How to reuse wall tiles

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Sometimes, a situation arises where there is a need to reuse ceramic tiles, or any tiles for that matter. We’ve just had such a situation and felt it would be helpful to explain the reasons behind this, and what to do when you need to keep your existing bathroom tiles and reuse what is currently there.

Why would you reuse ceramic tiles?

Quite often the need to reuse ceramic tiles comes about when you’re undertaking minor works or adjustments in your bathroom or kitchen and its either not possible to get a good enough match to what you have, or you’re just needing to change or reuse one tile.

Our need to reuse ceramic tiles arose when we were replacing a shower tray and cubicle for one of our customers. Unfortunately over the years manufactures change things and on this occasion, as is often the case, it meant that the original tiles were no longer available as as such we had to try and reuse the tiles that were removed to keep the bathroom looking great.

Upon removing the shower cubicle, it became apparent that the old tiles had parted company with the wall behind and the adhesive was no longer attaching the tile to the wall. The customer wasn’t in a position to completely fully tile the bathroom again, so we went with the option to keep the existing bathroom tiles.

Where to start when you reuse ceramic tiles

How to reuse wall tiles

In order to reuse ceramic tiles, you will need the following:

  • Large buckets for water
  • Stanley Knife
  • Wallpaper Scraper
  • Storage For The Tiles Overnight
  • Plenty Of Time

The first thing is to very carefully remove the existing tiles from the wall. Remember, the tiles are not attached to the wall still and the ‘shelling peas’ effect comes into force. This means that once you start removing one, the rest of the tiles come off the wall to and this can be really dangerous.

The best method we have found is to carefully cut the grout lines with a Stanley knife, or if needs be, you can use a specialist grout grinding disc in a grinder to multi-tool.

Most of the time, a Stanley knife is appropriate for the job.

By cutting the grout between the tiles, it enables you to carefully remove one tile at a time, and helps stem the ‘shelling peas’ effect where taking off one tile, leads to another and so on.

Once you’ve removed the tiles, you need to soak them in a large bucket to soften the adhesive.

When you reuse ceramic tiles, they need to be as clean as possible to enable you to re-fit them to the wall afterwards. By soaking the existing tiles in a large bucket full of water, the water reacts with the adhesive and after approximately 24 hours you are able to easily scrape the adhesive from the back of the tiles. A suitable tool for removing adhesive off ceramic tiles is a wallpaper scraper or similar.

Unfortunately, because the grout is water resistant, it’s not possible to soak this off and this will need removing carefully after soaking the tiles. The grout can be removed by using either a sharp scraper, such as a wall paper scraper, or again using a Stanley knife.

Once all the adhesive and grout has been scraped off the old tiles, you are then able to reuse ceramic tiles to retile your wall as needed.

How much Money can be saved when you reuse ceramic tiles?

How to reuse wall tiles

If you decide to reuse ceramic tiles, whilst there is a ‘cost’ saving to be had, in our opinion it’s more beneficial to the aesthetic appearance of the bathroom.

If you had to buy new tiles, they would cost anything from around £15 per metre upwards. In all fairness to quantify the labour time taken in soaking the tiles overnight and cleaning them up would probably work out considerably more expensive. As a general rule of thumb, most tilers would charge approximately £25 per metre to fix the tiles to the wall.

Reusing tiles in a standard bathroom with approximately 10m of tiles, would save you £400

The aesthetic gain of having all the tiles in your bathroom match each other far out ways any cost implication, especially if you are unable to find even a close match to the existing tiles.

Would we suggest you reuse ceramic tiles and keep your existing bathroom tiles?

In our opinion, the choice to reuse ceramic tiles is more suited to the DIYER that has a lots of time in their hands. The work of slowly removing the tiles and cleaning them is laborious and you certainly don’t want to be paying a tradesman for this. You can take your time cleaning the tiles and ensure they’re all suitably cleaned for refitting. As this situation shows, we have done this under exceptional circumstances but it’s not something we would suggest is suitable for everyone.

If you were left with extra tiles in the wake of a remodel, don’t miss our favorite ways to reuse all those spare squares.

By Sarah Littleton | Updated Oct 23, 2020 10:32 AM

How to reuse wall tiles How to reuse wall tiles How to reuse wall tiles How to reuse wall tiles

Whenever you’re assembling materials for a tiling project, it’s recommended that you purchase a little extra—about 10% more than strictly necessary for the job. That’s why, at the conclusion of a remodel, even fastidious do-it-yourselfers may end up with lots of leftovers. Rather than relegate the surplus to a corner of your basement or garage, why not put the tile to work in your next DIY project? Scroll down to see five creative ways of repurposing tile in and around your home.

How to reuse wall tiles

1. Create Coasters

You may be a diligent steward of your furniture, with a pledged commitment to the use of coasters. Still, your home’s wood surfaces won’t be safe from damage until every household member follows your lead. To make responsibility more fun, encourage the family to photo-personalize a set of tile coasters. Here’s how.

How to reuse wall tiles

2. Customize Your Kitchen

Here’s a high-impact way to dress up a rental kitchen. Whereas a backsplash normally installs directly to the wall, you can, as a non-permanent solution, adhere your choice of tiles to a panel of medium-density fiberboard. Wall-mount the panel, not the tile, and when it’s time to move out, simple remove your handiwork.

How to reuse wall tiles

3. Build a Birdhouse

Welcome birds to your backyard with an all-season feeder. Though porcelain or ceramic tiles could be used theoretically, the example here boasts a quartet of linoleum tiles. Having been decoratively painted, the tiles were set into the metal frame of a salvaged lantern. For the step-by-step details, visit Instructables.

How to reuse wall tiles

4. Address Your Visitors

When announcing your home to visitors, ensure the street number remains legible even after nightfall. Glow-in-the-dark paint provides an easy way to do so. In this project, the tiles are held securely, but are not fixed in place, by two rabbeted boards. Move the rightmost tile, and you find a clever cut-out for a spare key!

How to reuse wall tiles

5. Make a Mosaic

Looking to blow off a little steam? Haul out your leftover tiles! After donning safety goggles, go ahead and hammer the tiles into pieces of irregular size and shape. Now you’ve got plenty of material with which to design mosaics for tabletops, counters, or garden path stepping stones—get instructions for the latter right here.

How to reuse wall tiles

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How to reuse wall tiles

A reader says: “My bathroom that I am renovating has 30-year-old gold speckled 4×4 wall tiles, for which I cannot find matching replacements. I want to keep the wall tile (which is in good condition) and just update it with the addition of some glass mosaics strips. I hope to salvage and reuse the bullnose after the glass is installed.

“Here’s my question: is there a product I can use to remove the old adhesive, or is it just a question of lots of scraping? Any tips on removing and/or reusing the tile?”

Is It Really Worth Recycling and Reusing Ceramic Tile?

As you might expect, reusing ceramic tile is almost fruitless. A book that I highly value, Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses, by Bob Falk and Brad Guy, even says that it is not worth the effort unless the tile is one-of-a-kind or historic. And this is coming from a book that talks about salvaging timbers, acoustical tiles, and roofing materials.

The reason is because tile is usually adhered either with thinset mortar or some type of epoxy (most likely the former). The mortar almost becomes part of the tile. Even if you can remove the tile, the bottom is highly uneven and unsuitable for reuse.

How to Remove and Reuse Ceramic Tile

If want to try to salvage bullnose, it offers better opportunities for reuse because it is thicker and less prone to breakage. While there is no solvent to loosen the mortar or epoxy, some concerted prying with thin tools like putty knives or chisels may pull the bullnose away without too much damage.

How to reuse wall tiles

There is no denying that tiles are a wonderful addition to the home. They can really make a bathroom or kitchen spring to life by transforming floors, walls and shower stalls.

But what happens to your tiles when you feel like redecorating? You could throw them away or you could consider recycling and reusing them.

Upgrading your tiles

The fact you might have tiles you are considering recycling is likely due to a little home improvement. Let’s face it; home decor can feel a little stale after a while and freshening the place up is often in order. Even if you once loved your decor, looking at the same walls for too long can make you start itching to change things around.

The beauty of using a material like tiles to decorate your home is that you have the freedom to chop and change things around as often as you like. Our natural stone tiles come in a variety of styles, including wood effect, and are perfect for renovating your bathroom, kitchen or shower. Once you have remodelled your home, you could have some tiles left behind that you might want to recycle.

Here are some ideas about what to do with your old tiles.

Repurposing tiles is fun

Giving your old tiles away to someone who needs them is a great way to ensure there is less waste in the world. However, we think repurposing tiles and giving them a new lease of life by transforming them is a fun and rewarding activity.

You can unleash your inner artist with these creative uses for old tiles:

  • Tile coasters and placemats
  • Tile tabletop
  • Decorative tile tray
  • Planter

You might enjoy repurposing tiles so much that you just enjoy buying them and finding alternative uses for them.

We have a fine collection of ceramic wall tiles that look great in any part of the home they are placed. They are perfect for any home improvement project, or some arts and crafts time too.

Our marble flooring tiles are perfect for elegant flooring but are also ideal for home improvement projects as they are large enough to act as a tabletop or tray surface on their own.

Recycling tiles at the local recycling centre

If you have been through a redecoration project in the past you might have realised how difficult it is to recycle old tiles. Many recycling and refuse plants don’t specifically take tiles and they tend to get thrown into the rubble collection point. Once your old tiles are thrown in with the rest of the rubble, there’s not much hope of fishing them out.

Old tiles will get thrown in with other building rubble and either crushed and turned into concrete or possibly sold as materials for building roads. However, there are things you can do yourself to recycle and reuse some of your old tiles to save them from destruction.

Give tiles a new home

Your tiles have served you well but it’s time to move on to something bigger and better. Maybe you think your tiles deserve better than to be smashed up and repurposed as building materials. One way to give ceramic tiles a new lease of life is to offer them out to friends and family.

Perhaps you know someone who has just moved house or has a project that they could use some porcelain tiles. Porcelain tiles are hardwearing, versatile and look great, so they are perfect for donating to others once you have finished with them. You can also check local community notice boards for any people or charities looking for tiles.

Social media has plenty of positives and negatives but one of its great benefits is putting people in touch with each other. You could always post to a local social media community page or marketplace to see if anyone is keen to take them off your hands. This way, you know that your old tiles will be of use to someone again.

