Removing bathroom tiles without damaging the plaster walls can be a tricky job, especially when you are remodeling or replacing just a few rows of outdated tile, or repairing a damaged tile. It takes time, patience and the right tools. Although you can chip away the grout by hand with small tools, you are likely to damage the wall in the process. The best way to remove the tile and avoid damaging the wall is to invest in or borrow a Dremel tool with a grout cutting attachment, or purchase a grout saw. Follow these steps to complete this home project.
Cut away the grout surrounding the tile or tiles that you want to remove. Work slowly and at about a 45-degree angle. Be careful to cut away only the grout and not into the wall. When you believe you have removed or cut away most of the grout, stop and examine your work. You should be able to slide a putty or plaster knife underneath the tile. If grout is still blocking the way, keep cutting, stopping often to check how much you have removed.
Pry the tile away from the wall gently, using the putty knife or plaster spatula. The tile should "pop" away from the wall. If it does not, repeat Step 3, loosening the tile more before attempting to pull it away from the wall.