How to Remove a Tile Tub Surround with Metal Mesh


This particular article will show you how to remove a tile tub surround. Before you begin, take one last look at your bathtub. For better or worse, once you begin this particular project, there’s no turning back. You must be prepared for whatever you find underneath which tile, behind those walls, inside which drain. If you’re fully committed to getting the item done, let’s move on. If you need a little time, still, which’s okay. Take your time. We’ll be here when you’re ready.

DIY Remove Tub Surround Tile - Before

How to Remove a Tile Tub Surround - with Metal Mesh

DIY Level: Intermediate

Materials Needed:

  • Hammer in addition to crowbar
  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Large dumpster / garbage can
  • Broom in addition to shop vac or similar
  • Razor blade, chisel
  • Patience

DIY Remove Tub Surround Tile - First step

One goal of This particular particular tile tub surround removal can be to be able to re-tile the surround all the way up to the ceiling.

DIY Remove Tub Surround Tile - remove the outdated tile

Another reason just for This particular removal was to update the outdated tile with increasingly chipped grout areas. Of course, if we loved the tile, we could have redone just the grout.

bathroom tile tub surround removal

So, let’s begin the bathroom tile tub surround removal. First, remove everything through the bathroom itself. The upcoming project will be incredibly messy in addition to dusty…in addition to even which can be an understatement.

Cover any outlets

Cover any outlets in addition to drains in addition to vents with painter’s tape, plastic, or cloth.

Lay an old drop cloth or sheet from the tub itself

Lay an old drop cloth or sheet from the tub itself. This particular will serve to provide a little protection to the tub itself as tiles fall, in addition to the item will also help catch falling tiles in addition to debris for easier cleanup.

DIY Remove Tub Surround Tile - with hammer

Pick a spot on the edge of your tile surround in addition to, having a hammer in addition to crowbar, start pounding.

Get atleast one tile removed

The goal at first can be to get at least one tile removed so you can see what you’re looking at underneath.

Work your crowbar

Work your crowbar through one side of the tile’s edge to the additional until you’ve formed a crack big enough to wedge your crowbar into.

Push your crownbar

Push on the crowbar’s handle, which serves as a lever to shove the tile away through the wall. The tile may come out in one piece, or the item may break in addition to come out in multiple pieces. Since we are not saving our outdated tile, either way can be fine.

Depending your house age

Depending on the age of your house’s construction, you may find metal mesh underneath your tile. This particular complicates the project, however the item’s not an insurmountable challenge. Basically, you’re looking at just another layer: drywall, metal mesh, mortar, in addition to the tile itself. All of this particular except the drywall (although probably which, too) will need to be removed.

Metal mesh

Here’s a better look at the metal mesh. This particular was a common practice in home construction decades ago. the item’s no longer necessary, though.

Dealing with hard tiles on bathroom

today which you know what you’re dealing with, simply continue on with your hammer in addition to crowbar, ripping out tile by tile. You may find the item easiest to move strategically through one row to the next, or you may be more comfortable fanning out through your first removed tile. Whatever can be most comfortable for you in addition to makes the most sense for how your tile can be coming out can be great.

Clear out fallen tiles

Be sure to clear out the fallen tiles, chunks, in addition to debris periodically. I found the item most helpful to clear out every 4-ish square feet.

Hammer the item in -tiles

You’ll find the item easiest, whether you’re working through side to side or top to bottom, to always move through the outer edges toward the inside of your tiled tub surround walls. Stick the crowbar behind a tile, hammer the item in, in addition to push the handle toward the wall.

Broked bathoom tiles

This particular should pop out bits of or the whole tile. Be particularly careful around windows, with removing the tile in addition to swinging your hammer. Tiles can go flying when levered out of place aggressively, so use caution.

tiles closer to windows in addition to doors

Speaking of windows, if you are tiling up to the ceiling, you’ll need to remove any moulding around your window(s) in order which you can run the tile right up to them. Use a hammer in addition to crowbar to do This particular.