How to remove tiles without breaking them

Getting tiles off the wall or floor without breaking them is going to be the biggest challenge to ensuring they can be reused. Naturally, once a tile has been put in place it is designed to stay there. That can make removing them pretty tricky but there are ways to work them out of their place and keep them intact.

The first thing you need to do is to wear away the grout, which may require tools like a grout saw or utility knife. Power tools will get the job done faster but not everyone has them and feels confident using them.

Once the grout is removed it’s time to pop the tile out. This can be easy or difficult depending on how stuck they are underneath. Try easing a chisel below the tile and start tapping gently with a hammer to see if it is going to come loose.

If it’s looking like it won’t budge then switch to something more flexible, like a putty knife. Slide the putty knife under the tile and begin working away at the adhesive until the tile comes away.

Once you have managed to get the first tile off without breaking it, the rest should come off quite easily. You could always sacrifice one tile to preserve the rest if this job becomes too fiddly.

What to do with broken tiles?

It’s still possible to reuse broken tiles but your options are more limited. Broken tiles are great for mosaic making, and it’s even something you could do with the kids on a rainy day. However, make sure everyone is wearing protective gloves and safety glasses as those shards will be sharp.

With broken tiles you could make the following:

  • Mosaic plant pots
  • Mosaic tile magnets
  • Tiled bookcase
  • Mosaic bathroom mirror surround
  • Mosaic garden path

Buying Natural Stone Tiles

If you would rather buy tiles than find new uses for them, we can help you out. Our natural stone tiles come in a wide range of options to perfectly fit into your home. Versatile options like slate tiles can be cut to any size and are perfect for traditional and contemporary homes.

We also offer a tile repair and replacement service, so you don’t have to struggle with removing them yourself. For tiles that last a long time, get in touch for a no-obligation quote.


Can tiles be removed and reused?

As you might expect, reusing ceramic tile is almost fruitless. The reason is because tile is usually adhered either with thinset mortar or some type of epoxy (most likely the former). The mortar almost becomes part of the tile. Even if you can remove the tile, the bottom is highly uneven and unsuitable for reuse.

Is it bad to tile over tile?

So, in short, you can tile over tile as long as you’re working on a fairly sound surface. The surface of the existing tile should be free of mold and mildew, completely level (including grout), and without any warping or strangely-placed tiles that might otherwise interfere with a smooth new layer.

Can tile be salvaged?

All tile on concrete or fiberboard has to be pried loose, while drywall installations can simply be cut loose. You can salvage nearly 100 percent of the tile as long as you pay attention to detail. It’s also important not to rush the removal process.

How can I replace tiles without removing them?

Options to Update Floor Tile Without Removing Them

  1. Installing a Vinyl Top.
  2. Clean the Grout Between the Tiles.
  3. Use a Tile Cleaner or Surface Cleaner.
  4. Use a Rug to Cover Old Tiles.
  5. Update Floor Tile Without Replacing Them by Resurfacing.

How can I replace flooring without removing tiles?

6 ways to upgrade your flooring without removing tiles

  1. Use Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl flooring is available in the form of luxury vinyl flooring and traditional vinyl flooring.
  2. Roll out Rugs and Carpets.
  3. Install Laminated Wooden Flooring.
  4. Opt for an Epoxy coating.
  5. Choose Artificial Grass.
  6. Just Clean the Tiles.

Does vinegar dissolve concrete?

Vinegar does not dissolve concrete itself but can degrade the cement that binds concrete together. As a weak, dilute acid, vinegar will cause only minor damage to concrete but can take the shine off polished surfaces. It can, however, be used to remove small amounts of cement from tools.

What removes cement from tiles home remedies?

Try mopping your tile floor using this DIY cleaning recipe: ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap, ¼ cup baking soda, and 2 gallons of very warm water. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a fresh scent! Combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water, and then add ½ tsp.

Does wetting Thinset make it easier to remove?

Pour 0.39 gallons (1.5 L) of boiling water gently over the thinset. Within 40 to 60 minutes of water application, you should notice cracks starting to appear in your thinset. This decreases its integrity and makes it much easier to remove using a putty knife.

What is the best adhesive for tiling over tiles?

Our preferred adhesive for tiling over tiles is Everbuild’s Super Plus Non Slip Tile Adhesive.

Is it cheaper to tile over tile?

Tiling over tile is usually a much easier and cheaper solution than pulling up your original tiles and re- tiling your floor or wall. One advantage of doing this is that it is time-saving.

Can you install ceramic tile over existing tile?

If your old ceramic tile is worn or dated, you can lay new tile right over the old, and avoid the huge job of tearing out the old tile. But this assumes that the floor underneath is solid (concrete) and that there are no cracks in the existing tile (indicating underlying problems in the concrete).

How do you remove old tiles?

How to remove tile

  1. Break up the first tile with a hammer. Hit the tile in the center with a hammer.
  2. Use the chisel to chip out the rest of the tile.
  3. Break up multiple tiles at a time and remove with floor scraper.
  4. Remove the mortar from the underlayment by hammering.

How do you dissolve tile adhesive?

How to remove adhesive from tiles

  1. Fill up a container with hot water.
  2. Soak the tiles. Let them soak for at least an hour, or overnight.
  3. Take out the tiles and scrape off the mortar. Once soaked, take them out and scrape the adhesive off carefully.
  4. Wipe any residue off.
  5. Let the tiles dry out.

How to reuse wall tiles

Related Articles

  • How to Clean Polished Porcelain Tile
  • DIY Tiled Tables
  • How to Protect Clay Tiles With Oil
  • How to Remove Saltillo Tile Whitewash
  • How to Make a Ceramic Tile Flowerpot

When it comes to remodeling ceramic tile and natural stone projects, you have a choice as to whether you’ll salvage the material or simply throw it away. Because most tiles are installed over a bed of thinset mortar, which is cement-based, when you remove them from an old installation there will always be mortar attached to the backs. There are several ways to remove this mortar from the tiles, depending on how much mortar is in place and what type of tiles you’re attempting to clean.

Don your protective gear and fill your container with at least 5 gallons of water. Add 1 cup of muriatic acid to the container and stir it. Place as many tiles as you can into the container until they’re all submerged. Allow the tiles to sit in the solution for at least five minutes.

Remove a piece of tile from the solution. Scrub the mortar with a scrub brush to remove the residue the acid has loosened. Rinse the piece of tile with clean water and allow the piece to dry for at least 24 hours before using it. Repeat the process if necessary.

Apply muriatic acid directly to the back of a piece of tile if the mortar is particularly thick, such as more than 1/8 inch. Use a paint brush and coat the mortar with pure acid. As it loosens the concrete, use your scrub brush with water to gently scrub and remove the excess. Apply more as needed.

Things You Will Need

Plastic container, such as a baby bath or other soaking tub

Muriatic acid is commonly sold at home improvement stores. It can be mixed to a variety of strengths depending on how heavy the layer of mortar is on the backs of the tiles. Although you can submerge ceramic and man-made tiles like porcelain and glass, do not submerge natural stone tiles, because the acid can sometimes alter the color of the stone. Instead, only apply the acid directly with a paint brush onto the mortar and scrub/rinse as you go. Whenever possible, work in an outdoor area on top of grass or dirt.


Wear safety gear when working with chemicals. Avoid working near cementitious surfaces like sidewalks, garage floors or driveways. Do not use metal mixing containers, because muraitic acid pickles and oxidizes (discolors) stainless steel.

By louisa on 6 Dec 2006 | 36

How to reuse wall tilesI’ve been thinking about Scott’s really big piece of slate from Monday and it reminded me that I often see old slate roof tiles in skips around our estate as houses are renovated and new roofs added.

We have a slate surround and hearth for our fireplace so slate goes well in our living room but we already have some slate coasters and to be honest, we don’t use them much.

Any suggestions how else we can use the skip-dived slate tiles around the living room or elsewhere?

The tiles are flat, and usually about 30cm by 20cm and between 5mm-1cm thick (1’x9″x um, a quarter of an inch or something).

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36 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … slate tiles?”

The perennial cheeseboard – you can chalk the names of cheeses next to them for your next dinner party (does anyone ever have dinner parties anymore?). Shopping lists, idea catchers – basically anything that requires writing stuff down with chalk. Also of course, good broken up in the bottom of pots for drainage.

Chalk notice board in the kitchen, or for kids. Or as a cover for drains to them getting bunged up with leaves.

Old slates make brilliant drives and paths go to somewhere like [email protected] you will be paying a fortune for what you can get for nothing. They act as drainage as well, good for security as walking on them can be heard thus alerting you of visitors around your house.

Forgot to add you need to break them up first!

If they are still intact and in good condition you could give them to a builder who might use them.. or keep them yourself in case some of yours fall off. Also good for stopping your cat/dog from doing doo-doos on your nice and tidy flower bed.

You can use them to mulch plants/ pots too if they are broken up ( put in a bag and then use a hammer – avoids getting splinters in eyes)

Use them as edgings along paths, also to separate herbs in a garden bed. slate is impervious to most things.

Here in New Orleans where we’ve got plenty of old slate around, a lot of artists paint on them. So try your hand at painting, or see if there is a local artist/art school/etc. around that might like to have them.

Pet gravestones (sniff!). And they make the best skimming stones EVER, if you have a pond nearby (since you only find really good natural skimming stones on beaches).

Placemats/coasters on tables.

Flooring (awkward to lay unless they are all uniform thickness).

I recall my dad making some interesting and attractive planters from old roof tiles.

He drilled two holes near the corner on each edge of one and on three edges of four more. (Make sure you drill at a low speed else they’re likely to crack)

He then simply wired the five pieces together (the one drilled on 4 sides on the botom) to make planters.

The rust from the wire he’d used looked quite pretty, rather surprisingly, and the gaps around the edges of the tiles made for excellent drainage.

If you’re adept with a tile cutter or any other way of cutting slate you could make any shape planter you liked.

Also consider painting a nice picture on a piece and adding your house number/name underneath. Varnish then fix to the wall by the front door. So much prettier, cheaper and more personal than a plastic one from B&Q.

You could take them up and reuse them somewhere else, or give them away to someone who really wants to get/use them.

Specifying efficient use of materials and considering their impact from manufacture to disposal.

Reuse and recycling

Many building materials can be reused or recycled.

The ability to reuse and recycle materials salvaged from demolition and building sites for reuse and recycling depends on:

  • local recycling facilities
  • market demand
  • quality and condition of materials and components
  • time available for salvage
  • emphasis put on reuse and recycling.

