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Reving ceramic tiles around fireplace

Going to install cultured stone around fireplace. Currently have 8" ceramic tile . The tile is set on drywall. What's the best way to remove the tile,and still use the current wall? Thanks

C Ed Wright
Re: Reving ceramic tiles around fireplace

Simplest way is to cut the drywall right around the tile, as if you are going to simply relocate it intact somewhere else.

Obviously there is no way to know exactly what the exact construction details are there. You will be able to see what you will then need to do, whether it be replacing the drywall with similar panels of cementitious backerboard (CBB), which would be a better substrate for the stone, and how you will neet to mount it, or some other method. But it's always better to remove [a piece of] sheetrock than try to remove something bonded to it and then trying to deal with the ruined surface of it. In other words, it's best to "start with a clean sheet of paper." How to attach its replacement depends on how big a section is involved:

Small [usually circular] panels such as might be cut to enable wiring can be secured by placing a strip of 1x2 through the hole and holding it behind the drywall while screwing through the surrounding drywall into it at both ends, which should be long enough to allow at least two screws to be driven into it. Then place the replacement piece (or the cutout being reused) on the 1x2 and drive a couple screws through it into the 1x2.

Larger panels might need two or more 1x3s.

If the section extends from stud to stud, cut away the drywall down the center of the stud to expose enough wood to mount the replacing panel.

In all cases, use a sharp utility knife to cut away the ragged edge of the drywall at its face, to a slight bevel, to enable filling the joint without interference so it fills smoothly and doesn't lift the taping knife leaving raised ridges of compoound.

Standard advice is to use tape -- some say paper, others say mesh -- and several applications of regular drywall compound. I skip the tape and use one heavy application of lightweight setting-type compound, then (later) sand it flush and top with a thin layer of regular compound if needed.

(Considering this is a fireplace surround, depending how close to the opening, I just had the afterthought that you may want to use short sections of metal stud in place of wood 1x2 or 1x3...? Obviously I can't see anything from here, you know.)

C Ed Wright
Re: Reving ceramic tiles around fireplace

Rereading your post, it is possible to remove the tiles without cutting the drywall, if that's what you choose to try first. Except for some realy new stuff that just came out, drywall has a paper/cardboard surface, that if you can get under the edge of a tile and pry it away, should separate fairly easily -- you might even salvage the tiles. Best of all might be to sharpen the straighter end of a Stanley Wonder Bar to a knife edge and tap this like a chisel under the edge of each tile. That would pop each off like a giant fish scale, also possibly without breaking any tiles if you're careful enough.

Any belt sander works very nicely as a grinder for large or wide items, such as when sharpening a Wonder Bar, touching up kitchen knives, etc. The fun part is getting it to stay put upside down while locked on in use.

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