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Thread: Tile morter removal

  1. #1

    Default Tile morter removal

    I have a tile next to my shower that I had to remove. Under the tile is about 1/4" of morter that is going to be a pain to remove, do I need to remove all the morter down to the subfloor? Can I just remove 1/8" of the morter and use alittle bit of thinset to reinstall the tile? Is there any alterantive such as epoxy, or adhesive? It's only a small tile. Thanks

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    YOu need to remove enough so that when you thinset a new tile down, it can be made level with the adjacent tile. Thinset is probably your best bet, but buying a whole bag for the use of a cup full is a pain. Once the bag is opened, it doesn't or at least shouldn't have much shelf-life left. Check out www.johnbridge.com for help on tiling issues. A hammer and chisel should get enough off fairly quickly to let you reset the tile. Remove the grout around it before you try to remove the tile, or you'll be replacing more than that one.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I have seen ads for those miracle vibrating tools, and one of the applications is removing mortar under a tile. Don't have the tool, so I can't tell you how easy it works.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Don't need a special tool. A hammer and wide chisel will remove that small amount of cement.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You might be able to use the grout as the mortar to hold the tile down, then you only need to buy some grout to match. Keep in mind that getting grout to match can be tough - the color depends somewhat on how it is mixed (ratio of water to grout), age, dirt, etc. You'd want to back butter the tile. This is a process of using the flat side of the trowel to force the material into the pores of the back of the tile. This will improve the adhesion considerably verses just setting a clean tile into mortar.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member richrc1131's Avatar
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    I used the Rockwell Sonicrafter to remove mortar from the backs of two 8 x 12 tiles. It did a decent job.

  7. #7
    DIY Member TWEAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I have seen ads for those miracle vibrating tools, and one of the applications is removing mortar under a tile. Don't have the tool, so I can't tell you how easy it works.
    I have one of those. It works great, and is one of the few "TV products" I've used that actually does what they say it will do. But I wouldn't buy one just to get the thinset out from under a single tile. A hammer, chisel and 10 minutes should take care of it.

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