How to Remove Porcelain Tiles from Drywall

What You'll Need
Goggles and safety gloves
Grout remover
Putty knife (metal)

Porcelain tiles are thicker than ceramic tiles and are difficult to remove. The mortar and grout that is used in the installation of porcelain tiles form a tight bond with the surface of the drywall. You need to use the right materials for this project because the surface of the drywall can be damaged during the removal process. You will need to patch up the damaged areas before you install a new finished wall. Remember to always wear protective goggles and safety gloves before you begin removing porcelain tiles from drywall.

Step 1 – Wear Safety Gear

Put on the goggles and work gloves before proceeding. Removing porcelain tiles involves can produce sharp pieces of rubble and broken pieces of tile. The debris can be the cause of eye injury or they can cause your hand injury.

Step 2 – Apply Grout Remover

Apply the grout remover, according to the directions stated on the label. This will help undo the sticky bond between the tiles, grout and drywall. This will also make it easy to remove the porcelain tiles. Grout remover can be purchased at your nearby hardware or home supplies store.

Step 3 – Remove Grout

Use a chisel to efficiently remove all the grout. Be sure to choose a chisel that fits the gap between the tiles and the grout. A small, sharp chisel is the best tool to use if the gaps are no more than ½ inch between the tiles.

Step 4 – Remove the Porcelain Tiles

Use a metal putty knife to pry the edge of the porcelain tile. Start on the left side and insert the putty knife at a low angle on the edge of the porcelain tile. Once the grout has been completely removed, you will have an ideal space to pry the tiles.

Use a hammer to lightly tap the putty knife and remove the porcelain tile. A gentle, repetitive tapping motion is usually enough to remove the tile from the wall. If you find that pieces of paper from the surface of the drywall peel away as you remove the tile, cut the peeled portion using scissors or a handy utility knife.

You may need to tap the tile a little harder if the tile is not coming off the wall quickly. Be careful and be sure to keep your safety goggles on at all times. Repeat the process on each of the porcelain tiles that needs to be removed until all of them have been removed from the drywall.

Always work slowly and carefully when you remove each tile. Do not attempt to install a new finish to the wall until you have restored the surface of the drywall. The paper coating that is peeled in the removal process is detrimental to the integrity and stability of the drywall so be sure to use great caution when you are peeling it off the wall.