Tiling Question

I have recently removed tile of a bathroom wall....the adhesive is still on the wall...can anyone tell me how to remove it easily??? or is it possible to tile over the adhesive again?

I ment to say in the question its a whole wall I am talking about not just a single tile....the original wall is block wall with sand and cement plaster finish....is it possible to sand the wall down a bit then unibond it before tiling it??? A friend suggested this to me.

15 Answers

Best Answer

Dependant on the type of adhesive you may be able to steam it of and scrape it with a decorators wall paper stripper. Then let the wall dry out and apply a pre tile primer that can be purched from tile stores such as Topps etc.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

PB Design & Build

Member since 9 Feb 2009

Tile adhesive is very strong, it would take a lot of time and effort to sand it down. The best solution is to skim over with bonding creating a nice flat surface; or as an alternative, depending on the strength of the adhesive, is using a good strong scraper. Make sure to PVA the wall before tiling again.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

Stafford Edge Plastering & Tiling

Member since 19 Jul 2011

There are a couple of options, it depends on the substrate!
New houses are generally plasterboard walls / partitions and therefore it is easier, cleaner and cheaper to remove tiles with the plasterboard, all you do then is fix new plasterboard and you have a perfect new surface for tile on, depending area I use tile board for showers etc.
Or, if the original tiles were easily removed and left the old tile adhesive you can carefully apply a steamer to the area, this sometimes softens and will aid the removal, a messy option and can compromise the plasterboard.
If you don't want to comb the adhesive on the wall then it will be fine to leave the old adhesive and coat the wall with a PVA sealer, leave to dry and use the old dot and dab method for reapplying the new tiles. This method can be more time consuming but will produce a satisfactory result.
Just read the additional text, if you are tiling the whole wall I would scrape it off, again here you could just steam it, if it was me I would probably re-plaster the wall and then tile it.
It comes back too, “How much work you want to put it, How good of a job to you want at the end”
Personally, sanding it would be a very messy and big job unless you have a powerful belt sander.
Hope this helps.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

Rogiet Property Services

Member since 2 Nov 2010


Answered 19th Jul 2011

carl melady

Member since 1 Jun 2008

Don't use pva and dot and dab is NO NO NO in tiling. It's against BS

Answered 9th Aug 2014

Blue Stones Tiling Solutions

Member since 24 Jun 2014

I've found a nice sharp chisel is a good way!!....

Answered 19th Jul 2011


Member since 26 Oct 2008

Well you can tile directly over it, but would suggest that you remove all the large bits first. You can do this with a scraper until levelish. Then you can tile over it or have the wall skimmed first then tile.

You do not need to sand it down.

Pipe Dreams Plumbing Services

Answered 19th Jul 2011

Pipe Dreams Plumbing Services

Member since 9 Sep 2009

you can tile over but can be tricky if you havent done this before the wall needs to be as flat as possible before you start really , skiming it would be the best idea.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

TopJob Home Improvements

Member since 18 Nov 2010

Remove any loose adhesive with a paint scaper blade, then tile over with new tiling, Coating the wall with unibond can be done, and may help with adhesion for the new adhesive.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

Sovereign Construction Services

Member since 3 Sep 2008

In my experience the best way to remove the adhesive is with a wallpaper steamer,It works a treat.

Answered 19th Jul 2011

m w building construction and property maintenance

Member since 28 Sep 2008

hi unfortunately there is no easy way to remove adhesive ..what you need is a lot of elbow grease and a good scraper ...you could use a small kango ..but your likely to damage the wall ...you really do need to get as much as you can off to get a good bed for your new tiles ...the other alternative is to get a plasterer to come and bond the wall for you ..this will cover the old adhesive ..then just prime and tile ...job done

Answered 19th Jul 2011


Member since 30 Sep 2008

PVa the existing tiles if sound and tile over them leaving them in place.

Answered 20th Jul 2011

EMT Electrical & Plumbing Contractors

Member since 27 Mar 2008

It will not be a easy task to remove the old adhesive, you can tile on top of the old one ,but what I am suggesting is to level the walls with tile adhesive or with adhesives with cement in a there composition and not with bonding compounds as it is not water resistant and being a bathroom a good strong support is recommended

Answered 7th Feb 2018

Kitchen Specialist

Member since 28 Nov 2017

Scrape off as much as you can
Repair any damaged plasterboard (if any)
Bond it to bring it flush
PVA and tile over
Hope this helps

Answered 24th Jul 2017

Romeo Llabani Plastering

Member since 18 Jul 2017

Do not put a steamer on the old adhesive as this could blow the plaster beneath.
Warm soapy water. Keep soaking then use a decent scraper. Remember to seal the wall with ova sealer prior to re tiling the wall.
Otherwise the wall will suck the adhesive and tiles won't stick.
Hope all goes well.

Answered 17th Nov 2017

A.M.H.Quality Building.

Member since 18 Jul 2013

Need help with your project?

We have tradesmen ready to help you. Post a job, read reviews and hire today.

Post a job

Need some help?

Post a job on MyBuilder to find quality, local Tilers who can help you with your project.

Search all questions