The BRANZ REBRI online resource has a recycling directory to help locate recycling and waste management organisations.

  • reuse/recycling from construction sites
  • reuse/recycling from deconstruction/demolition sites
  • hazardous materials
  • requirements for recycled or reused materials.

Reuse/recycling from construction sites

Materials that can generally be recycled from construction sites include:

  • steel from reinforcing, wire, containers, and so on
  • concrete, which can be broken down and recycled as base course in driveways and footpaths
  • aluminium
  • plastics – grade 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE) and 5 (PP), which can be recycled in New Zealand. (There are currently no viable markets for 3, 4, 6 and 7 plastic containers.)
  • paper and cardboard
  • untreated timber, which can be used as firewood or mulched
  • topsoil
  • paint. A number of manufacturers/retailers take back unwanted paint and paint containers.

Reuse/recycling from deconstruction/demolition sites

Materials that can generally be recycled from deconstruction/demolition sites include:

  • siteworks and vegetation – asphalt paving, chain link fencing, timber fencing, trees
  • concrete – in situ and precast concrete
  • masonry – concrete blocks and decorative concrete, paving stones, bricks,
  • metals – reinforcing steel (rebar), structural steel, steel roofing including flashings and spouting, zinc roofing, interior metal wall studs, cast iron, aluminium, copper including flashings, spouting, claddings and pipework, lead, electrical, plumbing fixtures
  • timber – hardwood flooring, laminated beams, truss joists, treated and untreated timbers/posts, joinery, untreated timber generally, engineered timber panels
  • terracotta tiles
  • electrical wiring
  • wool carpet
  • plastics – grade 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE) and 5 (PP), which can be recycled in New Zealand. (There are currently no viable markets for 3, 4, 6 and 7 plastic containers.).

Components that can readily be reused include:

  • stairs
  • timber – hardwood flooring, weatherboards, laminated beams, truss joists, treated and untreated framing, timbers/posts, New Zealand native timber components
  • thermal insulation – fibreglass, wool and polyester insulation, polystyrene sheets
  • carpet and carpet tiles
  • plumbing fixtures – baths, sinks, toilets, taps, service equipment, hot water heaters
  • electrical fittings – light fittings, switches, thermostats
  • linings and finishings – architraves, skirtings, wood panelling, specialty wood fittings, joinery
  • doors and windows – metal and timber doors, mechanical closures, panic hardware, aluminium windows, steel windows, sealed glass units, unframed glass mirrors, store fronts, skylights, glass from windows and doors, timber and metal from frames
  • clay and concrete roof tiles
  • metal wall and roof claddings
  • PVC and metal spouting.

Hazardous materials

Hazardous materials must be disposed of appropriately. Check the requirements for removal and disposal of hazardous waste for your local area.

Hazardous wastes from the demolition of buildings may include:

  • fluorescent light ballasts manufactured before 1978 – contain PCBs
  • fluorescent lamps – contain mercury
  • refrigeration and air conditioning equipment – contain refrigerants made using CFCs
  • batteries – contain lead, mercury and acid
  • roof and wall claddings, pipe insulation, some vinyl flooring, textured ceilings and roofing membrane sheets containing asbestos fibres.Asbestos can cause very serious health problems and its removal is controlled by law. See the page on Asbestos for more information.
  • lead or materials that contain lead such as flashings, paint, bath and basin wastes.

When cleaning up, materials such as cement, sand, paint and other liquids and solvents, must not be released into the stormwater or sewerage disposal systems. This should be included in the demolition specification.

Requirements for recycled or reused materials

BRANZ REBRI has a Resource Routing Calculator that helps to calculate the economic value of sending different waste streams to landfill or to reclamation facilities. Factors include the:

  • cost of transport
  • cost of skip hire
  • value of material
  • weight/amount of material
  • amount of contaminants.

Every market has its own specifications for recycled or reusable materials. Obtain specifications from the recycling operators before starting deconstruction so you know what to save and how to save it. You should find out:

  • material type
  • acceptable and unacceptable levels of contamination
  • acceptable and unacceptable levels of damage
  • quantities accepted
  • transportation requirements
  • required documentation including waste tracking forms
  • sorting and handling requirements for each material type.

Things to check for concrete

  • Types of concrete and rubble accepted.
  • Size of concrete pieces.
  • Amount of preprocessing.
  • Acceptable levels of bricks and tiles.
  • Acceptable amount of contamination from materials such as glass, metal, soil.

Some concretes products are too hard-wearing on crushing machines and some concretes are too soft to meet reuse specifications after crushing, so will not be accepted by operators.

Things to check for metal

  • Types of metal accepted.
  • Contamination tolerances from materials such as plastics and leftover product in containers.

Things to check for plasterboard

  • New Zealand currently has no facilities for recycling plasterboard back into plasterboard.
  • There are opportunities for use of off-cuts.
  • Some composting facilities accept plasterboard – the gypsum content acts as a soil improver.

Things to check for timber

  • Types of timber acceptable (for example, treated, native, untreated).
  • Minimum and maximum sizes of board and lengths of timber.
  • Minimum and maximum quantities.
  • Contamination tolerances from materials such as nails, paint, concrete.
  • Any preprocessing requirements such as sorting or grading.
  • How timber is to be received (for example, loose, stacked in containers or on pallets).

Whether you are a renter or are simply looking an easy project for your home, stick-on tiles can have a major impact on your space. Even better? They’re virtually commitment free. You can use them to create everything from a headboard for your bed to a new backsplash in your kitchen, and since they are stick-on, there’s little time, money, and effort required on your part. Here, our experts explain exactly what it takes to upgrade your home with stick-on tiles.

What projects are stick-on tiles best for?

According to home expert Jordan Reid, there are many reasons to pick temporary peel and stick options. “They’re relatively inexpensive, they’re relatively easy to install (albeit time-consuming in larger or irregularly shaped areas), and they offer tons of style and color options,” she says. You can use stick-on tiles to add some color or interest to a space—or as an affordable alternative to cover up an existing floor or wall that could use a bit of a makeover. “For example, I used stick-on tiles to cover up my home’s not-so-cute 1970’s-era linoleum kitchen floor and also to add detail and texture to a wall in my bathroom.”

Which stick-on materials should you choose?

Peel and stick tiles come in many different materials, like vinyl, metal, gel, glass, and stone. You can also find them in a variety of styles, says Melissa Diaz, the owner and designer of Stunningly Staged Homes in Los Angeles, including faux wood, vinyl mosaic tile, subway tiles, and more. But before you select a material or pattern, you should know where the tile is going—understanding where these types of tiles will, and will not, work will make a huge difference in your project (and save you time in the long run).

Wood plank-effect tiles can be a good flooring option, since they basically give you the look of hardwood sans the expense, explains Reid. There are also water-resistant styles that work really well for bathrooms and kitchens. “Subway-style peel-and-stick tiles are perfect for anywhere, really—but make sure you go for a brand that’s antibacterial and mold-resistant, especially if you’re going to be using it in a bathroom,” she says. Diaz adds that placing grout and caulking to seal the tiles (and prevent water seepage) is another must if you’re working in the bathroom.

Which tile types should you avoid?

The more intricate and geometric the design, the harder it will be to match the tiles, explains Reid. So, go for less involved styles that don’t have to be perfect in order to look great. Simple subway styles or easy-to-line-up cubes or octagons are your best bet. And be sure to remember that you can’t apply peel-and-stick tiles just anywhere—high-humidity areas or on bumpy surfaces will impair the glue’s ability to stick. “You want to use these tiles in common areas where they won’t see a lot of wear and tear,” notes Reid.

What tools will you need?

If you’re going to tackle a stick-on tile project, you’ll need the right tools to ensure that installation goes smoothly. “Don’t use a dull x-acto knife and be sure to use a level,” interior designer Sterling Tran explains. “And don’t buy any type of stick-on tile that is not three-dimensional—it will look cheap. Make sure your surface is clean before you start and even after. If you are installing stick-on tile on a tiled floor to upgrade the look or design, for example, be sure to fill in the grout so that it is level.”

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The link ‘Next:Installing a Tile Back splash’ does not connect or link to another site to show how the new tile goes on after the old tile is removed. I now have a naked back splash wall that has some drywall face paper/glue spots and some bare drywall. Will the glue for the new tile adhere to the bare drywall??

Or you can use a tile mat like this MusselBound 15-sq ft 0.031-in White Plastic Commercial/Residential Tile Membrane.

I used the tile adhesive because, even though it’s a little messy its cheaper and I feel it ensures a good bond. But I may use the mat in another upcoming project.
But you know what? Thank you! You motivated me to get the tile installation post up.

Thanks for the reply and good luck on completing the site.

i wish i came across this before my bathroom diy, currently have drywall mud on the wall, it is very uneven, have been sanding for day’s still uneven, this weekend, I will be removing the drywall and replacing it, and applying a not so heavy handed amount of the mud, very frustrating,

Oh Man I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, the neater the application, the easier the sanding phase. Don’t beat yourself up about it though. There is an art to drywall installation that very few have mastered. I’ve made mistakes in the past. You want to apply 3 to 4 thin/smooth coats for complete coverage of the drywall tape. Allow the coats to dry in between applications. Also don’t forget to wear a dust mask during the sanding process. The drywall dust is very hazardous. I wish you the best of luck this weekend. I know you can do it. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

How long does it take to do…taking down tiles….hours..Thank you so much

Hi Linda! That actually is the quickest part of the tiling and retiling process. It took me about an hr or so. It popped off relatively quickly once I got started. Also there were some areas where the old tile didn’t fully adhere to the wall.

Can you use the same method in a tub surround with cement board? What would I use in place of dry wall compound on the cement board?

With a tub and shower I recommend replacing the cement board because chances are when the wall was originally tiled the requirements and products available were very different.

I’d like to recommend using BONDERA ( ) for such projects – a double-sided peel-back adhesive matte that sticks on the wall and has a 1/4″ grid on the front to keep you plumb, level and square – no overnight dry-time, so you’re ready to grout and be DONE! Huge time and cost savings overall.

Using Bondera, I successfully and beautifully put up the tile backsplash in my kitchen six years ago but now want to change tile. Is it possible to simply remove the old tiles and then brush off any mortar that may have pushed through the tiles and onto the Bondera? Or do I have to remove the old Bondera too? Please help.

