How to remove wall tile adhesive

This article is about how to remove wall tile adhesive. Generally speaking, a diy-er should know how to remove wall tile adhesive, as there are cases in which one might want to remodel the kitchen or the bathroom. Consequently, try to read our article and pay attention to our tips. Nevertheless, there are several types of tile adhesives, therefore the removal process is different according to the glue. If the tile adhesive is cement-based, the process will be fairly complex, as this type of adhesive is very strong and you have to put a lot of effort to get it off the wall. Look trough the instructions, if you want to learn many tips on how to get the job done quickly and in a professional manner.

There are also adhesives based on mastic, designed to stick to the wall. Removing the wall adhesive won’t be easy, so you have to arm yourself with patience and attention. Use the right tools and evaluate the situation before starting the actual project. If the adhesive is not cement-based, you could try sprinkling water to the wall, to ease the scrapping process. Wait several minutes and use a large scrapper to remove the mastic.

Irrespective of the adhesive formula, you have to cover the floor with old cloths, as to protect it from the residues which will fall off the wall. In the most cases, you will remove not only the adhesive from the wall, but also small fragments of its surface. It might not sound appealing, but remodeling your bathroom or kitchen comes at its price, so you have to be prepared for these complications. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our step by step tile projects HERE.


Made from this plan



In order to remove wall tile adhesive, you need the following:


  • Water



  • Safety gloves, Eye protection
  • Chisel, Hammer
  • Heavy duty 4” scraper



  • Remove the tile adhesive according to the mix formula



  • 15-20 minutes for 3 square feet / 1 square meter





How to remove wall tile adhesive

Chisel and hammer to remove tiles

Chisel Chisel and hammer to remove tiles


In this image you can see several tools that are handy in the process of removing the wall tile adhesive. Therefore, you need a hammer to tap the top of a chisel and a 4” wide heavy duty scraper. You need a good chisel with two ends: one very wide as to scrape off the adhesive from the old wall and the other end narrow as to remove areas with strong adhesive.

Smart tip: Cover the floor with old cloths or rugs, in order to protect it from the residues. Wear eye protection while removing the adhesive.


Removing old tile adhesive

Removing old tile adhesive


When removing old tile adhesive, you have to start with the top of the wall and move downward. This aspect is essential, otherwise the project will require a greater amount of time to get it done.

At first, you should tap gently the chisel (or the wide 4” heavy duty scraper) with the hammer as to get accustomed with the technique, otherwise you risk damaging the wall surface, as you will remove more materials than necessary. Don’t expect to get an even surface from the first time, as the process takes time and patience.


Removing tile adhesive from wall

Removing tile adhesive from wall


After you get accustomed with the techniques, you can increase the pace. You should remember that the process must be incrementally, or in other word you should carry on the job step by step. There is no need to hurry, otherwise you risk damaging the wall surface.

Smart tip: In some cases, if the walls are made of bricks or concrete, it might pay off to water the adhesive thoroughly. In this case, the wall tile adhesive might melt and become much more easy to remove.


Removing wall tile adhesive

Removing wall tile adhesive


Even if in our case we speak of a small surface, these techniques and tips work as well when dealing with larger areas. The critical aspect is to scrape the adhesive off the wall surface as much as possible, by using a wide chisel and a hammer. By working with patience and with great care, you will remove the largest amount of the wall tile adhesive.

Smart tip: If you damage the wall significantly, you have to repair it before installing the new tile. Therefore, it is better to work with patience as to avoid extra-costs and wasted time.


Wall after adhesive removal

Wall after adhesive removal


After we have removed the wall tile adhesive, we have cleaned the floor from residues and dust, by using a broom and a vacuum cleaner. Nevertheless, if the wall is damaged, you have to repair the surface by filling the holes with thinset, as to make the wall perfectly even.

Smart tip: If you want to tile the surface, use a level to check if the walls are plumb, otherwise you should redo the process of removing the tile adhesive until you reach the desired result.



Thank you for reading our step by step article on how to remove wall tile adhesive and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Please SHARE our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets. LIKE us to be the first that gets our latest projects and to help us create more free guides.

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