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astroboy
Trouble removing tile in shower

I'm replacing a shower pan, and the bottom few courses of wall tile. I read this article:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,218790,00.html

I like the article's idea about leaving a margin of the existing wallboard below the last course of tile being kept, but I'm having trouble removing the tile in the manner described--that is, without trashing the wallboard, often not only behind the particular tile being removed, but behind the tile above it, as well.

The tile seems to be bonded, apparently with mastic, so well to the wallboard that I can't get the tile off without destroying the wallboard. Is there a way to loosen or weaken the bond between tile and wallboard before I try to pry it off?

An alternative might be to cut away, as evenly as possible, an inch or so of the wallboard behind the last course of tile being kept, then coating the top inch of backerboard with mastic and sliding it up behind the tile when installing it. Might that work?

Thanks,
Jeff

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