Hey Marty You can remove the tile and scrap away the excess mortar. But you may have to repair any scratched or damaged drywall with joint compound. You also want to make sure the application and finished wall is as smooth as possible before reapplying the new tile. For areas that are too badly damaged, I would cut out the drywall and patch it up with a new piece of drywall. I would remove the old Bondera. It’s not meant for reapplication.

do you need to prime the joint compound first so it doesn’t turn back to mush?

How to reuse wall tiles

How to reuse wall tilesThis guest post is written by D Salmons of DIY Guides.

So, you’ve completed your tiling project, and you’re quite pleased with the results. But what can you do with the leftover tiles? While you could haul them off to the landfill… it would be nice if you could find a better use for them.

What if you could take those left over tiles and turn them into personalized coasters? By doing so, you end up with a nice personal work (that can make great gifts), and you’re recycling the tiles. Plus, since you already have the tile in your home, it would be hard to find something that better matches your surroundings.

Now, let’s look at how you can turn those leftover tiles into customized coasters in seven easy steps.

1. Find Your Printed Material

The first step in creating your custom tile coasters is to find printed material (paper) that works well with the color of the tile and the desired subject. You can use a printed picture, a newspaper clipping, a printed map of a favorite vacation spot, a small menu sample, a picture of your children or grandchildren, or anything else you can dream up. The important thing is that it’s a copy you can spare (it will be part of the coaster), it is printed on paper, and it fits your intended look. Trial and error by placing it on the tile will give you a good idea of the finished product. You can use the same image for all, or you can mix it up as you see fit.

2. Prep Your Tile

With the printed material selected, you now need to prepare your tile. In this case you will need to wash the tile with a damp cloth to remove any dust or packing material. If they are used tiles (and this is a great way to recycle tiles from almost any source), make sure that they are clean before proceeding. Consider the source, and in the case of tiles from bathrooms or kitchens it may be necessary to remove soap scum or grease from the tile surface.

3. Add a Base Decoupage Layer

Using a quality decoupage medium such as Mod Podge, paint a thin layer onto the tile and let it dry. This will provide for a good attachment point for your printed material, assure a good connection to the tile, and stop the paper from sliding later.

4. Place the Printed Material

Now that you have a clean prepped (and dry) tile, you can place your printed material. If we’re lucky, you have test fit the material and trimmed it for the exact fit and placement in step one. But if you have not, now is the time to do it. Try not to handle the tile excessively due to skin oils, but some test fitting is okay here.

Once the printed material is trimmed, test fitted, and ready to place, apply a thin layer of decoupage material to its back and press firmly to the tile. You should find that it readily stays in place.

5. Apply the Decoupage

With the printed material happily set in place, it is now time to coat the tile coaster. Using a soft brush and even strokes, cover the entire tile with a thin layer of decoupage medium. Let this dry, and repeat. I would suggest to apply at least four layers, but six or more are better. Be sure to let each coat dry before applying the next.

6. Add a Protective Layer

Now for the secret ingredient to durability. While your coaster no doubt looks great at this point, applying a thin coat of acrylic polyurethane will keep it looking good and prevent any yellowing or peeling. This also makes the coaster more durable, a quality appreciated in just such a product. Let the first acrylic coat dry completely, and then add another for good measure.

7. Add the Felt Backing

Since the hard back of the tile may not be friendly to your polished table top, the next step should not be missed. Attach a peel and stick felt circle to each corner of the tile. Or cut out a similarly sized square piece of recycled felt, or scrap felt, and hot glue it to the back of the tile. This will allow the coaster to sit on your table smoothly without the fear of scratches.

So there you have it, a simple way to turn leftover (or otherwise repurposed) tiles into charming customized coasters. The subject material for your coaster is limited only by your imagination, and your guests will like both your craft savvy and your ability to recycle.

How to reuse wall tiles

How to reuse wall tiles

The early phases of many construction projects involve the demolition of concrete foundations, sidewalks, driveways, and other concrete structures, which can leave a contractor with a sizable volume of heavy, dense materials to deal with. Fortunately, concrete can be recycled and reused in many ways. Typically (but not always) the process involves crushing or pulverizing the concrete rubble near the demolition or building site. Choosing the best method often depends on the size and shape of the concrete pieces to be recycled. Reusing concrete can a good way to reduce construction costs while providing some benefits to the environment. Recycled concrete not only stays out of landfills, but it also replaces other materials such as gravel that must otherwise be mined and transported for use.

Benefits of Concrete Recycling

Recycling concrete helps reduce construction waste and extend the life of landfills as well as saving builders disposal or tipping fees. It also reduces transportation costs because concrete can often be recycled in areas near the demolition or construction site. If builders are seeking LEED Green Building certification, they can receive points for using recycled concrete. In some instances, new employment opportunities arise in a recycling activity that would not otherwise exist.

How Concrete Is Recycled

Concrete is recycled by using industrial crushing equipment with jaws and large impactors. After the concrete is broken up, it is usually run through a secondary impactor and is then screened to remove dirt and particles and to separate the large and small aggregate. Additional processes and equipment, such as water flotation, separators, and magnets, may also be used to remove specific elements from the crushed concrete. An alternative method is to pulverize the concrete, but this is not the always the best option, as it makes it harder to complete the separation process and may leave more contamination from smaller byproducts.

Equipment Used to Recycle Concrete

When considering concrete recycling as an option, you will also need to evaluate the options available for crush the concrete. The most practical solution can be a portable crusher that can be moved to different locations or projects. Often, it works best to set it up a portable crusher at a centralized location, near where the concrete is being demolished but where it will not hinder site traffic. Factors to consider when choosing processing equipment include:

  • Equipment should have a powerful electromagnet or water flotation or an air separator system that can pull steel from concrete.
  • Separate hydraulic stands will allow for a faster setup.
  • Control systems may be automatic, manual, or remote.
  • Systems that have conveyors, jaws, and cones can provide complete processing of the concrete, from demolition to a usable material.

Uses for Old Concrete

Recycled concrete can be used in many of the same ways as you would use new materials, such as gravel, paving materials, and aggregates.

This happened in my bathroom just now.

The build got completed approx 12 months ago and now tiles are coming off this extended wall.

During construction, the builders told me, that the bathtub didn’t fill out the length of the room. So they wanted to “pad” the adjacent wall a few inches so it didn’t leave a gap. At the time it seemed sensible. In hindsight, it was a terrible idea. I’m sure there would have been better solutions for this little problem.

How can I best recover from this? And what did the builders do wrong?

How to reuse wall tiles


I contacted the builder and they ended up demolishing the entire bathroom, including knocking down ALL of the tiles. It comes with a 5 year warranty so I walk away scot-free.

For the wall that needs to come out a few inches extra (in the picture), they are using metal studs and Villaboard which is all drilled deep into the wall with plugs and screws. Then tiling goes on top, this time no five spotting but applying the tile glue the right way covering 90% of the tile. Also they are re-doing the waterproofing.

5 Answers 5

It’s a bit difficult to figure out from the photo but it appears that they stuck scraps of tile to the wall with compound and then simply stuck the finish tiles to that with more compound. NOT A GOOD PLAN! The finish tiles are poorly supported and also the smooth surface of the scraps doesn’t provide good adhesion for the compound.

This is a total tear-out job if ever I’ve seen one! I don’t see how you’re going to salvage any part of this and I’d also be concerned about substandard work on the rest of the job.

You don’t “pad out” a wall and then tile it. They had a couple of inches to work with. So stud the wall with 2×2 or 2×4’s flat and cover with cement board, waterproof, then tile. It probably would have been faster than what they did.

You’re going to have to remove all of that wall and redo it.

How to reuse wall tiles

Regarding the gap, baths almost never fit the space exactly. Apart from the obvious problem of building and preparing walls millimetre-accurately, if the bath fits the space too closely then you’re going to have extreme difficulty actually getting it in there. Pythagoras says that dropping the bath in anything less than perfectly parallel will make the bath take up more length than there is space for, so it’ll jam partway down. The result on an acrylic bath will likely be damage to the bath rim.

it is entirely normal to fix a batten along the end wall to fit the gap (normally at the non-tap end), and cut tiles to fit over that. The tiles here could be round-edged (trim) tiles, or they could be normal tiles with a trim strip to finish them. The tiles should have a slight slope towards the bath so that splashes will drain back, but they should be flat enough that this is a good place to put soap, shampoos and so on. If the gap is small enough then just a trim strip may be sufficient.

Or as JACK says, finish the wall accurately with an appropriate type of drywall, and tile on that. If you want to pack the wall out, that’s the right way to do it.

When you agreed to it as a solution, it was sensible. Don’t blame yourself on this one. The problem isn’t you agreeing to it, the problem is simply the half-assed way they’ve gone about it.

How to reuse wall tiles

I disagree with some of the reasoning of the other answers.

  1. They should have furred out the wall. Everyone here agrees on this. They could have framed out more or just added shims/drywall layer. lots of methods here depending on how far you go out.
  2. Point that no one has brought up. Most bathrooms – normal ones – not the fit-for-a-king master. they are basically built around the tub or shower pan. Yours fits that bill. Why the hell would they even frame the bathroom without the specifications or the tub onsite. That is f’ing crazy and amateur amateur. Who was the general contractor and were they overseeing anything?? I would be worried about the entire house honestly.
  3. That is not a flat/proper substrate to attach things to. You can’t just put tile on anything.
  4. I am not sure what the material is but it isn’t thinset and if it is mastic it is a really cheap type. “Stuff” that you use to install tiles sticks to the tile. It doesn’t bind to itself more and form cow patties. The binding material is “who-knows” but way way off. No matter what this stuff was going to fall down. That is given the first three points were done right.
  5. These are large large tiles. To install them properly (with thinset or similar material) you would back butter each piece and apply/trowel the thinset to the wall. The installer plopped a few big drops on each tile and stuck it on the wall. Even if steps 1-4 were done right the tiles would fall off.

So yea you have to take down the whole bathtub area. Even given that things 1-3 may not apply to the rest of the area, #4 and #5 will and these tiles will fall off too. The good thing is there is a high chance you can reuse these tiles if the rest were done the same way.

