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


Glued on might come off easier if you warm/heat the tiles with a heat gun. Some glues are heat activated.
Thin set needs a hammer and scraper/bar/chisel.
Knife cut the outer edges so any paper tears don't travel as far as they want to go.

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Old 02-01-2010, 06:07 AM   #3
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


If it is drywall behind the tile, tear it all out and install backerboard before new tile. If it is backerboard, what he said. But if a good adhesive was used before, you may not have any choice, it may not come off. Getting down to a smooth surface could take way too long to make it worth the trip.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


I have a Fein multi-tool I bought years ago now for one specific project that it seemed especially well suited to accomplish, cringing at the price of the thing. I use it all the time now though and consider it one of the best tool investments I ever made (although feeding it blades and things is pricey but I am going to try the Harbour Freight replacements someone suggested).

It makes short and relatively quiet work of removing tile. Dremel, Rockwell and I think even Craftsman make similar tools for much less money. I have seen mixed reviews posted on this site.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


I've seen some of the multi-max tools out there like the "Fein", "Dremel", etc. When I get to work on the floor tiles in the bathrooms, I'll definitely be taking advantage of those tools. I'm wondering if that's a tool that would be beneficial for me to use when doing the walls too, or if it would just add on time to the project without making life much easier there. Thanks for the replies so far....definitely some things I'm going to consider as I plan this out.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #6
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


Also check with your neighbours, maybe their going away for a weekend.At least they'll appreciate the heads-up and tell you their preference.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #7
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Need Advice - Removing Bath Wall Tile


Absolutely....I already plan on telling them about the work I'm going to be doing because I think that'll go along way in at least giving them a heads-up. I think the bulk of the noise is strictly going to be during the "destuction" phase of the project, so I just want to see what works best for both us & them. If they're planning on not being there for the day, I'll obviously be able to make as much noise as I want, but I want to have a back-up plan just in case they'll be home, as I don't want to ruffle the feathers of the neighbor-to-neighbor relationship. Great idea though!

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