Flooring: Shopping, Installing, Maintaining, Cleaning and MoreFlooring: Shopping, Installing, Maintaining, Cleaning and More


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Flooring: Shopping, Installing, Maintaining, Cleaning and More

One hundred years ago, floors consisted of hardwoods, luxurious wool rugs or the occasional tile arrangement, and in some cases, floors during that era were still dirt. In just three or four generations, we've come a long way. Now you can find tile made of materials quarried from around the world. You can opt for rugs or wall-to-wall carpet made from everything from wool to synthetic fibers to bamboo. In addition, there's polished concrete, vinyl tile that can mimic almost any look or material, and a range of other options. With so much to choose from, it's important to do your research, and this blog is designed to help. I hope you enjoy my posts!

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How To Strip Old Adhesive From Reclaimed Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles

If you're remodelling your kitchen, tiling the floor can be a very expensive undertaking.  One way of saving money on brand new tiles can be to reuse the old ones, provided they are in good condition.  However, if the tiles have been in situ for many years, the adhesive securing them may be set absolutely rock hard, making it extremely tricky to remove the tiles without cracking them.

But how do you get rid of clinging tile adhesive from the back of your reclaimed tiles without damaging them?  Read on for a helpful guide.

What you'll need

  • gloves
  • adhesive remover
  • chisel
  • putty knife
  • plastic spray bottle
  • warm water

How to do it

Before you begin, it's important to make sure that your work area is well-ventilated, especially if your chosen adhesive remover contains solvents.  It's very important that you get rid of all hardened adhesive so that the tiles lay completely flat when they are re-laid.

  1. Start by filling a plastic spray bottle with warm water and saturating the adhesive on the back of the first tile.  If the adhesive is made from organic mastic, you should find that the water will begin to soften it.  As the adhesive softens, use a putty knife to carefully scrape it off.  Work on one tile at a time so that the water doesn't dry out before you've had chance to remove the softened glue.  
  2. Next, apply a proprietary adhesive remover to the back of the first tile, following the manufacturer's instructions carefully.  If you can find an organic product that is either soy or citric acid based, you won't need as much ventilation.  
  3. Allow the adhesive remover to penetrate the clinging adhesive and soften it.  The time that this will take varies, depending on the product so be patient and keep checking the adhesive until it's softened.   
  4. When the adhesive is soft, scrape it away using a putty knife.  
  5. If you come across any tiles that have very hard spots of adhesive, you'll need to take more drastic action to remove it.  Place the tile on a soft, well-padded surface to prevent cracking.  Take a chisel and carefully chip away the stubborn adhesive, holding the chisel at an oblique angle so that the tip applies pressure to the underside of the adhesive.  
  6. Repeat the process outlined above on every tile.  When all the tiles are free from adhesive, rinse them under warm water to get rid of any remaining fragments of adhesive.

In conclusion

You can remove clinging old adhesive from reclaimed ceramic kitchen floor tiles by following the guidelines above.  For more advice on how to retile your kitchen floor or for a competitive quote, have a chat with a local flooring specialist.