Removing and Re-Using Tile
LESLIE: David in Florida has a question about tiles. I guess you want to recycle them? What’s the project?DAVID: I do. Well, inside my house, the only thing that’s gas is the little fireplace they put in; you know, the …TOM: OK.LESLIE: Mm-hmm.DAVID: And so I’ve been trying to take it out and I’ve taken all the screws out and everything, so it’s still in there. And so, I’m thinking, “Well, I have to take the tile out around the outside of it in order to get the whole insert out.”TOM: OK.DAVID: And since it is on sheetrock instead of the cement, I’m hoping there’s a way I can take them off and reuse them once I put in an entertainment center in there and …TOM: Sure. Do you care about the sheetrock?DAVID: No.TOM: OK. Here’s one thing that you could try. You could get a wire, like a piano wire, and you can work it behind the tile. And you want – you’re probably going to have to tie some wood dowels on the end of the wire or something so you have something to really hold onto.LESLIE: Well, you know what? You could even, at a crafts store, in the pottery section – like for people who throw pottery –TOM: Right.LESLIE: – there is a piece of like wire that has two dowels already attached to it so you can trim the top of your pots and plates and things that you’re using.TOM: Oh, OK. But essentially, you’re going to get this wire behind the tile and kind of work it across and try to separate it from the drywall. You’ll end up damaging the drywall a bit but you should be able to get the tiles off.DAVID: OK. And then just clean them off and reuse them.TOM: Yeah, exactly. Once you get them off, you know, then you can abrade the back and, you know, if there’s a little glue on there you may have to sand them a bit. And when you go to put them back together, just make sure that they’re fairly consistent in thickness so you don’t get problems with that.DAVID: OK.TOM: Alright?DAVID: So, that’s what I’ll do. I appreciate it.TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.