Removing wall tiles is different, and more difficult, than removing floor tiles because wall tiles are typically set very close together, with minimal grout lines. This means that it takes more care to remove a wall tile without damaging the surrounding tiles.
Try to locate a loose tile. If you plan to remove a whole wall of tiles, try tapping the edge of each one with a chisel for signs of looseness. The first Rustic tile is much harder to remove than the rest, so it’s worth taking some extra time to see if you can get lucky. If you locate one, use either of the methods below to remove it. Your best bet is in areas where you’ve removed the grout, and areas with signs of water damage.
Chisel tiles away from the wall. This approach should let you save more of your cement tiles for reuse, unless the tiles are unusually well-adhered or a relatively recent installation. Give it a try by inserting a chisel, putty knife, or other flat tool in between the spots tile and the wall, almost parallel to the wall. Tap the handle of the tool with a hammer until the ceramic tile comes away from the wall. You may need to pry it off in two or three places if firmly attached.
If the wood marble tiles break instead of coming away, try an air chisel instead. Have an assistant wearing leather gloves catch the tiles as they come away, before they fall. The first wood tile is generally much harder than the rest. Take your time to tap out the first one, then attack the exposed edge of the next tile. Make sure to be very careful near the edges because the tile price will chip easily.
Break the tile if necessary. If your wall tiles design are set directly into the mortar, you’ll probably need to give up on saving it and crack it into pieces. Start by using a hammer and chisel to make a hole in the center of the wood marble tile, then chisel the cracked tile pieces away, being careful not to damage the surrounding tiles.
Eye protection is especially important for this method. Porcelain tiles will break into extremely sharp, glass-like shards. If this happens, consider breaking them from the side with a hammer and chisel instead, to reduce the number of fragments. Clear the area of any remaining setting material. Use a cold chisel to chip away the setting material until the exposed wall surface is fairly even. You may not be able to remove all of the adhesive and grout, but you want to ensure that a new wall tile will sit flush with the surrounding wall tiles once it is installed.
Get rid of spacer lugs before attempting to install a replacement tile. These are metal objects that may be left behind during removal. You can remove spacer lugs by snipping them off with utility clippers, breaking them off with pliers, cutting them with a utility knife or sanding them down with sandpaper.