How to Remove Bathtub Tile


Many bathtubs and showers have a ceramic tile wall installed. These walls are decorative and prevent drywall from being ruined by water. While ceramic tiles are durable, they can become worn, damaged or cracked over time. Whether you're doing a total bathroom overhaul and need to remove a wall of tile or just need to remove a few damaged squares, the process is the same: Cut through the grout and pry off the old tile.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Small power grinder or grout-removing tool
  • 3/8- or 1/4-inch chisel
  • Hammer
  • Remove the grout from around the edges of the tiles you want to take out, using a power grinder that is designed for grout removal. Attach the tip to the power grinder, position it between the tiles and power it on. Move the grinder back and forth over the grout, and the tip will grind away the grout for you.

  • Position your chisel in the center of a tile you wish to remove. Hold the chisel at a 90-degree angle to the wall and tap the end of the chisel lightly with your hammer. Continue tapping to crack the tile and make a hole in the center.

  • Continue tapping around the hole. Angle the chisel toward the outer edge of the tile and work outward to break pieces of the tile free.

  • Scrape the area behind the tile once it is removed, using the sharp end of your chisel. Continue scraping until all the thinset or mortar is removed.

  • Repeat for each tile you wish to remove.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a grout-removing tool instead of a power grinder requires more time and arm strength. To use it, hold the toothed end of the tool over the grout you wish to remove then apply pressure. Move it over the grout to scrape it out.
  • If you do not have a chisel, you may use a flathead screwdriver as a substitute.
  • Always wear safety goggles when removing tiles to protect your eyes from dust and debris.

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  • Photo Credit bathroom image by Vonora from
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