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Bath & Faucets

Replacing existing bathtub tile

We are remodeling our master bath. There is existing tile around the bathtub wall and sink. Is it necessary to remove all tile & start fresh? Or is it possible to put new tile over the existing tile? If we need to get rid of the old tile, how do you go about doing so?


Thank you for your time



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Posted 2010-10-30T23:15:08+0000  by kfisher02 kfisher02

Good morning, Kelly, this is a question that is asked all the time, and I have done this project twice, so get ready to get dirty. You can't put new tile over  existing tile, so it's all got to come out. Removing the old tile is simple, it only requires a deep, cleansing breath, and the judicious application of a hammer and a chisel.


Breaking stuff is fun, but don't damage the wood behind the tile or you"ll have some real headaches. There are several tools on the market that make grout and tile removal easy, so don't hesitate to look at those as a investment in time saving. At The Home Depot, we sell three different oscillating tools that have accessories for just this project. Ridgid, Dremel and Bosch are all good choices so check those out at your local store. The prices are reasonable and there are corded and cordless options available.


After you get the tile down, you'll want to check out the underlayment to make sure that doesn't need to be replaced, if you have wood that has water damage, replacing that is imperative to a well done job, so don't cheat now, or it'll cost you more later. At The Home Depot we offer "How-To" classes on tile installation as well as books on the subject that are very well written. Check out your store's class schedule and good luck.


We would love to see some pictures here at the community, so send us some.

Thanks for your question and keep us posted

                    Ray the Hammer

Posted 2010-10-31T13:44:25+0000  by TheHammer

TheHammer hit the nail on the head here. That old tile floor has got to go! Although a hammer and chisel (and sweat) will definitely get the job done, I really suggest you look at renting an electric demolition hammer.


Demo hammer:



I have had plenty of customers come in to rent these with their project already underway. upon returning the tool their remark is generally. "Why didn't I use this from the beginning?!"


With a 3 inch chisel attached they make easy work of tile, grout, and thin set removal. Always remember to wear hearing and eye protection when using demolition tools. 


You can find a rental center near you at


Good luck with your project Kfisher02! And stay safe!



Posted 2010-11-02T18:29:40+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy
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