Bathroom Panel Revomal - Adhesive

Hello...
I am looking for ideas/shorcuts and the best way to begin a project in my bathroom. Here is the problem. On the wall are bathroom simulated tiles that are actually like paneling(4'x8' but cut into 4'x4' sections). The panels only extend 4' up the wall on 2 sides. These panels are glued in place with construction adhesive that has been trowled on using a 1/4 gluing trowel. How can I remove these panels and the adhesive so I can install new ones? Can they just be pryed off and then the glue sanded flush to the wall? Are they hard to remove?
I'm not looking forward to doing this but the panels are old and look terrible. Any information appreciated.
Regards..............
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If the panels are well bonded to the wall, you'll have a nasty job. Sometimes it's easier to leave the old panels in place and bond a new surface. Other times it's easier to remove the old walls out to the framing and start over.
Depending on the adhesive used you may be able to:
1) pry the tiles off, however you may find that one layer of the tile stays behind or one layer of the substrate (the original wall) comes off with the tile.
2) dissolve the adhesive with an appropriate solvent. This is a messy, potentially dangerous (flamable solvent, air quality issues) process. You may get lucky and find that water is the solvent or that water weakens a layer on one of the surfaces.
3) physically abuse the adhesive and make it give up. Heat or cold may do the trick.
4) slowly pry the tiles off. Some adhesives don't like a steady pull. Try driving a wedge between the substrate and the tiles. Leave the wedge in place for a few days and see what happens. You may find that the panel pops off.
5) try combinations of above.
Try different techniques on a small area and decide what works for you.
If you hired a burly crew by the job, they would use brute force and attack with the largest pry bar or chisel they owned and would take out the tiles in large chunks. If large chunks of substrate came away, well, that's the way it goes -- the finish crew can patch things.
Ideally, you'd like to leave a level surface after the tiles are removed. You don't care too much what this surface is, as long as it provides a solid base for the next layer. If the panels separate cleanly from the adhesive, you can apply new adhesive over the old. (If these were overhead tiles, I would not recommend this technique because the bond over old adhesive is usually not as strong as it could be.)
Since this is a bathroom that may have been remodeled on one or more previous outings, you may find that the tiles are covering severely damaged areas. You may be faced with some areas that separate cleanly and others where there is no underlying wall or wall that is or had been waterlogged. The 4x4 sections of tile suggests that the previous construction was done quickly and inexpensively or that they needed to cover a problem.
----------------------------------------------------------- spam: snipped-for-privacy@ftc.gov wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15 13> (Barry Mann)[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox] -----------------------------------------------------------
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Thank you very much Barry for the great information. I am going to investigate the "leave the old panels in place and bond a new surface" you mention. My Carpal Tunnel is already having fits just thinking about getting into this project.
I appreciate your input.
On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 20:14:04 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@zzzz.zzz (Barry Mann) wrote:

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The glue most likely wont come off without the wall , take it off , hammer out the wall if it wont scrape off and mud or drywall. You may try a heat gun, I never have. Have fun
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Thanks for the reply m Ransley. Maybe I outta put this off til next year???
On Mon, 5 Jul 2004 19:48:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

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