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Old 04-12-2011, 08:01 AM   #1
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Removing mortar from old tiles

How to remove mortar/thinset from old historic tiles?

I have reved tiles from a 100 yr old fireplace. The tiles and brick work were crumblinf behind and had to be rebuilt for structural concerns. The tiles are adhered with mortar/thinset. The mortar does not chip off the tile. When I have tried to chip it off, I have broken 70 percent of them. I stopped trying after three. I soaked a chunk of tile in muratic acid and the tiles peeled off. However, the muratic acid dulled the surface of the tile. I dillluted the muratic acid to 2/3 water, and they came off with a little more work. I plan on submerging the mortar portion in full muratic acid, while leaving the tile just above the muratic acid. Does anyone have any other sugestions on how to remove the mortar? The tiles are from a 100 yr old house and I would like to retain the historic look.

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Old 04-18-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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You can grind the mortar off the backs. It's a little dusty, but if you set up a little frame jig to keep them stable, there shouldn't be any breakage or frontal damage.
Keeping a vacuum close by will eliminate most of the dust
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