Cleaning Ceramic tile for reuse

First..let me thank everyone who responded to my earlier post about matching the existing tile. Nothing has been found so I will have to come up with a pattern in a contrasting style/color.
While taking the old tile up about 12 tiles were broken and need replacement. To do this I had to take up about 27 tiles. This means that about 15 tiles can be reused. These old tiles have grout on the edges and mastic on the bottom side. The mastic appears to be some sort of clear or light colored plastic.
To the maximum extent possible I intend to reuse the 15 existing tile. What is the easiest way to remove the old grout and mastic without damaging the reused tile?
Thanks,
EJ in NJ
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solvent for the mastic(paint stripper?),and a grinding wheel for the grout.
although there may be some chemical or solution that would break loose the grout,without damaging the tile's glaze.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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You might spend more time screwing with a few tiles than redoing the whole bath maybe, and it may fail, so try different ideas, solvents like laquer thinner might remove glue, acids might remove or loosen grouts, but ruin the tile basing.
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On Sat, 07 Mar 2009 18:31:57 -0500, Ernie Willson

Were good gloves. You can end up with six stitches on one finger. If that happens use white cotton and duct tape. Finish the day out and visit the local med center.
Salvage tile and you can get cut... just sayin'
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I just did the same thing to repair some greenwall on a shower wall. The backs of the tile had tile adhesive (brownish) rather than thinset, along with some of the paper from the greenwall. There were bits of grout on the edges of the tile. I soaked the tiles for a day or so, but this didn't loosen the mastic, though the paper did come off easily, but this didn't do much good. I was able to get the mastic off two ways: 1) scraping with a 5 in 1 or putty knife while the tile was on a hard surface with a cloth protecting the glaze. Took some time, but was successful. 2) used a grinder with a diamond blade on it. It caused dust, but I was outside. You could also use a grinder wheel.
For the grout, using a narrow putty knife from the back edge worked for most of it. Put the knife on the "lip" of the grout and a sharp blow with the heel of my hand. Also was able to force bits of it off with just my hand. Backup method was the diamond blade on the grinder, but this runs the risk of damaging the edge of the tile, the bumps on the edge or the glaze.
Took about an hour total, including clean up, for 27 tiles.
If the adhesive is thinset, then soaking the tiles for several days helps. I ran mine through the diswasher, and cleaned up the bits that were on the drain screen.
--
charles

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On Mar 8, 7:42pm, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:

Tile can take a lot of heat. I have cleaned them up with a torch. The heat will cause grout and thinset to break down and burn mastic off without hurting the tile.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote:

Jimmie...It sounded like a good idea, however, when I heated a test tile up to the point that the mastic was starting to burn the tile cracked. I guess it depends on the tile in question.
EJ in NJ
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replying to Ernie Willson, Julie Artchamber wrote:

As an art teacher with much experience firing ceramics, one should always heat and cool tiles (clay) slowly. The ceramic firing process takes long hours because of the stress the clay endures and heating and cooling the clay must be done gradually. Also, tiles come in a variety of clays, from terra cotta which is more porous and fragile, to porcelain and stoneware which are fired at much higher temperatures. These are not nearly as porous, or fragile.
In another related problem, I found a solution to removing caulk residue from ceramic tile (after scraping most of the caulk with razor blade). using Goo-Gone or WD-40 seemed to be the most effective products. I tried several suggested chemicals, like acetone, alcohol, paint thinner without success. I can't deal with odors very well and found the Goo Gone to be least "fragrant" and most effective while scrubbing with a plastic scrubbie.
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On Sun, 08 Mar 2009 16:42:36 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:

I have bongo lessons soon.
Can you explain to me why you might use a dishwasher?
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