Ceramic tiles adorn any wall. Whatever your color and decoration scheme, you’ll find a ceramic tile styled to suit it. They don’t stain easily, are hygienic, and resistant to fire. However, even though ceramic tiles are fire resistant, they could become permanently discolored by smoke residue. Cleaning smoke damage from walls doesn’t have to be hard work, but what if you can’t restore your once beautiful tiles to their original state?
In this article, you’ll learn how to remove ceramic wall tiles after a fire. Leaving a clean, smooth surface once the tiles have been removed is essential. This will help you when you come to replace the tiles, or use a different wall covering.
Be prepared before starting to remove ceramic tiles from your wall
Whenever you undertake any DIY project, it’s important to be prepared. This includes having the right tools and clothing to clean smoke damage from your home the easy way.
- You’ll need tools to remove grout. These include rotary and oscillating grinders. A heat gun will help loosen grout near seams – you can then remove this with a manual grout removal tool.
- To remove the tile, you may need to use either a putty knife or a chisel and hammer.
- Take precautions to protect floors, furniture and work surfaces: cover up with plastic sheets.
- When removing ceramic tiles, you could find that small shards break off. Wear a face mask to prevent breathing in any dust, and goggles to protect your eyes. Wear gloves, too.
Before beginning the job, ensure the workspace is well ventilated. Open the windows and doors. If a door leads to another room, keep closed or cover with a plastic sheet so any dust is contained.
Remove the grout
To remove the grout, press the blade of the oscillating tool gently against the grout joint. This tool will break down the grout, producing fine dust and powder.
Once you have removed all the grout, vacuum the area to remove dust. This will prevent accidental damage to other surfaces.
Remove the ceramic tiles
Now you can begin the process of taking the smoke-damaged tiles off the wall. The method of doing so will depend upon how they have been fixed to the wall:
- If the tiles have been set in mortar, you may need to break them using a hammer and chisel. Tap gently, breaking the tile off as you go with the chisel.
- If the tiles have been attached using a tile adhesive, lever off with a putty knife.
Preparing the wall after tiles have been removed
Not all tiles will come away from the wall equally cleanly. Some will leave hardly any residue, while others will leave behind some of the bonding agent used. If the bonding agent is mastic, scrape it off with the putty knife. If it is mortar, use the oscillating tool fixed with a carbide rasp to gently grind the mortar away.
If the wall is drywall, skim any damage with a drywall compound before painting.
When you are removing ceramic wall tiles, always work methodically. One tile at a time, row by row, column by column. Only when all tiles have been removed should you attempt to prepare the wall for its new covering, whether this is to be paint, wallpaper, or new tiles.
If you aren’t certain about how to remove ceramic tiles, or your fire damage is more extensive, contact Porter’s Cleaning. We’ll provide the professional restoration your home deserves.