How to reuse wall tiles

How to reuse wall tilesNeed the perfect set of coasters? These coasters, crafted from upcycled tiles, broken glass, and grout, will keep your tables covered. They’re the perfect outdoor project for a summer day, a great project to share with a kid or two, and a useful way to use up extra wall tiles, or even to redo old store-bought coasters. Here’s how to make your own set of mosaic tile coasters:

1. Start with an old tile. You might have some stash tiles leftover from a kitchen or bathroom remodel–ours are leftover from a craft project in which we painted white tiles with ceramics markers. If you don’t have any stash tiles of your own, Freecycle and the ReStore are both good bets for scoring someone else’s stash tiles.

Wash the tile, then dry it well.

Next >>


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Written by Julie Finn

I’m a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I’m interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it’s manifested–making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my Google + for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

How to reuse wall tiles

RV kitchens have their shortcomings. Lack of counter space, too-tiny sinks, and little light make pursuing your culinary passion difficult in an RV.

An often overlooked area is the wall just behind the stove.

When cooking greasy foods or simply boiling water, the wall behind the stove tends to get dirty and nasty-looking quickly. Some of the more popular remedies include plexiglass backsplashes, eggshell paint, or peel-n-stick tin or aluminum coatings.

When we began to renovate our travel trailer, we felt like none of those options represented our style.

We wanted tile!

But conventional mortar and stone tiles wouldn’t work well in our rig. Heavy stone held up with brittle mortar doesn’t do well in a moving vehicle.

Then we found Smart Tile.

How to reuse wall tiles

Getting ready to install Smart Tile in an RV kitchen

What is Smart Tile?

Smart Tile is a relatively new product. It’s designed to save you time and money compared to using real tile and stone backsplash materials.

You don’t need to use any messy grout because the tile material has a do-it-yourself peel and stick adhesive on the back.

In short, Smart Tile is a big sticker that adheres to your wall with no grout, no glue, and no special tools. It will give your kitchen (like it did mine) a sleek appearance.

People will definitely think you installed real tile.

But just how easy is it to install? Let me show you how I did it in my trailer.

Step-by-Step Smart Tile Installation

How to reuse wall tiles

Laying out the Smart Tile

Step 1: Lay out your tile (1- 10.125” x 10” section in each package) or a cardboard cutout of the same size to get an understanding of how many ‘packages’ you will need to cover your area and to get an idea of what the final size will look like.

Note: Each section of tile has two smooth edges (the top and bottom) and two jagged edges (both sides). This allows you to slide together multiple tiles while still keeping the pattern looking natural. You’ll have to cut one edge flush to start the pattern initially.

Step 2: Measure the area behind your stove to nail down the square footage of Smart Tile you’ll need.

Step 3: Using a straight level or T-square, draw a line down your tile section to cut one side straight. This will be your first edge. Leave the other side jagged to accept another tile.

How to reuse wall tiles

Measuring out the Smart Tile before cutting

Step 4: Without taking the adhesive cover off, set your tile with the flush edge against the wall, and tight to the inner corner. Take your second tile, interlock it with the first, and mark your final edge. You may need a few tiles to get out to where your final edge will be.

NOTE: When you look at the final photo you will see that we used 4 total sections. This means that two sections were cut flush to fit against the inner corner, and the outer two sections were cut flush at the edge of the wall.

We only needed two sections and four tiles to cover our backsplash area. You might need more.

How to reuse wall tiles

Matching up the Smart Tile pieces

Step 5: Turn one piece over at a time, remove the sticky backing, and place onto the wall. Working from one side out, and press down firmly across the entire tile. Rock your hand back and forth to ensure good contact between the tile and the wall.

How to reuse wall tiles

Peeling back the adhesive

Step 6: Once stuck to the wall the Smart Tile will be hard to move. You can shimmy it just a bit for a second or two, but be careful where you initially set the tile. These things are sticky!

Admire your work and your new backsplash!

How to reuse wall tiles

Smart Tile looks great

A Few Last Words

Depending on the space you are covering, you may want to do a bit more prep work before placing the tiles.

Since we covered a corner area, we caulked a strip down the corner molding to make sure no water would seep down behind the tiles. We did the same on the top just so nothing would get behind our sections. We didn’t want any chance of moisture working the adhesive loose.

Once we began full-timing with this travel trailer we did have one corner (left wall / upper left) begin to pull away from the wall. I attribute this to the fact that we painted our walls using a satin finish. Perhaps if the walls were a bit more “rough” the adhesive would have held better.

To fix the loose section, we carefully pulled the tile away from the wall and sprayed a bit of 3M Super 77 adhesive on both the wall and the back of the tile. After applying some pressure the section looked like new again.

Six months and nearly 2,400 travel miles later, our tiles are sticking like the day we put them up. To keep them looking new we gently wipe them clean with a damp cloth every so often. They’re easy to care for and look great!

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Whether you’re a novice or an expert when it comes to home improvement, there are always bound to be a few minor mistakes here and there while installing ceramic tile, porcelain tiles, or stone tiles. Perhaps time prevented you from the proper mortar clean up after the tile installation.

Whatever the situation may be, we’ve got some good tips to remove mortar from a tile. You’ve pulled out the old tile, replaced them with some natural stone floor tiles, and set your trowel aside and sealer.

You thought your job was complete except for that one crucial step. That would be cleaning the mortar off the tile floor, wall tiles, and grouting. Now all you’ll need is a little elbow grease, a few tools, and some time.

  1. Removing Mortar from Tile
    • How to Remove Thinset from Tile
    • How to Remove Cement From Tiles
    • Cleaning Salvaged Tiles

Removing Mortar from Tile

Here are some simple cleaning solutions that you can utilize as a home tile cleaner to remove tile mortar. Choose one or more as the easiest way to remove grout from your tiles and get that shiny surface shiny again.

How to Remove Thinset from Tile

After you’ve laid down the new tile, it is essential to clean the thin-set mortar off before it dries. Once dried, the thin-set can be challenging to remove from the surface of the tile because of its thin layer.

If you’re reading this, then you probably delayed in this step and need to know how to remove thinset from tile. No worries. While it may be a little bit tedious, it is possible to remove that thin-set from the tiles.

Thinset Removal

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Dry rag
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Chisel
  • Grout scraper
  • 50-grit sanding disc
  • Rotary sander

One of the ways to clean grout and remove the thinset is to start by adding some dish soap to the bucket of warm water. Scrub the tile surface and the grout with a soapy sponge, making sure to remove any of the thin-set that is not entirely hardened. Wipe the tiles down with a dry rag.

Use a chisel to scrape away the dried thin-set, carefully chipping it loose from the tile without scratching it or harming the tile itself. Use the grout scraper to remove any thin-set from the grout lines that is more than 40% of the tile thickness.

Use a 50-grit sanding disc attached to a rotary sander at its lowest setting. Carefully position the disc onto the tile to gently remove the remaining thin-set. Finish up by vacuuming the area to remove dust and then polish the tiles with a dry rag.

How to Remove Cement From Tiles

This method shows you how to remove cement from tiles using a vinegar cleaner. The vinegar reacts like an acid solution when it comes into contact with cement-like elements.

It’s weak enough so that it doesn’t damage dried concrete, yet strong enough to loosen bonding elements. It’s also ideal for removing glue from ceramic tile.

Vinegar Mortar Solution

  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge

Spray the area with the vinegar and wipe down with the sponge. Pay special attention to areas that may have excess mortar, such as grout lines on a tile floor and grout joints on a tiled backer board.

Make sure to apply pressure to the areas with the thickest layer of thin-set. Gently use a scraper or razor-blade to work unusually thick areas. Repeat if necessary.

Cleaning Salvaged Tiles

Use this method if you plan on salvaging the old tiles you have removed during your DIY tiling project. Tile is usually applied over a layer of thin-set mortar.

Once you have removed the old tiles, you will notice a layer of thin-set and dried grout along the back and sides. This dried material will need to be removed before those tiles can be salvaged.

Heavy Duty Mortar Remover

  • Large bucket
  • 1 cup muriatic acid
  • 5 gallons of water
  • Respirator
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrub brush

Make sure you put on all of your protective gear before beginning. Fill the bucket with the water and muriatic acid. Carefully submerge as many tiles into the solution as you can and allow them to sit for five minutes.

Remove one tile at a time and scrub them with the brush to remove the loosened residue. Rinse with clean water and lay out to dry for about 24 hours. For other tips, check out our concrete cleaning solution page.

While the process of removing mortar from tiles may be a little time consuming, the resulting clean tile is worth it. All you need is a few proper tools, and some soap, vinegar, or muriatic acid and those tiles will be good as new. If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in our DIY pressure washer detergent method.

Now that you’re an expert on how to remove mortar from a tile, we’d love it if you shared the information about mortar removal with friends and family on Pinterest.

May 16, 2018 By The Victorian Emporium

How to reuse wall tiles

We get a lot of calls from customers who have had the good fortune to purchase a Victorian house with a wealth of period features including some original tiles on floors and walls. The Victorians typically tiled a wealth of their house’s surfaces including hallway floors with intricate and colourful patterned designs sometimes incorporating encaustic tiles; porch floors and walls tiles to encompass skirting, dado and feature tiles in eye catching designs; bathroom and kitchen walls in much plainer hues of off white, and garden paths, often in black and white chequerboard tile designs with a border.

How to reuse wall tiles

So if you have purchased a Victorian house ripe for renovation, it is likely that some of these tiles may remain and unlikely that they are all in perfect condition after 150 years. Therefore there are choices to be made – you can:

A) restore what is there and replace any missing or damaged tiles

B) replace what is there with the same style of tiles to avoid sourcing issues

C) replace what is there with something completely different

In our opinion option A) should always be the preferred route because original features should be embraced rather than ripped out, and usually good replacements for damaged or missing tiles can usually be sourced. However if more tiles are damaged than not damaged, option B will cost you less and be easier than replacing lots of individual tiles. Options B) and C) will however allow you to put a proper cement base and damp proof membrane underneath your new tiled floor and bring the area up to modern building standards.

Is the method the same for cleaning a tiled floor or tiled wall?

Yes it is. Firstly once you have swept and vacuumed the floor, clean up the tiles with a weak solution of washing up liquid and hot water using a mop and maybe a scrubbing brush for any stubborn stains. Once the floor has dried, remove any other debris such as glue with a spirit based solvent and scraper where necessary. Again allow to dry. Then inspect your tiles and identify any broken, chipped or missing tiles. Take a photograph and list all of the missing tiles, their colours, dimensions and quantities you need to source and email this list with pictures to [email protected] We will then be able to provide a quotation for replacement of these missing tiles. We will advise if we are unable to provide any of the tiles and will suggest alternatives. Order tile samples (from the website) in order to ensure that the tiles, especially in terms of colours, are a close match.