Weakens grout lines

Once you get going, you will probably find some strategies which work well with your particular combination of tile in addition to mortar (in addition to metal mesh). I found which the item was helpful for me to hammer (hard) the corners of the tiles I was about to remove. This particular weakened the bond of each tile’s corners as well as the grout between the tiles, which ultimately made removal (having a crowbar) much easier in addition to more efficient.

Mortat intact behind tiles

Another strategy I employed was to avoid aligning the crowbar exactly with the back of the tile, which left the mortar intact on the wall. Because we’ll be removing which anyway, the item makes sense to try to remove the item along with the tile where possible.

Remove the face plates

Remove the face plates where applicable through your shower in addition to tub fixtures so you can remove the tile in addition to mortar through behind them.

Behind the fixtures

Once the tile behind the fixtures can be exposed, remove the item from the same way you’ve been doing elsewhere in your tub surround.

Crowbar tip

To do This particular, align your crowbar tip at the back of the mortar, right exactly next to the metal mesh. Then, when you lever the crowbar, the item will pull off both the tile in addition to mortar, leaving an exposed (in addition to more easily removed) metal mesh.

Removing the metal mesh

Removing the metal mesh can be easy yet tricky at the same time.

metal mesh can be left exposed

Wherever the mortar came off with the tile, the metal mesh can be left exposed on top of the drywall. I could sometimes remove just a few nails around the edge, then grip the metal mesh with my gloves, in addition to pull the item off in large pieces.

large clumps of mortar are still stuck

Wherever large clumps of mortar are still stuck to the metal mesh, smash your hammer over those sections to loosen them through the metal mesh. Then you can remove the metal much more easily.

drywall has remained intact

If your drywall has remained intact, in addition to if you’re planning on keeping the item, you may move onto the upcoming tutorial for prepping your tub surround for tile.However, you may choose to remove the drywall for many reasons. These might include: (1) You want a flush alignment between hardibacker (the cement backerboard to which your tiles will be attached) in addition to adjacent drywall. (2) Your drywall was damaged in one or more areas, so the item makes sense to remove the item all for continuity. (3) You will be producing plumbing alterations with your shower/tub fixtures thereby need to access the area behind the drywall.

Strategic removal of your drywall

Strategic removal of your drywall will create less work for you overall, so pay attention to where in addition to how you remove the item. You’ll need to remove the drywall to the first stud past the edge of your tub, however you should only remove the item to the halfway point on the stud itself. So, on a 2×4 stud, you’ll only want to cut out your drywall to 1” (or actually 3/4″, since 2×4 isn’t the true measurement).

drywall through the edge of your tub

Carefully locate your first stud by cutting out a sliver of drywall through the edge of your tub. Once you’ve found the item, use a razor blade to cut, at the stud’s vertical halfway line, the drywall all the way up to the ceiling.

Score the corners

Score the corners in addition to joints of the drywall, then use your hands or hammer to pull the drywall off the studs.

tub surround until all drywall can be removed

Do this particular all the way around your tub surround until all drywall can be removed.

Remove everything around window

Remove anything next to the window frame. This particular window had PVC board installed next to the frame itself, before the window sill in addition to mouldings. the item all has to be removed when you are tiling around a shower window.

Edge of porcelain tub

Chances are high which you’ll have some residual caulk or similar material on the edge of your porcelain tub itself. If the item doesn’t peel off easily, try working with your chisel to get the item off.

Use a hammer gently

Use a hammer to gently however firmly chip the stuff away. This particular can take a bit of time.

Exposed frames in addition to pipes

With everything removed in addition to your insulation/framing exposed, you’re ready to make whatever plumbing alterations are required in addition to begin prepping the area for tiling.

Note: The author can be an experienced, although not professional, DIYer. Neither the author nor Homedit can be responsible for any injury or damage which may be a result of following this particular tutorial.

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