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Old 01-30-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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Trouble removing shower wall tiles

I'm replacing a shower pan, and the bottom few courses of wall tile. I read this article:,00.html

I like the article's idea about leaving a margin of the existing wallboard below the last course of tile being kept, but I'm having trouble removing the tile in the manner described--that is, without trashing the wallboard, often not only behind the particular tile being removed, but behind the tile above it, as well.

The tile seems to be bonded, apparently with mastic, so well to the wallboard that I can't get the tile off without destroying the wallboard. Is there a way to loosen or weaken the bond between tile and wallboard before I try to pry it off?

An alternative might be to cut away, as evenly as possible, an inch or so of the wallboard behind the last course of tile being kept, then coating the top inch of backerboard with mastic and sliding it up behind the tile when installing it. Might that work?



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Old 01-30-2009, 01:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by astroboy View Post
Might that work?

1) It's virtually impossible to remove tile from wallboard without damaging it.
2) Mastic should NEVER be used in a wet location.
3) Can't use wallboard or greenboard in a wet location.
4) The proper way to do it would be to tear it ALL out, add a tile backer, waterproof, tile and silicone seams.

If you're interested in doing the correct way, do a search here. MANY threads about tiling a shower.


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Old 01-30-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Angus, but I have to wonder... We've had shower pans replaced in our previous house, where they went up a couple of courses and retiled. Are you saying that can't be done, at least properly?

I'm fine with using cement backerboard and thinset, but I rather not have to tear out the whole shower if I don't have to.

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