You will need to note that any new tiles produced may vary slightly in colour compared to your original tiles as your original tiles are likely to be 150 years old with all the wear and tear and fading that age entails. Place your order in if you are happy to go ahead.

Whilst you are waiting for the tiles to be produced, remove the broken tiles by gently trying to prise them out with a scraper or hook. If this fails you could try smashing up any individual tiles gently with a hammer being careful not to touch or damage any neighbouring tiles and then removing the debris and the floor/wall adhesive.

How do you clean Victorian tiles?

Victorian tiles are easily cleaned by firstly sweeping, then vacuuming up any surface debris. Tiles should then be mopped with a weak solution of washing up liquid in hot water.

Encaustic tiles with their bright patterns have their own specific needs due to their increased porosity as they are not a single colour throughout like other floor tiles. The pigments in these tiles, as natural oxides, are applied whilst the clay mixture is still in a semi-liquid state and harden into the tile surface. Liquids are quickly absorbed into unsealed Encaustic tiles and without protection they will easily stain. Therefore these should always be sealed before being installed using a suitable product.

For any ongoing maintenance needs for your Victorian wall and floor tiles, LTP offer a superb range of products for restoring and caring for old tiles.

Categories: Tiles Tags: flooring, paths, tiles


Posted by Julie – Jul 13, 2021 – 08:40

We have bought an old house and have a large tile project in the hallway to undertake. Would it be better to apply something before applying a tile grout to avoid staining?

Should we grout before cleaning or clean before grouting,

How to reuse wall tiles

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How to reuse wall tiles

  • Working Time: 4 – 5 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 – 2 days
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Ceramic tile is a favored floor covering for bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways due to its superior water resistance, durability, and simplicity. While many homeowners hire professional tile-setters, ceramic floor tile installation also qualifies as a do-it-yourself project that homeowners can accomplish inexpensively and with relative ease.

Successful floor tile installation is all about preparation. With a solid substrate, a workable layout, and all of your tools and materials at hand, the actual process of laying the floor tile with mortar and grout is relatively simple.

Before You Begin

The tile pattern will affect the number of tiles you need to purchase. A grid pattern is simple to plan and is easy to install because fewer tiles need to be cut. Diagonal tiles help visually open up smaller spaces, but cutting tiles on a diagonal can get complicated. Measure the room’s area, then add 15 percent to account for wastage. Or arrive at an accurate total and experiment with tile designs by using an online tile calculator.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Tile cutting tool: either a wet tile saw or a rail tile cutter, also known as a snap tile cutter
  • Tile nipper
  • Rubber tile float
  • Notched tile trowel
  • Flat margin trowel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tile spacers
  • Large sponges
  • Buckets
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Bubble level
  • 2×4 scrap lumber
  • Framing square
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves


  • Tile
  • Thinset mortar
  • Tile grout
  • Grout haze remover
  • Grout sealer
  • Cement backer board
  • Fiberglass seam tape


Prepare the Substrate

Ceramic tile is fragile on its own but gains strength when laid on top of a firm, inflexible surface free of gaps and ridges.

Install the cement board panels by setting them onto a layer of thinset mortar and screwing them to the subfloor, with screws driven every 8 inches along the perimeters of the panels. Tape the seams with fiberglass seam tape, fill the seams with thinset, and let it fully cure.

What Is Cement Board?

Cement board, also known as a cementitious backer unit (CBU) and going under brand names such as Durock and HardieBacker, provides a rock-solid substrate that is perfect for ceramic tile installation.

Dry-Fit the Tiles

Measure all walls to determine the center point for each wall. Snap a chalk line between each of the two opposing walls to create a cross pattern. Without mortar or grout, lay out tiles and tile spacers in a line on each arm of the cross. The idea is to avoid having small, cut tiles against a wall, as this can be visually jarring. Shift this cross-like assembly in any direction, so that any tile that borders a wall is as close as possible to being a half tile or larger.

When you pick up the tile, carefully stack the pieces so that you can keep track of which tiles go where.

Spread the Mortar

Pick up a small batch of thinset mortar with your margin trowel or with the flat side of your notched trowel and deposit the thinset on the cement board. Holding the flat side of your notched tile trowel at a 45-degree angle, spread the mortar across the surface until it covers an area extending beyond the perimeter of a tile. Switch to the notched side of the same trowel and, again holding it at a 45-degree angle and pressing firmly to the cement board, comb the thinset by pulling the trowel in straight lines. The notches in the trowel automatically regulate the amount of thinset deposited on the surface.

Lay the Tile

Gently press the tile into the wet thinset, twisting the tile back and forth to press it deeper into the thinset. Your aim is to collapse any ridges in the mortar and fill in gaps. Occasionally lift a tile and check the back to ensure full coverage. As you progress from one tile to the next, place tile spacers at the corners to maintain consistent spacing.

Leave a 1/4-inch expansion gap along walls, cabinets, and other large room elements. Do not add mortar to these gaps.

Lay the bubble level across multiple tiles to check for both level and to eliminate lippage from one tile to the next. Lightly tap the tiles with the rubber mallet to level them.

Cut the Edge Tiles

For cutting only a few tiles, a rail tile cutter can inexpensively and effectively snap apart tiles. Place the uneven, snapped sides against the wall, where baseboards will cover them. Buy or rent a wet tile saw for perfectly straight cuts. Use the tile nipper only for cutting around pipes, toilet bases, and for other non-linear cuts. Always wear safety glasses with any mode of tile cutting to protect your eyes against flying shards.

Grout the Tile

After removing the tile spacers, use the rubber float to press the grout into the tile seams. Work in small sections. Then, holding the float at a 45-degree angle, firmly draw the long edge of the float across the tile seam. Move diagonally to avoid pulling grout out of the seam. Deposit excess grout back in the grout bucket.

After a section has cured for about an hour, follow up by soaking a sponge in clean water in a bucket and lightly wiping the grout lines in a circular motion to remove excess grout.

Remove the Grout Haze

A milky-white grout haze will remain on the tile surface. Remove the grout haze after the tile has fully cured by first wiping it down with a sponge and clean water. Next, add 3 ounces of haze cleaner per gallon of water, or as directed by the product instructions, and soak the sponge in this solution. Wipe down the tile surface with this solution until the haze has disappeared.

Seal the Grout

Cured tile grout will soak up water if it is not properly sealed. Seal the tile grout either by applying sealer to individual grout lines with a brush applicator or by spraying down the entire tile surface and wiping off the excess from the tile faces.

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I wish I could say that removing fireplace tiles and preparing the surround for new tiles was an easy task. In fact I wish I could say that I could have done it all by myself because I often like a challenge. But not this time. Not only am I glad I didn’t do this by myself, I am so super excited to tell you who helped me with this project. But first let’s take a look down memory lane at what my fireplace looked like before I decided to paint it white. By the way that was just a super quick and temporary fix, do not … I repeat… do not paint your tile unless you know what you are doing.
How to reuse wall tiles

My Dad is making his first ever appearance here on the blog. Crazy Awesome, right? Some of you have been introduced to my DIY Dad in my book What the Tech? Those of you who have read it know that my Dad is super skilled DIYer turned techy. Hmm.. funny how history repeats itself. Although he’s all about tech stuff like me, we definitely both will always love a good DIY project.

I was a little nervous to demo a fireplace by myself for the first time so with Dad being here I felt a lot more confident. Now like most tasks having the right tools and the right plan is half the battle. Sign up here to get a free project planner before you start any project. Dad made sure I had all of the items listed below before we got to far along. Once we got these tools the demo came along a lot fas

Tools Needed To Demo A Fireplace

  1. Small Sledge Hammer
  2. The Best Retractable Utility Knife and Blade
  3. Molding or Pry Bar
  4. Channel Lock Pliers
  5. Concrete Screws
  6. Drill
  7. Concrete Board and/or Tile board
  8. Thinset Chisel

How to reuse wall tiles

Steps to Demo Fireplace Tile

Remove Mantel

  1. Remove the mantel ( we thought we could skip this part.. we were wrong. Just go ahead and take it off)
  2. Remove mantel by finding any screws and removing those
  3. Cut any caulk using your utility knife (Dad suggests this one and I have to admit it’s pretty awesome)
  4. Carefully carry your mantel to a safe location. Be careful they are heavier than they look.

How to reuse wall tiles

Prep Space around Fireplace for a Huge Mess

  1. Make sure you are prepared for a huge mess. I used a canvas tarp which helped collect broken tile.
  2. Tile demo creates a ton of dust, cover up anything you don’t want to get dust.
  3. Have a plan for disposing of tile. We had a wheelbarrow parked at the back door.
  4. Use construction type garbage bags for tile scraps and dispose at your local dump.

How to reuse wall tiles

FireplaceTile Demo: What to expect

  • The tile on the wall area was much easier to remove by using a smaller hammer
  • The floor tile took a lot of work and was not as easy to remove. A small 4lb hammer did the trick.
  • It also helps to use a chisel like this one to get under the tiles and then hammer

How to reuse wall tiles

After all of the tile is removed. You must remove all nails or staples. This tool is awesome for getting great leverage and removing nails and staples. I wish I had used it when I was removing carpet.

How to reuse wall tiles

The last step in the actual demo process is to remove any damage drywall or concrete board. Once you have cut that away you can start replacing the sections with new boards. How to reuse wall tiles

Due to the depth we had to use drywall on the upper section of the fireplace surround and tile board on the floor section of the fireplace. How to reuse wall tiles

We filed in any gaps with smaller pieces. How to reuse wall tiles

Cutting tile board and concrete board can be done with the awesome utility knife we talked about and by using a long drywall T-square. Now that the demo is complete and the surface is prepared it’s time to tile! Tiling is not that difficult it can just be really messy. Here’s what the fireplace looks like now… (minus the holiday decor of course)!

How to reuse wall tiles

About Lesley Clavijo

Welcome fellow Creatives! I’m Lesley and my life is crazy just like yours. But I have a secret, you can live a purposeful and organized life and accomplish your goals without shutting off your creative light that burns so bright!

Learn how to glue almost anything! We’re here to help.

Find helpful tips, how to’s and tools to get the job done.

