Tips To Remove Adhesive From Mosaic Tiles (Tools That You’ll Need)


Your kitchen decor is getting old, and you want to make some changes; Like recoloring the paint. Maybe changing the wall tiles; However, you can keep your old tiles and reuse them later. And that by removing the adhesive from them. It appears to be a difficult job when you do it alone. Removing the adhesive without damaging the tile needs a professional.

So how to remove adhesive from mosaic tiles?

Choose an area away from valuable objects. If you have any close furniture, cover it with some sheets to protect it from the dust Prepare your gloves, goggles, and a dust mask; to protect yourself from dust. Wet the adhesive with water, so it’s easier to remove it.

After removing the adhesive, remove all the adhesive pieces from the area. Then start by cleaning the floor with a dust mop, and cleaning the walls. If there is any close furniture to the area, use the vacuum for it. Dust takes time to settle down, so you may have to repeat these steps after 2-3 hours.

However, in this article, we are going to cover all the cases. From removing the adhesive between tiles to grout on the tiles. Even grout haze, and how to remove all of them. There is also a specific part for Water-resistant adhesives.

Tools You Will Need To Remove Adhesive

  • Using a Hammer and a Chisel
    There are two options for those tools; the first one is to use the ordinary hammer; you can go with this option for small areas. The second option is to use an electrical one; to save energy if the area is large. In either option, you start by putting the chisel on 45 degrees and hit it with the hammer carefully to avoid damaging the tile underneath that adhesive, then when you remove a piece of the adhesive the job gets easier, put the tip of the chisel underneath the adhesive on 25 – 30 degree and start removing the rest of adhesive by hitting again carefully on the chisel by the hammer.
  • Using a Scraper
    This tool can be either electrical or non-electrical. It depends on if you’re removing a small area or a large one, but to be clear about using the scraper, you should use it only if the adhesive is a thin layer. Another thing you should know when using a scraper is that when you work on a ceramic tile you have to use the plastic scraper to protect the glaze of the ceramic tile; don’t use the metal one.
  • Using a Grinder
    You can use it when you have a thick layer. The grinder uses a mechanism that removes the adhesive from the tiles by cutting and breaking them. Previously you prepared your goggles and gloves, this is the best time to use them. Also, use a dust mask.

Some Adhesives Are Water-Resistant

There are some adhesives resistant to water. These adhesives are designed to be waterproof; So they can be used in areas where they are always exposed to water. You can find this type in bathroom walls and floors, kitchen floors, and swimming pools. There are two popular types of these adhesives:

Tile Mastic, and Thinset Mortar. Mastic is used for the walls and vertical settings as it grabs fast, while Thinset is used for floors and areas which are exposed to water all the time. In general, you don’t need to wet this type of adhesive. You have to use an electric grinder or an electrical scraper.

How to Remove Adhesive Between Tiles?

To remove adhesive between tiles, use the perfect tool for this process which is Grout Saw. This tool is more suitable than the hammer and the chisel. Using a chisel could lead to damage to tiles. Grout Saw has replaceable blades, so don’t worry if a blade gets damaged.

Start scratching the adhesive between tiles by moving the saw up and down along the space between tiles. Do it carefully to avoid damaging the edges of tiles. After scratching the adhesive, try to blow away the dust to see if there is any adhesive left.

How to Remove Grout from Tiles?

To remove grout from tiles, use a plastic putty knife; a metal one will scratch your tiles. Use the knife to scrape the grout away, then use a slightly wet sponge to wipe the area you scraped. You can also use a nylon brush and drill motor, avoid using the metal brush as it could eat up your tile.

If the mechanical solution didn’t work, there is also a chemical solution. While using chemicals, you have to take care not to use large amounts. It can lead to damaging the tiles, and this damage can not be fixed later. You would have to buy new tiles. These chemicals are, for example:

  • Vinegar
    You have to know that vinegar is an acid, so test it on an area away from sight; to see its effect on the tile. Wear gloves and make sure to have good ventilation. Apply a small amount of vinegar and start scrubbing. Then wipe with a wet sponge.
  • Brick Cleaners
    Use small amounts and take the same precautions for Vinegar; both of them are acids. After scrubbing, wipe the tiles with a wet sponge.
  • Sugared Warm Water
    The ratio between sugar and water should be 1:10. Apply sugared water to the grout and let it sit there for an hour. Then start scrubbing and add more sugared water to make it easier.
  • Other Acids – Phosphoric Acid Substitute
    Phosphoric acid is a strong acid; so it could affect your tiles as well. Get goggles and gloves to avoid any skin burns or injuries. Dilute the acid with water (50/50), and lightly spray the water on the surface, then lightly spray the diluted acid. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes, afterward; use a doodle pad to scrub the grout. After scrubbing, use the mop or paper towels to clean the surface.

Here’s a video on how to do it:

How to Remove Grout Haze?

Removing grout haze is an easy process, but its results will fascinate you. Haze is a whitish film that’s left after grouting, and it will not come off without special cleaning. So to start, you need a special recipe; this recipe is so easy to make, and it’s fairly cheap. You can even find it in your kitchen.

Once you are done, put the recipe in a sprayer, mix it well and start spraying the area of haze. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes, and wash the area using a sponge and water. You are using ammonia and vinegar; so you should have goggles and gloves for your safety. Ingredients of the recipe:

  • ¼ Cup of vinegar.
  • ¼ Cup of ammonia.
  • ½ Cup of baking soda.
  • 1 L of water.

Here’s a video of the recipe:


Removing adhesive is not a nightmare, with the necessary tools, it becomes easier. You can keep your old tiles and reuse them in changing the décor of your bathroom or kitchen. You can clean the old tiles by removing the adhesive between them. Remove those grouty big spots that always bother you when you see them on the floor. You can also remove grout haze and give your floor a shiny look. That is enough to give the whole place a new look and make you satisfied.

Don`t copy text!
Scroll to Top