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How To Remove Tiles And Plaster From Exterior Walls?

Are you thinking about renovating your home? You might have a variety of ideas about everything, from the walls to the aesthetics.

But, there is one daunting task to tackle: how to remove tiles and plaster from exterior walls. While this might seem draining, it is not that hard. If you have the correct tools, you can achieve it easily. 


Most homeowners try to do most tasks themselves to avoid higher costs. We also have many people who are hesitant about whether ceramic tiles can be painted. The answer is yes, not only can it be more visually beautiful, but painting the walls and installing lights can be easily done by yourself.

But what about the tricky task of removing tiles without any damage to the plaster? This is a bit of a challenge. But, do not worry, we are here to guide you.

Removing tiles and plaster requires patience and the right techniques. We understand the importance of maintaining the structural integrity of your walls during this process.

Today, we will go through the process of removing tiles and plaster from exterior walls. So, let’s get started!

Preparing Your Workspace

Before you start the task, it is crucial to have all the right tools at hand. You must have a designated workplace for this task and prepare beforehand. This ensures the safety and effectiveness of your process. 

Tools and Materials You Will Need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Thick work gloves
  • Masking tape (for protecting areas you don’t want damaged)
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Chisel
  • Grout removal tool (or a grout saw)
  • Scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Electric sanding tool or sandpaper
  • Tile cutter (optional)
  • Heat gun or blow dryer (optional)
  • Large bin bags

Removing tiles from exterior walls could take around 1-2 days to complete. You must remember that the process can get quite messy and tedious, so prepare accordingly.

Lay down some newspapers, old bedsheets, or tarpaulin to protect the surfaces below the wall. Dress in old clothes, because they can easily get dirty.

Do not keep any obstacles or furniture in the area. This is important to ensure mobility while you are accessing the tiles. Now, that you are aware of the preparation, let’s start with the tile removal process 

Remove the Grout 

Start your tile removal process by clearing the grout which holds the tiles in place. When you get rid of the grout, your tiles will be removed quite easily, without damaging the plaster below.

So, which tools can be used for this? A grout removal tool or chisel is your best bet. Using these tools, simply scrape the grout away. 

If the grout is tough or excessive, you can also use an oscillating cutting tool. If you have an entire wall of tiles to be removed, begin with removing the grout at the edges.

If the grout proves too stubborn, you can soften it using a heat gun or blow dryer. Warm the grout line for about 30 seconds and then continue with the removal.

Remove the Grout 

Tile Removal

The next step is the main part – tile removal. Firstly, tap the tiles with your chisel. This is a trick to identify any loose tiles. If you don’t find any, simply begin with the top corner.

This process is relatively easy. All you have to do is place your chisel at the edge of a tile. Then, tap on it with the help of your hammer. If you do it correctly, the tiles will come off without breakage. 

However, keep in mind that the first tile is always the toughest. Once you deal with the first one, the rest of them can come off like a breeze. If you wish to reuse some tiles, take extra care not to break them.

For plasterboard walls, extreme caution is necessary to avoid damage to the plaster underneath. Patience is the key here. Just keep tapping and removing the tiles, and you will be good to go! 

Cleaning up the Wall

Now comes the last part – clean up. After you have removed the tiles, there will be some adhesive patches left on the wall. Do not worry when you see them. Instead, just grab your chisel and scraper and remove them.

These tools will easily remove the larger adhesive patches. Moving on, for the remaining stubborn residues, just sand them down and you will get a smooth finish!  

After doing this, check your wall to see if there are any damages. Usually, tile removal can lead to certain cosmetic issues for the wall. Address these with some spackle and your putty knife. Once dry, sand down any uneven spots for impressive results. 

Can Wall Tiles be Removed in One Piece?

While it may be more environmentally good to try to remove tiles in one piece for repurposing or sale, it takes much longer and requires more experience.

