How To Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard

How To Remove Wall Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: March 3, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Whether you’re updating the design of your bathroom or simply replacing a single cracked tile, it’s critical not to damage the wall underneath. It is feasible to remove bathroom tiles without causing damage to your plaster walls, but it can be difficult, time-consuming, and irritating.

Because they provide a simple and clean surface, wall tiles are commonly used on walls and backsplashes. Because they come in various dimensions and colors, they can easily fit into any décor. On the other hand, Tiles show signs of wear and tear or cracking, necessitating the removal and replacement of old tiles.

However, removing tiles without damaging the plasterboard can be difficult and irritating. Following the correct steps simplifies the process and yields excellent outcomes.

Steps To Remove Tiles Without Damaging Plasterboard

A chisel can be used to remove wall tiles, depending on the type of grout. Removing tiles installed on the plasterboard can be simple or difficult, depending on the tile adhesive used. Also, how they used it.

Collect Needed Tools And Supplies

The needed tools to remove wall tiles without damaging plasterboard are following:

  • A chisel
  • Knife
  • Heat gun
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Sandpaper
  • Rotary grinder
  • Hammer

Safety Is the First Priority

When removing wall tiles or doing other work, keep safety in mind at all times. A pair of safety goggles, a sturdy set of work gloves and a dust mask are the most important safety items you’ll need.

The safety goggles will protect your eyes from any flying shards, while the gloves will shield your hands. The mask filters out any dust that floats in the air due to the removal process. Don’t worry if you don’t have these items; they’re readily available at most hardware stores in the area.

Cover Surrounding Area

Before removing the tiles, you might want to think about how you’ll protect the other region. Because there is a risk of causing damage to the environment during the process, as a result, drape a big sheet over the surrounding area, trapping the delicate surfaces.

Cover the sink and any other porcelain items as well. Tape over the drains as well, or you’ll have to tile around them.

Remove Tile Grout

While removing more grout can undoubtedly assist, most individuals choose to save time and simply remove it from the most important places. Removing grout between tiles saves some tiles that can be reused later.

To avoid injuring the other tiles surrounding it, remove the grout from all sides if you’re only removing one tile. However, before removing the complete tile wall, make sure to remove the grout and the ceiling and floor properly.

If your grout is very tough, you could want to remove it with an oscillating cutting tool. To avoid cutting into the wall, use caution when using any of these procedures. Continue removing grout until you reach the tile’s edge and slide a putty knife beneath it.

Use Heat Gun To Soften The Grout

Although wall grout is easy to remove, you can soften hard grout with a blow dryer or heat gun if necessary. Warm up the ground line for at least thirty seconds, especially if you’re only scraping away a small portion at a time.

Use A Knife To Scrape Off Grout

This procedure takes some time, but it poses little risk of causing damage to the nearby tiles. If you have one, put your knife in a sturdy holder and pass it around the tile or tiles, you want to remove frequently and carefully.

A regular grout saw will not work for wall tiles because of the lug spacers that connect adjacent tiles below the grout. Grout may be removed faster with a small rotary grinder than with a knife. If your hands slide, though, it is more likely to break tiles. Set your tool to the lowest setting and slowly work your way along the grout line.

If you have actual control on tools or tiles, don’t fracture when you nick them; consider increasing the rotor’s speed. To fit between the tiles, you can buy an extra-small head attachment.

Start Removing From A Loose Tile

Find any loose tiles before removing the complete wall tile. Taping the edges of the tiles with a chisel will help you locate loose tiles. It is feasible to remove wall tiles without causing them to become loose. However, see if you’re successful. Because the first tile is more difficult to remove than the others.

The loose tiles are frequently found on the surfaces where the grout has been removed. If you can find one, use a chisel to remove it.

Remove Tiles From Wall

To begin, parallelize the walls and tiles using a chisel or a knife. Tap the tool on the wall with a hammer to separate the tiles. You may need to peel it off in two or three places if it’s securely stuck. You can use an air chisel to loosen the tiles if they break instead of loosening.

While removing wall tiles, you may require some assistance. As soon as the tiles hit the ground, they break. You’ll need someone else to grab them for you. Because the first tile is more difficult to remove than the others, it will take longer.

After removing the first tile, hit the next tile on the exposed edge. However, be cautious towards the edges since the till can easily chip.

Clear Area From Debris And Spacers Lugs Before Installing New Tiles

Remove any leftover materials with a cold chisel until the exposed wall surface is fully prepared. These spacer lugs can be removed using scissors, knives, pliers, or sandpaper.

Some of your plaster removal power tools may leave marks on your plaster that are unsightly.


It is possible to remove wall tiles while safeguarding the plasterboard. However, it is time-consuming and annoying at times. To make your job a little easier, you’ll need to figure out what kind of glue was used and how it was applied. To have thorough and clean work, fixing a portion of your plaster wall after removing the tiles is vital.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.