How to Remove Excess Adhesive From a Ceramic Tile Joint


No matter how carefully you apply the adhesive for ceramic tile, sometimes too much stays in the joint and doesn't leave enough space for the grout. The problem then ruins all the work you've done so far, since the area doesn't hold grout and changes the appearance of your entire project. You need to have at least 1/8-inch of depth between the tiles so this doesn't happen. You remove the excess adhesive from a ceramic tile joint before you grout.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife Thin screwdriver Utility knife Spacers
  • Solve a lot of problems with mess by using mastic adhesive only when tiling over drywall and occasionally on tub surrounds over cement backerboard. Use it when you put it on wainscot walls and backsplashes. You can get several types of thinset. Each one has different chemicals and proportions of polymers. Use different types of thinset for specific types of material. The mastic reemulsifies when water hits it a lot.

  • Lay the thinset with a trowel. Put only the amount down for the number of tiles you'll be able to lay in a 20-minute period. Scoop away any excess thinset that sets on top of the tile with a putty knife.

  • Keep the level of thinset even as possible to prevent problems. When you work with glass, flatten the surface and make it the same thickness all the way across the area.

  • Allow the recently tiled area to dry overnight before you attempt to remove any of the excess thinset adhesive from between the joints. Before you grout, you'll need to clean the grout lines with a putty knife. Place the knife at an angle to the edge of the tile.

  • Push the putty knife forward in the grout lines pushing out excess thinset as you do this. Remove all the adhesive above the tile level.

  • Attempt to remove any large amount of mastic that is in the area between the tiles before it dries. Be aware that you might move the tile, so do this carefully. Use a small putty knife to do this. If you use spacers between the tiles the job is easier. Once the mastic sets up, remove the rest with a thin screwdriver, utility knife or putty knife to remove it, just as you would thinset.

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