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How To Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard? [4 Steps To Follow]

Thinking of removing the wall tiles but don’t want the plasterboard to be damaged as well? Now that can be annoying but no worries! We’ve got you covered.

How to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard?

To remove tiles from the wall, remove the grouts by heating them and sweeping them. After that, use a chisel to take out the wall tiles. You need to go through 4 simple steps for removing the wall tiles without any harm.

Now, this might not be enough to clear up your confusion. Let’s take a look at the instructions we have provided for you!

Continue reading for the details!

How to Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard?

Wall tiles are mostly used on bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes. As they present a simple and clean area. However, there are times when you can find cracks or other signs of damage. Due to that reason, it needs replacement.

To replace them you’ll have to remove the tiles first. Removing floor tiles is easy but wall tiles are spaced closely. Therefore removing them is quite difficult and time-consuming.

Required Tools

Before you start removing the wall tiles, gather the tools you need. Here are the tools you’d require-

  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Glasses
  • Heat gun
  • Rotary grinder
  • Sandpaper
  • Large Sheet
  • Bucket

Got the tools? Now let’s get to work!

Step 1: Cover The Area

You may have to consider protecting the other area before removing the tiles. Because during the process there are chances of damaging the surrounding.

Thus, cover the surrounding place with a large sheet, trapping the fragile surfaces. Also, cover the sink or any other types of porcelain stuff. Tape over the drains too or else you might have to tile around the drain.

You also have to protect yourself. To do that, make sure you are wearing gloves, a dust mask, and safety glasses. 

Step 2: Remove The Grout

In order to remove tiles, you have to remove the grouts first. But you have to decide where to remove the grout. You can reuse the tiles you’ve removed later.

Take out the grout around all sides for removing one tile only. But if you want to remove the entire tiles,  pull the grouts out from the ceiling and floors.

Heat The Grout

Heat the grout with a heat gun for 30 seconds for it to get soft. You may have to try once more if you’re managing to scrape away a small portion.

Sweep The Grout

Sweeping the grout takes a bit of time. It also has a little bit of risk of damaging other tiles. For this, you’ll need a knife. So sweep the knife intensely and repetitively around the tiles. 

Ordinary grout saws might come in handy as well. 

Use Rotary Grinder

Unlike a knife, a rotary grinder removes grouts faster. If your hands slip, the tiles will get broken easily. 

To help you, we tried mentioning some good-quality Rotary Grinder:

Product 1
Product 2

Set the grinder on its lowest setting and move it slowly. You can increase the rotor’s speed once you have control over the tool and the tiles. Rather than that, don’t! You might crack when you nick them.

If grouts from other places get damaged, then you might have to fix that. caulking over the grout would do the work for you.

There are extra small-head attachment parts available for the grinder. You may consider buying them for fitting them between the tiles easily. 

Step 3: Locate Loose Tiles

To remove entire wall tiles, locate if there are any loose tiles. For locating loose tiles, you’ll have to tap the edges of the tiles with a chisel. 

It’s possible to remove wall tiles without loose ones. But check if you get lucky with it or not. Because removing the first tile is harder than any other tile.

The loose tiles are usually located on the surfaces where you have removed the grouts. If you’re able to locate one, remove it with a chisel.

Step 4: Remove Tiles from The Wall

The most efficient way of removing tiles from the wall is using a chisel. Also, the plasterboards do not get damaged as well. 

First, insert a chisel or a knife between the walls and tiles parallelly. Separate the tiles from the wall by tapping the tool with a hammer. If it’s firmly attached, you might have to peel it off in two or three locations. 

The tiles might get broken instead of getting loose, so you can try an air chisel. 

You might need someone for assistance while removing wall tiles. The tiles get broken right after falling down. You need the other person to grab them.

After all, you can always reuse those tiles after removing them. Not to mention, you can also shape them by cutting the tiles even if it’s a ceramic one. Also after taking out the tiles you can renovate with different types of tiles too.

As the first tile is harder to remove than other tiles, it’ll take more time too. Once the first tile is removed, hit the next tile on the exposed edge. But be cautious near the edges because the till can chip easily. 

When you are removing one or two tiles, use masking tape to stick it to the tiles.

After removing a portion of the tile, get behind it with your chisel and tip it sideways to remove the rest.

Alternative Step: Break The Tiles

If the tiles are set right to the mortar, you might have to break the tiles. You’ll have to sacrifice your idea of saving some of your tiles. Use the chisel and hammer for making the hole in the middle of the tiles.

Chisel out the rest cracked parts of the tile. But make sure, you don’t damage the tiles around.

And be careful with your eyes.

Clear Remaining Materials on The Surface

Until the surface of the wall is exposed, use a cold chisel to clear the remaining materials. 

Removing all the grouts might not be possible but it’s okay as long it seems clear. But if you’re installing a specific wall tile, it has to be flat with the rest.

After attaching a new tile to the wall, you may find gaps between them. Then, you will have to fill the gap between wall and tile.

That was all regarding how to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard. We hope this was helpful!


Question: Is it possible to tile over damaged drywall?

Answer: if you’re using a mortar-based mastic then no! Because, The mastic must dry in a controlled, somewhat slow manner for proper adherence. 

Question: Is it possible to tile on old plasterboard?

Answer: It may technically work, but if it is proven unsuitable, it is advisable to remove it and replace it with new plasterboard.

Question: Is it important to Replaster after removing tiles?

Answer: Yes. Even if the tiles come off easily, the surface you’re left with will be unsuitable for painting. It’s unusual for tiles and adhesive to come off and leave a nice, clean surface that only needs a little prep work.

Final Words

These were all the steps of how to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard.

Following these methods, your plasterboards will not be damaged. After removing the wall tiles, you can retile it also on your own. 

See you later!