Removing Wall Tiles for Kitchens, A How to Guide

Sometimes there will come a point when the design for your kitchen, as it currently stands, just doesn’t do anything for your anymore. Or maybe it’s more a case that some accident has damaged an individual tile that needs to be replaced. Fortunately removing your wall tiles for kitchens is really no more difficult than what you may have done to install them in the first place. About the only thing you need to be careful of is the mess, and ensuring you don’t damage the actual wall too much in the process.

Removing Wall Tiles for Kitchens

You will need:

  • Utility knife/rotor tool
  • Hammer and chisel
  • Sandpaper
  • (Optional) Butter knife/screw driver/tile tool
  • Gloves and safety goggles

Step 1 - Preparation

First and foremost, before you actually remove any wall tiles for kitchens, you need to make sure the kitchen itself is protected. As you work, a lot of dust and debris will get everywhere, which will create mess. Bits of tile and plaster may also get into electronic appliances, which will cause damage if not checked.

Start by taking out any small appliances that you can, such as microwaves, blenders or liquidisers. Essentially any item that can be unplugged and placed elsewhere should be removed. Large objects, such as cookers or dishwashers, usually are better protected and should safe enough. If in doubt, just cover them with a dust sheet. Make sure any power outlets are switched off, and that gas cookers are not connected to the mains. This will prevent any accidents as your remove the tiles.

Step 2 - Removing Grout

Once everything in the kitchen has been protected or removed, you can start by removing the tiles themselves. The grout needs to be removed first of all. You can do this in one of two ways.

You can take a utility knife or something similar, and gently scrape away the grout from in between the tiles. This should be done as deep as possible before you hit the wall. The utility knife process is very slow and probably rather tedious, however it does reduce the chances of damaging the surrounding tiles. It also fits in between most tiles seamlessly. If you think this too slow, however, you can instead use a rotor tool. Use the smallest head and a slow speed setting, and gently grind away the grout instead. Be careful not to damage neighbouring tiles, or they’ll need to be removed as well, increasing your workload.

Step 3 - Pry Away the Tiles

If the tiles in question are particularly old, this can actually be surprisingly easy. Use a butter knife, a screw driver, a trowel or anything else flat and strong, and ease it behind the tile, carefully using a hammer if needs be. As adhesive ages, it gets weaker, so for old wall tiles for kitchens, the tile should come away with little effort. Ideally you should try to remove tiles whole. Wall tiles that are broken into fragments are generally more difficult to remove, and will increase the amount of time it needs to take to remove the tiles.

If the tiles are more stubborn than that, however, you will need to break apart the tile with a hammer and chisel. Mark a point in the direct centre of the tile, place your chisel over it and give one, sharp tap. Chip away from the cracked pieces, being careful not to damage the other wall tiles. Remove any other material in this manner as well.

Step 4 - Smoothen the Wall

Using your sand paper, or anything suitable, sand away any remaining adhesive or fragments that are still on the wall’s surface. Before a new tile can be placed down, you need to make sure the wall is as smooth as possible. If by accident you’ve gouged a piece of wall away, then fill this in with plaster.

Not all pieces can be removed, but you should still be able to reduce them enough that a new tile will not be too displaced by its presence. Ideally wall tiles for kitchens should all be fairly level.

For more information about wall tiles for kitchens, visit the website of Crown Tiles, a British-based tile warehouse store. You can also contact them directly by phoning 0800 156 0756.

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