Renovation 101: Removing Wall Tiles and Wallpaper

Get some tips for how to remove wallpaper and tricks for removing wall tiles to

Updated 24 June 2019

removing wall tiles

One of the best ways to get everything in your house the way you like it and make it into your perfect home is to do a bit of DIY renovating. This can be a challenge but gives you full control of the process, plus it's cheaper than hiring contractors. Here you will find some tips for how to remove wallpaper and tricks for removing wall tiles to help you along the way.

Post-DIY cleaning will keep you in your flatmate’s or partner’s good books, so be sure to have products like Cif close to hand to clean up after you finish.

How to take off wallpaper

The best way to remove wallpaper is to follow some simple steps, like the ones below.

  1. Cover the floor in protective covering such as plastic wrap and towels to absorb any damp run-off.
  2. Start at a corner near the ceiling or under a light switch, and use a putty knife to peel the edge so you can tear off the facing.
  3. Apply water to the backing to help soak it off, leaving it to absorb for around ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. Use a putty knife or spatula to gently scrape the backing away, being careful not gouge a hole in the wall.
  5. Use a gel stripper to remove the remaining backing before sponging down the wall with water until it is smooth.

Removing wall tiles

There are three steps to removing single tiles as follows:

  1. Use a grout rake or similar tool to remove as much grout as possible from around the tile.
  2. Gently hammer a chisel into the middle of the tile and increase the force with which you hit it until the tile breaks.
  3. Continue to chip at the tile using the hammer and chisel until the tiles has been removed.
  4. Once you’ve removed the tile, you can move on to removing the tile adhesive.

Safety tips when removing wallpaper glue or wall tiles

When you are doing DIY renovating, it’s important to take your safety into consideration such as:

  • Keeping your work area well-ventilated to prevent breathing in dust and fumes.
  • Taking care when using tools such as putty knives so you don’t cut yourself.
  • Be careful with broken tiles as they can have sharp edges, and may break into shards. It is advisable to wear goggles and other protective gear.
  • Lay down a sheet to protect your floor and fittings.

Now you have some key tips for removing wallpaper glue and tricks for removing wall tiles, you can get on with the jobs you have around your house and creating the perfect living environment for you and your family.

  • Keep a cleaning product like Cif close at hand to clean up after any DIY renovation project.
  • Always take care when using removal tools as many have sharp edges.
  • Keep the area well-ventilated when removing or replacing tiles and wallpaper to prevent breathing in dust or fumes.
  • Originally published 7 November 2018