If you can afford one, (or borrow, or hire, or steal!) a Fein Multimaster is
a handy bit of kit for this type of job. If not you probably need a hammer
and chisel, but try prying them loose first with a thin blade. If you cant
pry them off or cut them off with a Multimaster and a suitable blade, you
will have a job and a half replastering, which is why so many pwople re tile
on top of old tiles!
Personally I find the easiest way is simply to give the first tile a 'clout'
with a hammer to crack it (if there's a tile already broken or fallen off,
then it's even better), remove the pieces and then slip something like a
painters scraper or a large, flat bladed screwdriver under the edge of the
remaining tiles and gently lever them away from the wall.
Not the quickest of methods, but it seems to cause minimum damage to the
wall and works for all but the awkward beggars that require a bit more
Well believe it or not, I started to remove the tiles in my bathroom. The
previous occupier had tiled on tiles using a 5 blob system. The original
tiles were fixed properly..
I used a tack lifter and removed practically all the tiles, both layers, in
Seeing as you're bound to have a few stubborn tiles that could break the
plasterboard, why not use a crowbar and remove all the plasterboard and tile
together. It makes the removal quick and plasterboard is cheap to replace,
plus you don't skim boards before tiling for this saves time and money too.
Worth considering at least. If you have plastered outside walls i.e. not
plasterboard consider overtiling these walls.
I personally use an old wallpaper scraper which I belt under the tile edges
with a mallet. The blade is flexible and thin enough to drive right under
the tile and break through the adhesive without doing much damage (esp. with
plasterboard where some of the surface coating of the board will tend to
come off with it).
In most cases the tile will come off with just the scraper hammered under,
but if not, I leave it in place to protect the plaster and drive in a cold
chisel between the scraper and tile.
The resulting surface doesn't look pretty, but is usually free from any
significant damage. I take a scraper to any high spots (e.g. where adhesive
is still stuck) and then slap on a coat of tiling primer (e.g. BAL
Prime-APD) to stabilise the surface for re-tiling.
As with anything like this though, use eye protection and suitable
clothing/footwear as pieces of tile can be as sharp as glass.
If you're doing a large area on plasterboard, the previous suggestion of
replacing the board is valid too as removing a lot of them does take time.
Thanks to all who replied with advice.The walls are plaster on to breeze
block and chunks of the adhesive and plaster did come off with some of the
tiles so I have deciced to call in the experts to repair and tile the walls.
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