How to Remove Tile Adhesive from Plaster Walls? Read This Before You Remove the Old Adhesive!

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Tiling the wall is quite different as you will be working with the vertical surface.

Plastering walls before tiling has many benefits. The durability and premium finish will be determined by a number of factors, including the type of tile adhesive and smoothness of the surface.

The right type of tile adhesive will help to bond the tiles strongly to the plastered wall.

Are you trying to retile a plastered wall or remove patches of tile adhesive from it?

Then you are in the right place.

This blog will provide a step-by-step procedure to remove tile adhesive from plastered walls.

Apply the epoxy gel remover to the adhesive to dampen the glue. Let it stay for 25 to 30 minutes, then scrape it off using a bristle brush. You can repeat the process until there is no more tile adhesive on the wall.

Plastering Walls Before Tiling

It is not mandatory to plaster the walls before tiling. In contrast, many recommend plastering wall to gain a smooth surface and to skip the priming process.

You can easily lay the tiles on a plastered wall. Plastered walls will provide a premium finish when compared to tile on a concrete surface.

After removing the loosened wallpaper, nails, and plaster from the wall, you sand it well. Then mix the plaster with water until you obtain the right texture. Next, you can start plastering the wall using the prepared mixture. Allow it to dry well before tiling.

The Best Tile Adhesive for Plaster Walls

It is essential to select a suitable tile adhesive to prevent debonding. When tiling plaster walls, the adhesive you choose will depend on the type of tile.

For small ceramic tiles, ready-mixed tile adhesive will be a great option. If you are using large tiles, you can use a cement-based adhesive.

Mastic adhesive is also one of the best options for bonding tiles to plaster walls.

Removing Tile Adhesive from Plaster Walls

Tiling on plastered walls are more durable. Therefore, if you plan to redesign the house by removing the tile from the plastered wall, you must put in some effort.

Removing old adhesive from the plaster wall is essential if you want to retile or paint the wall.

You can follow the steps below when removing tile adhesive from plaster walls.

Safety Precautions:

Before starting the process, ensure that you are wearing safety gear since you will be using a chemical reagent (floor glue remover).

Wear a mask, a pair of goggles, and a pair of gloves. Also, it is essential to ventilate the place.

Step 1

Suppose you are planning to remove tile adhesive from the plaster walls of your bathroom, vacate the place, and use old cloths to cover the countertop, bathtub, and other necessary places.

Step 2

Now apply the adhesive remover to dampen the tile adhesive. Let it sit for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Some adhesive removers dry faster, so ensure to check on it periodically.

Step 3

Using a metal scraper, scrub off the mastic adhesive from the wall.

You can use a cardboard box or a bin to collect the scraps. Suppose there are more patches of tile adhesive on the wall. You can repeat the process until all the glue is removed.

Note: Refrain from using plastic scrapers. Due to the chemicals present in the adhesive remover, plastic scrapers might dissolve.

Step 4

Now clean the wall using warm, soapy water. This will help to remove dust and debris from the plaster wall.

Finally, you can clean it with fresh water.

Alternative Methods

The method described above will aid in the removal of tile adhesive from plaster walls. Anyway, there are other alternative methods you can use.

Some people try scraping the adhesive just by using a metal scrape. Although it is possible, it will be time-consuming and require a lot of effort.

The following are simple hacks that don’t require a tile adhesive remover.

Method 1: Using Hot Water

Get a bucket of hot water. Dip a cloth in hot water and let it soak for some time. Then wet the tile adhesive using the cloth.

The heat and water will help to loosen the adhesive. You can repeat the process until the glue softens, using a sandpaper scraper to remove the adhesive from the plaster wall.

Method 2: Using a Steamer

You can also use a handheld steamer to loosen the tile adhesive. Heat the surface well using the steamer.

The heat will loosen the hard texture of the adhesive. Now, using a metal scraper, you can easily scrape off the glue.

Note: When using the steamer ensure to circulate the steamer along the surface, without heating same place for too longer.

Damages to the Plaster Wall

Although you can remove the tile adhesive from the wall, you should be aware that the wall is likely to be scratched.

Regardless of the method you are using, these damages are often predictable. Taking due precautions will prevent excessive damage or cracks.

Also, if you plan to remove tile adhesive from a larger area, you must be patient and focus on the job.

The residue will fall to the ground when you scrape the tile adhesive off the wall. To avoid property or floor damage, cover it before the process.

When Remodeling, Why Should You Remove Tile Adhesive from the Plaster Wall?

Imagine you plan to tile the plaster walls of your bathroom. Since it looks too old, you think of remodeling the bathroom by retiling the walls and the floor.

In such cases, you must first remove the tiles and the old tile adhesive from the plaster wall.

Making the surface smooth before retiling will improve durability and provide a professional finish.

Remove the old tile adhesive from the floor and the walls before you start tiling. Now you can start tiling the floor and allow it to cure. Next, you can tile the walls

Final Thoughts

By reading the blog, you will learn in-depth how to remove tile adhesive from plaster walls. Hence, you can use these DIY hacks to remove glue from a plaster wall.

Although removing tile adhesive from the plaster wall requires some effort, the tip provided in this article will help make the process less complex. 


How to Remove Stubborn Tile Adhesive from Plaster Walls

You can use the steamer to soften stubborn tile glue.

Further, you can use the multi-tool attached to the rigid scraper blade when removing stubborn adhesive.

Using such tools on plaster walls is not recommended, as they can cause damage to the wall.

Is It Mandatory to Remove Old Tile Adhesive Before Retiling?

Yes, it is necessary to remove the old tile adhesive.

Removing the old adhesive and smoothing the surface will make tiling easy and durable.

Can I Use a Nail Polish Remover to Remove Wall Tile Adhesive?

Yes, you can use nail polish remover to remove wall tile adhesive.

The acetone in nail polish remover will help to dampen the hard tile glue.

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About Tristan Perry

Tristan is an avid DIYer, with a range of projects under his belt including a kitchen refit, various plumbing jobs, building walls, mixing concrete, tiling, laying laminate, some electrical work and more.

As long as it's safe to do myself, I'll do it myself! I believe in learning on the job and buying tools as I go along, and I now have a head full of DIY facts - and a garage full of power tools!