If your tiles are weary, chipped, or outdated, it’s probably not worth the effort because they won’t be reused. If you still want to remove tiles in one piece, use a professional tile scraper, which has a wider, flatter tip than a chisel.

1. Removing Tiles From The Plasterboard

Removing tiles from the plasterboard is similar to removing tiles from a wall. Simply use the chisel and hammer to chisel the tiles off the wall until the plasterboard is free of tile.

2. Removing Tile Adhesive From The Wall

A chisel or a scraper can be used to remove old tile glue from the walls. If you’ve already gone through the procedure of removing bathroom or kitchen tiles, just scrape off the glue. Soften the adhesive with warm water where it is more stubborn.


3. Security Measures for Tile Removal

Tile removal might seem straightforward, but it’s essential to think about safety. You’re not just dealing with tiles but also with shards, dust, and potential damages to other parts of your home. Whether you’re in the kitchen or the bathroom, here’s how to get things ready:

4. Protecting Bathroom Fixtures

If the bathroom’s your target, drape a cloth or plastic sheet over the bathtub and porcelain fixtures. This way, if a tile drops or shatters, it won’t chip or scratch them.

5. Kitchen Preparations

In the kitchen, start by moving out any light furniture. For heavier stuff like your oven or fridge, and even your countertops, use cardboard or bubble wrap. This isn’t just to protect against tiles – even little dust particles can scratch or damage surfaces.

6. Cover the Drains

Whether you’re in the kitchen or bathroom, cover up those drains. Trust me, you don’t want dust or bits of tile clogging them up.

7. Care for the Floor

Your floor’s at risk too, whether it’s wood, stone, or laminate. An old rug or blanket can act as a cushion. Drop a tile, and instead of a dent or chip, you’ll just get a muffled thud.

8. Think About Electricity

If you’re taking tiles off near any electrical outlets, especially splashbacks, remember to turn the power off. It’s better to be safe than to be electrocuted!

9. Protect Yourself 

Finally, think about you. Before diving into the work, gear up! Tiles can be sharp, and the dust can irritate. So, pull on some sturdy gloves, knee pads for comfort, safety goggles to shield your eyes, and a dust mask. Better to be decked out in safety gear than regretting it later. 


As you have seen, the correct removal of tiles and plaster from exterior walls is based on the correct tools. With the correct gear at your disposal, you can easily remove tiles from anywhere – be it the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom.

The process is easy to understand, and you can do it by yourself within the nick of time. So, if you are preparing to renovate your home, pull up your protective gloves and start tiling! 

click to read: Will glazed tiles scratch? how to deal with it?


1. How Do You Remove Tiles Without Damaging Plaster?

Removing tiles from the plasterboard is similar to removing tiles from a wall. Simply use the chisel and hammer to chisel the tiles off the wall until the plasterboard is free of tile.

2. Does Removing Tiles Damage Plaster?

It depends on how the tiles came off; if you’re lucky, all of the previous tile residues will have gone off without causing harm to the plaster; if not, it’s better to plaster for good tiling results.

3. Can I Remove the Bathroom Tiles Myself?

While removing wall and paving tile is a relatively simple process, it may also be dangerous. Tile chips and shards can be quite sharp, therefore wearing protective gloves and goggles is essential.

For the same reason, it’s best to wear a long-sleeved top and pick up tile bits as you go along.

4. How Difficult Is It to Remove Tile From Bathroom Wall?

Because wall tiles are often installed closely together with few grout lines, removing them is different from and more difficult than removing floor tiles.

So, removing a wall tile without destroying the tiles around it is a complicated task and requires extra caution.

5. Is It OK to Tile on Plaster?

Tiling onto plaster is a pretty simple task if you have properly prepared and used the appropriate tools and products. To avoid making mistakes, make sure you plan ahead of time and that the surface is clean, dry, sound, and flat.

If you have any other questions, you can click here to contact us at George Ceramics, and we will have professional staff to answer your questions.

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