Removing bathroom wall tile


I have one of those ceramic soap dishes that is mortared to the wall just like the tile, and the soap dish broke. I'd like to remove the broken one to replace it with a new one, but I'm afraid that when I remove the old one, it will take off the paper from the wallboard behind it, leaving a gypsum surface to try and attach the new one onto.
Is there any way I can safely remove the old soap dish without tearing off the paper underneath?
Thanks!
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BZ wrote:

Your tile may actually be over a cement board base which makes the problem moot. If it was done over wallboard, losing the paper layer would be a good thing IMO since the tile thinset will have a stronger bond to the gypsum. Either way you win, so go ahead and dig out the old dish and put in a new tile. Good luck.
Joe
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Set the new dish in big glob of Plaster of Paris.
Joe wrote:

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if your house is old the dish may be embedded in concrete or plasster of paris. iow, there could be some excavation to do.
had a tp dispenser to remove, my house was built in 1950, i have plaster walls over drywall backing (weird), and that sucker would not come off.
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Nothing weird about your walls. From the end of the war until plaster was discontinued, most walls were done with gypsum lath, which was a drywall type of material that came in sheets 3/8" thick x 16" x 48" and coated with a special paper that the plaster base would stick to. I work on my fathers house in 1967 and that method was used for plaster walls.
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