5 Reasons to Use a Drywall Adhesive

When installing interior drywall, LIQUID NAILS ® Drywall Adhesive or LIQUID NAILS ® Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive can help you get the job done quickly and improve the finish quality.

How To Build A Deck

When you’re building a deck with wood or composite lumber, supplementing nails, screws, and other traditional fasteners with construction adhesive is an easy way to get stronger, longer-lasting results.

Construction Adhesive Tips For Yard Jobs

Your outdoor projects are your most visible, so how good they look and how well they last is a huge reflection on you. Follow these quick and easy construction adhesive tricks that your competitors may not even consider.

Dry Time for LIQUID NAILS ® Brand Construction Adhesive and Caulk

For any construction adhesive or caulk, drying or curing time depends on a number of factors.

How To Conquer Challenging Vertical Applications Using Construction Adhesives

Installing vertical materials can sometimes be a challenge, especially when physical fasteners are not easily used. Construction adhesives are an alternative solution because they can successfully bond many substrates.

How To Install A Fire Pit

To install a fire pit, all you need is your block of choice and LIQUID NAILS ® FUZE*IT ® All Surface Construction Adhesive to get the job done. Liquid Nails FUZE*IT has an extreme temperature resistance, and will secure your blocks in place.

How To Install Interior Trim Molding Using Construction Adhesive

Use LIQUID NAILS ® Fuze*It All-Surface Construction Adhesive, or LIQUID NAILS ® Ultra Quick Grip Adhesive for your interior trim and molding installation to save you time and to give you a better finished product.

How To Install Brick Veneer

If you are installing brick veneer indoors, you do not need to use mortar. As long as your wall is relatively flat in spaces like fireplace surrounds and kitchen backsplashes, you can use a construction adhesive instead.

How To Install Mirrors The Right Way

Choosing the right adhesive is critical for a mirror installation. The silver backing on the back side of your mirror is extremely sensitive to adhesives. Some adhesives can burn through the silver backing, and damage your mirror. We recommend using LIQUID NAILS ® Mirror Adhesive.

How To Build A Retaining Wall

Beautify your customers’ landscapes and prevent erosion with a durable retaining wall up to three layers of substrate high. Landscape block and wall adhesive are all you need.

How To Soundproof Your Walls

The perceived quality of a wall is determined partly by its sound deadening abilities. Luckily, there is an easy and low-cost solution.

How To Install Paneling and Tileboard With Construction Adhesives

Decorative paneling and tile boards can accent a space in your home, and can easily be installed with a construction adhesive. To get the job done, we recommend using LIQUID NAILS ® Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive.

How To Stop Your Floors From Squeaking

There’s often that one spot on a floor that creaks and groans. But there doesn’t have to be. With the right construction adhesive you can eliminate unpleasant squeaks in both new and existing hardwood floors.

The Facts About Moisture-Curing Adhesives

Most adhesives are either latex or solvent-based. Latex adhesives cure when the water in them evaporates. Solvent-based adhesives cure when the solvent in them evaporates. But there’s a third kind of adhesives, called moisture-curing adhesives, which cure by reacting with moisture in the air or the substrate.

How To Repair Your Roof With Liquid Nails

With the proper use of construction adhesives, you can prevent roof damage and make simple roof repairs in case anything gets damaged.

How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen Island With a Construction Adhesive

When building an outdoor kitchen island, concrete or stone is a popular choice, but it’s not necessary. You can use wood as an alternative to build a kitchen island, when using a construction adhesive. Even though wood is lighter, there are steps you can take to help make a wooden frame almost as sturdy as traditional construction at a fraction of the cost and hassle.

How To Use Construction Adhesives in Freezing Conditions

One of the many challenges in residential construction is working with adhesive on frozen lumber. This typically occurs when installing subflooring to joists, and improper installation techniques can lead to long-term issues like floor noise. Here are some tips for working with construction adhesives when the temperature drops.

How To Store Your Construction Adhesive

Storing adhesives the right way allows you to use your adhesive to complete multiple projects over time instead of throwing it away after one use.

How To Separate Materials Bonded Together With Construction Adhesive

Removing adhesive from objects can be tricky, but we have the right tips to help you complete your project.

How to Remove Construction Adhesive From Skin

If you got construction adhesive on your skin, there are a few ways to safely remove it. Most adhesives and caulks can be removed once softened.

How to Remove Construction Adhesives

There are a few ways to remove construction adhesive after you bonded two materials together. Occasionally you may need to wipe away construction adhesive or separate two objects bonded with it, such as two boards, two bricks, etc. Most adhesives and caulks can be scraped off when they are softened.

Creative Ways to Use Roof Tile in Home Décor

Hello there and thanks so much for stopping in today. I’m very excited to report that I am now the proud owner of my latest fixer-upper, which we are calling, The House On Victoria Court. We closed escrow on Monday! This vintage cottage was built in the 1930’s and still retains a lot of its original characteristics. It was well maintained and of all the fixer-uppers I’ve tackled, this home will probably require the least amount of renovation. We are gutting the kitchen and bathroom, adding a rear deck and expanding the front deck, and updating the electrical and plumbing. The rest of the effort will be mostly cosmetic and I hope to complete this renovation in 3 to 4 months.

How to reuse wall tiles

As you can see, the split log siding has aged to a pretty gray patina which I really like. But, the wood needs to be sanded down and refinished. If you look closely you can see that the lower 3 or 4 boards have been replaced and stained gray. So, I plan to stain the rest of the house light gray, which I think is attractive.

How to reuse wall tiles

But now take a look at the roof. It is a tan colored asphalt composition and doesn’t really match the gray wood siding. While the roof is in relatively good repair and still has a few good years of life, I’m considering replacing it with a new metal roof.

How to reuse wall tiles

I’m going for the old Miner’s Cabin aesthetic if you can picture that. Something like what you see in the photo below.

How to reuse wall tiles

So, with roofing top-of-the-mind for me, it was ironic that I was approached recently by Danielle, a writer for Roofing Vancouver BC. She says when it comes to roofs, you can always think out of the box and even add a little more of it into your interior or garden design. Who knew?

Danielle pointed out that in today’s do-it-yourself age, repurposing items for your home is very on-trend, and can be a great way to add low cost style to your home’s décor. If you have a few leftover old roof tiles there is no need to throw them out. Whether you have ceramic, wooden, barrel shaped terracotta or slate roof tiles, there are many things you can do to repurpose or craft them into attractive décor pieces. So, here are some creative ways to use those old roof tiles in unique, crafty and inexpensive ways.

My favorite idea, and one I might incorporate into the design of my latest fixer-upper, is to use wooden roof shingles on interior walls. They add texture and interest. And did you know that repurposed terracotta roof tiles can be used as floor tile? Both brilliant and attractive ideas.

How to reuse wall tiles

Barrel shaped roof tiles can be used to create a unique and rustic looking wine rack. This is a great way to add a unique piece to a kitchen, bar or wine cellar, and would be perfect for my own Spanish style home.

How to reuse wall tiles

You can use slate tiles to create unique placemats or coasters. They are also easy to write on with chalk, so they can be a great way to add some fun to your kitchen or party decor, as they can become functional place-cards too.

How to reuse wall tiles

Turn roof tiles into candleholders. The inner side of barrel roof tiles can be used to hold a candle. What a very chic way to illuminate any room.

How to reuse wall tiles

Or, turn a tile into an electrified wall sconce.

How to reuse wall tiles

I love the idea of using roof tiles in your garden. Look at the ingenious way one homeowner used leftover roof tiles to construct a raised garden bed.

How to reuse wall tiles

And look at this attractive succulent planter in a barrel roof tile.

How to reuse wall tiles

Barrel tiles can be used to create a unique scarf, jewelry or key holder too.

How to reuse wall tiles

So as you can see, roof tiles are a great and inexpensive way to create stylish and chic home décor. And for more DIY home decor ideas you might also like my post on how to create inexpensive DIY wall art.

Thank you Roofing Vancouver BC for all the great tips on creative ways to use roof tile in home décor.


Thanks so much for dropping in!

Express Yourself!

No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below.

Pool tile doesn’t only work to border the pool, but it also gives a more attractive touch to its overall look. You can find tons of beautiful tiles with various colors, patterns, and textures that you can pick based on your needs.

Just like the other parts of your swimming pool, tiles also need some regular maintenance. We’re dealing with water which contains some chemicals here, so you can’t just have a swimming pool without any willingness to keep its look and performance overtimes.

When it comes to tiles, the most common problem that you will have is stains (besides cracking and chipping that mostly happen by accident). Stains on your pool tiles usually look like greyish or white sand that stick on it. The stains are actually calcium build up as the result of the separation of calcium carbonate from the pool water.

There are some factors that can stain your pool tiles, such as:

  • High levels of pH or alkalinity – That’s why it’s important to regularly check the chemical balance of your pool water.
  • Hard water source – If your local water source is considered ‘high’ then you may experience this problem.
  • Overheat – When your pool is overly exposed to sunlight, the water will evaporate quickly which leaves the calcium buildup on the tiles.

If the stains are not severe enough, you can solve this problem all by yourself without any help from a pro. The tutorial on How to Clean Pool Tile below will guide you to deal with it.

How to Clean Pool Tile | Easy DIY Tutorial

The calcium buildup can get really worse when you don’t immediately remove them. Overtimes, they will get harden which may force you to eventually hire a pool pro which can cost you a lot. Therefore, follow these steps whenever you spot some stains around your pool.

Use Vinegar Mixture

The first effort that you can try is by simply mixing vinegar and water. It’s a quick cleaning attempt for new stains.

Prepare these supplies:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A used toothbrush or any soft brush

Follow these steps:

  • Mix vinegar and water in a bowl or bucket.
  • Pour a small amount of the cleaning solution on the stained tiles. You can also use a garden sprayer.
  • Use the toothbrush to clean the stain.

Use Muriatic Acid

For more severe stains, muriatic acid can be a good solution that you can try. Remember to wear rubber gloves since the chemical may harm your skin.

  • Purchase muriatic acid in the local hardware stores.
  • Repeat the same steps just like you use the vinegar mixture.

Use Pumice Stone

A pumice stone can be a harder tool to remove stains on your pool tile. It’s popular among DIYers since it’s so cheap and easy to use. However, you have to be careful not to scratch the tiles when you use it to clean the stains.

  • Wear your rubber gloves.
  • Pour the cleaning solution.
  • Clean the stains with a pumice stone.

