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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Reusing old tile

    My husband and I are updating our kitchen. I would like to reuse blue tiles from the original backsplash -- they are unique. Once they are off the wall -- is there a trick to removing the thinset stuck on the back of each tile?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Reusing old tile

    Have you actually gotten off the wall without breaking them?
    Ask at the John Bridge tile forum for the best way to remove and clean them.
    Many experts there that actually do tile work for a living.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Reusing old tile

    Even if you get them off the wall intact, chances are that they will have thin set or mastic fused into them in the back. To re-use them and to do a perfect job, all this junk has to be removed, and are you willing to do that, even if you knew how to do it?

    Get new tiles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,189

    Default Re: Reusing old tile

    You may be able to remove the mastic from the back, but don't count on it and don't count on having very many unbroken tile by the time you're finished. While it's admirable that you want to save and reuse, it just may not work out as you expect.

    Having said that, all is not lost. Take a salvaged tile to a few specialty tile shops and see what they have that is a close approximation. While you may not find an exact match, what you're looking to do is bring the concept forward into your kitchen renovation.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Reusing old tile

    I'd make some sort of shallow jig to hold the tiles, then using a right angle grinder outfitted with a diamond cup wheel , clean off the back sides.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Reusing old tile

    If you want to keep them for decorative purposes, rather than utilitarian use, you might consider putting a few in a shadow box or frame. Or make a trivet.

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