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How to Remove a Tile Backsplash Easily

How to remove tile backsplash without damaging the wall for a first-timer. Only a couple of tools needed for this easier-than-you-think DIY.

Another first-time DIY in the books! I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to remove tile so I could be more confident in bathroom and kitchen renovations. I was able to remove a mosaic tile backsplash in our bathroom in 15 minutes with just a chisel and hammer and some patience. Here are tips for how to remove tile backsplash without damaging your walls.

How to Remove Backsplash

How To Remove Tile Backsplash

Welcome to the One Room Challenge: Week 7 update! I’m making over our master bedroom with ensuite bathroom in 8 weeks along with many other feature designers and guest participants.  This is our last update before the final reveals next week.

One Room Challenge Complete List of Posts

Colorful Spring Home Tour Decorating Ideas 2
Bathroom Progress

Tools needed for removing backsplash:

  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Razor Blade
  • Putty knife
  • Sand paper
  • Joint compound and or spackle

And don’t forget protective eye-wear and gloves!

How To Remove Tile Backsplash 2

How to remove mosaic tile backsplash

  1. Clear off the counter.
  2. Remove any nearby electrical covers and turn off electricity if you are working directly around outlets.
  3. Place a drop cloth or other floor covering around the area.
  4. Cover the sink with a bag or newspaper to catch debris before it goes into the drain.
  5. Carefully start at a corner of a tile. Tap the chisel with a hammer into the grout between the tile and the wall at an angle. Start with lighter taps and gradually hit harder until you feel how much force it takes to make progress. Be patient and you’ll protect the drywall behind the tile. Loosen the grout all around the tile and wall until you can get your chisel behind the tile.
  6. Carefully pull the tile away from the wall with a chisel or flat tool. Keep using the chisel to loosen the grout around tiles where the separation progress stops. That way your tiles will come off in whole pieces and sections.
  7. Work a small section at a time.
  8. Loosen the grout between tiles by directly hitting the grout straight on with the chisel and hammer to loosen. Use this method if you can’t start at an edge or corner.
  9. Remove adhesive by either scrapping mastic (the adhesive that feels like rubber) with a putty knife or sanding thin-set (adhesive that crumbles).
  10. Repair any holes or dents with spackle or joint compound. Joint compound shrinks when it dries so you’ll have to add a second coat after 24 hrs. Spackle will dry quickly to the touch.
  11. Scrap off the adhesive from the counter with a razor pressing it flat onto the surface and then pushing against the glue. Do not use the tip straight on the counter to avoid scratching it.

Use the chisel at an angle to avoid putting holes in the drywall.

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It was fun to remove the old tile and one day I’ll try installing tile but for this quick bathroom refresh, I installed a tin backsplash. The faux tin tile was easy to cut for a custom fit and there are matching tile edges to trim the sides. I simply glued it in place and used white caulk to seal the bottom edges around the sink.

How To Remove Tile Backsplash 4

My husband and I replaced the outdated sink faucet with a beautiful matte black faucet. Another first easy DIY to check off the list!

How To Remove Tile Backsplash 5

That leaves just a couple of more projects before the makeover is complete!

A huge thanks to all of the sponsors that are helping me create a beautiful bedroom and bathroom.

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Bathroom to-do list:

  1. Update light fixture?
  2. Build a floating wood frame for art.
  3. Remove old backsplash, repair, and paint.
  4. Put in ceiling tin as the backsplash.
  5. Replace faucet with modern black faucet.
  6. Paint the toilet handle black.
  7. Build and install a window cornice box.

Bedroom to-do list:

  1. Swap dressers and remove bookcase for a bigger space.
  2. Replace ceiling fan (and two additional bedroom fans).
  3. Repair and paint the walls and molding white.
  4. Takedown bed and use the frame with attached DIY legs for a new bed.
  5. Build and install a new upholstered headboard with green velvet fabric.
  6. Sew and hang curtain panels.
  7. Build and install a window cornice box.
  8. Replace botanical prints and matting with gray and blue options.
  9. Sew a bed skirt.
  10. Add new bedding.
  11. Install gallery wall around tv.
  12. Hang statement piece above the tall chest and replace pulls.
  13. Style the room.


    1. Thanks lady! I’m just glad the old stuff is gone. I’m trying to decide to keep the gold pulls or change them out to copper or black to pair with the backsplash better.

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