Use Pressure Washer

The very last attempt that you can try is by renting a pressure washer to remove stubborn stains.

  • Rent a steam pressure washer with up to 2600 PSI with 300 degrees F heat reach.
  • Spray from 3 feet away for about 30 seconds or until you are sure that the stains are completely removed.
  • Wear safety gear like eye goggles.

So those are the steps that you can try to remove the stains or calcium buildup on your pool tiles. If you notice that the scale is quite hard to remove, you may need to jump to the last step directly.

As mentioned above, you may not be able to handle the sever calcium buildup on your pool stains. Besides it would be a losing battle, you may also end up damaging the tiles due to the use of harsh chemical or improper cleaning methods. That’s when you need to call a professional, they may offer you a more effective solution like bead blasting. Of course, you have to prepare more budget for it, but it’s guaranteed that you will have shiny clean tiles.

To avoid the worse case of pool stains, below we share some easy tips that you can keep in mind:

  • Check the chemicals – Since one of the most common causes of stains on pool tiles is high chemical level, it’s always recommended for you to regularly check your pool water. Just simply use a test strip or kit, then take some action to balance the chemicals.
  • Clean the tiles regularly – When you have free time and it’s quite sunny outside, take a quick brush on your pool tiles.
  • Cover the pool – Quickly cover your pool when the day is too hot to prevent the water to evaporate quickly.

Swimming pool tiles can last for decades if you maintain them properly. Regular cleaning can help the tiles to look attractive overtimes, and you won’t have to deal with harsh chemicals in the near future.

Remember, the quality of your pool tiles also determines their lifespan. Some homeowners even use the tiles which are not specifically designed for swimming pools like kitchen or bathroom tiles. Though they are water-resistant, the chemicals of pools may easily harm them. In other words, water-resistant is not enough for swimming pool tiles, they have to be durable enough to deal with the swimming pool chemicals.

Let’s add this How to Clean Pool Tile to your DIY projects list now and bring back the beauty of your swimming pool right away!

09 FEB 21 | 1 minute read

If your kitchen or bathroom remodelling has left you feeling creative then try using any old broken tiles for gardening projects – they look great as a decorative border or can be useful to add draining to your plant pots by placing broken bits in the bottom before adding the soil.

Household recycling collections

How to reuse wall tiles

Floor and wall tiles are not collected as part of household recycling schemes but you can usually take them to your local household waste and recycling centre.

Tiles will often come in cardboard packaging. This can be placed in household recycling if clean.

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

How to reuse wall tiles

Most household waste recycling centres will accept tiles in their rubble collection.

At sites where rubble including household tiles are accepted, make sure not to overfill transport containers as site colleagues may not be able to provide physical assistance to unload and dispose of material. Remember to recycle any containers such as clean cardboard boxes where possible.

If you have a large quantity to dispose of, you can arrange for a skip or jumbo-style bag to be delivered to your home for removal by a waste disposal company. Check SEPA’s online register of licensed waste carriers and brokers before accepting any offers, using an unregistered waste carrier could lead to your items being flytipped.

What can you do?

Ask family and friends if they would like them for a project they might have.

Check locally – a community project near you may have a use for them.

Try advertising them on local selling sites like Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.


What is the best way to pull up tile?

Break up the first tile with the blunt edge of a hammer (image 1), and then use a chisel to pry up the remainder of the first tile. Once this first tile is removed, place the chisel against the bottom edge of adjacent tiles, apply pressure with your hammer and the tiles should pop up easily (image 2).

How hard is it to rip up tile floor?

Removing floor tile can be a difficult and time-consuming project and the challenges often remain hidden until the project is underway. Depending on the construction, the tile may be attached to bare cement, a plywood or mason board underlayment or even affixed to a previously installed floor.

How much does it cost to rip up tile?

The average cost to remove tile is between $1.50 – $4.15 per square foot, with an average cost of $4.15/sqft for professional tile removal.

Can I remove tile myself?

Removing tile yourself is a labor-intensive project, but it can save you thousands of dollars that you would have spent on hiring a professional. It’s important to have everything you need and to do it right in order to avoid damaging your subfloor (or the tiles, if you want to repurpose them).

How do you replace floor tiles without replacing them?

Options to Update Floor Tile Without Removing Them

  1. Installing a Vinyl Top.
  2. Clean the Grout Between the Tiles.
  3. Use a Tile Cleaner or Surface Cleaner.
  4. Use a Rug to Cover Old Tiles.
  5. Update Floor Tile Without Replacing Them by Resurfacing.

Can you pull up ceramic tile?

Here’s how to use hand tools for this DIY tile removal: Use a ball peen or masonry hammer and cold chisel to tap the pieces free. Always wear safety glasses when removing ceramic tile. In some cases, the only way to tear out the ceramic tile is with heavy equipment such as a jackhammer or air chisel.

Is it easy to remove tiles?

After the tiles have been completely removed you will now need to get rid of the tiling adhesive that is still attached to the wall or floor. It is fairly easy to remove this by scraping the adhesive with a putty knife.

Should I remove tile before installing laminate flooring?

Both tile and laminate flooring planks can be installed over wood or concrete subfloors. Since you cannot lay laminate planks over tiles, though, you do have to remove the tiles from the subfloor before placing your laminate flooring, which leads to some additional prep work.

How much does it cost to tile a 12×12 room?

The national average range is between $1,000 and $5,000, with most people paying around $3,500 for 200 sq. ft. of 12-inch porcelain tile installed. The low cost for this project is $500 for a 50 sq. Tile Flooring Cost by Type of Tile.

Tile Type Tile Cost per sq. ft. (Material Only)
Cement-Look $30 – $70

How much is labor for tile?

Labor Cost to Install Tile The labor cost for installing tiles is about $4 to $32 per square foot. Labor costs range from $4 to $14 per square foot for floor tiling, while those for a backsplash or countertop are about $25 to $32 per square foot.

What does it cost to tile a shower?

The national average cost to tile a shower is between $547 – $1,901 depending its size. Typically, tiling a shower costs about $25 per square foot. For a standard tub that needs six to eight feet of tile, you would spend $2,000.

Is it OK to tile over tile?

So, in short, you can tile over tile as long as you’re working on a fairly sound surface. The surface of the existing tile should be free of mold and mildew, completely level (including grout), and without any warping or strangely-placed tiles that might otherwise interfere with a smooth new layer.

Does Home Depot remove tile?

During this appointment, a Home Depot professional will arrive to measure the room(s) where your tile flooring will be installed. As a courtesy, our professionals can remove larger piece of furniture, including sofas, dressers and tables.

Can you remove tiles and reuse them?

As you might expect, reusing ceramic tile is almost fruitless. The reason is because tile is usually adhered either with thinset mortar or some type of epoxy (most likely the former). The mortar almost becomes part of the tile. Even if you can remove the tile, the bottom is highly uneven and unsuitable for reuse.

If you’re wondering how to finish a tile backsplash in a way that hides the raw or cut edges, here’s how to finish tile with metal edging. We recently tiled the kitchen backsplash, creating a pretty herringbone pattern using basic subway tiles:

Because we didn’t tile the whole wall (and stopped on the outer edges of the room, where the walls end abruptly) I wanted a nice way to finish the tile. We used metal edging – you can see it above the sink in the photo below. You can find this metal edging in tiling shops and home improvement stores and it comes in different sizes and and metal finishes. It’s very subtle, you can barely see it, but it just finishes off the tile nicely. I think it makes a DIY tile job look more professional!

How to reuse wall tiles

We used schluter brand edging, but there are many different brands making a product like this. Installation was super simple. We figured out where our tiling would stop and affixed the edging to the wall using screws. We used a level to make sure the metal edging wasn’t wonky.

Then we just tiled up to the edges, ensuring a nice tight meeting. Our edging had a little “lip,” for the tile to slide under, so there are no awkward gaps. We used the edging at the top of the tiling, and also the sides. It created a nice “frame” for the pattern.

Here’s a prettier photo of where the tile just ends at the doorway opening:

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone figuring out how to finish off tiling!

How to reuse wall tiles

Click here to read about how we re-varnished the cabinet fronts and click here to see more of the tiling process.

Can You Reuse Tile. Possibly many people think developing a home with can you recycle and reuse ceramic tiles? The reason is because tile is usually adhered either with thinset mortar or some type of epoxy (most likely the former).

Reuse Ceramic Tiles Money Saving Ideas Fitted from

Can you reuse slate roof? Is difficult due to the several conditions that are not feasible. Can ceramic tile be removed and reused?

Once a tile is deactivated, it can’t be reactivated on any account, for security reasons. It takes some care when removing the tile from the existing wall or floor.

They can also be reused in your garden as the tiled planters or flowerpots. If this technology existed then when the government needed to redo roads they would just add this magical potion and road would be redone.

Apply About A 1⁄8 Inch (0.32 Cm) Layer Of Adhesive To The Wall And Use A Trowel To Add Grooves.

Can you reuse slate roof? If this technology existed then when the government needed to redo roads they would just add this magical potion and road would be redone. Whether your floor has been damaged, in need of temporary tile taking away, or you prefer your so much you ought to move them to a new area, removing and reusing peel from the lime and stick tiles is mostly a perfectly feasible project for the home diy lover.

They’re So Versatile, In Fact, That We’ve Pulled Together A List Of All The Things You Can Do With Old And Leftover Tiles.

4 related question answers found Can you reuse peel and stick tile? Can ceramic tile be removed and reused?

Even If You Can Remove The Tile, The Bottom Is Highly Uneven And Unsuitable For Reuse.

Either whole tiles or bits of tile can be used to add interesting color and designs to garden areas. In ripping the existing tiles off, you do not necessarily have to destroy them. They can also be reused in your garden as the tiled planters or flowerpots.

If You Press The Tile Button And It Makes No Sound, Or If You Have Attempted To Find It From Your Phone In Every Possible Way, The Battery Being Dead Or The Tile Being Damaged Is The Most Obvious Answer.

It takes some care when removing the tile from the existing wall or floor. Even if you can remove the tile, the bottom is highly uneven and unsuitable for reuse. A small batch of grout mixed properly only has a usable time of a few hours.

But You Are Never Going To Get A Tile Floor Even Without Redoing The Mortar That They Are Set In.

Can you reuse hardened grout? Tiles are versatile, and that’s one of the reasons we love them! They can also be reused in your garden as the tiled planters or flowerpots.