Reuse tiles - is that possible?

In many cases, you can replace individual tiles well. This raises the question of whether you can then reuse these tiles, or whether you must replace them with brand new. An answer to this question can be found in this article, as well as ways to proceed with adhesive residue on the back of the tile.

Reasons for reuse

The desire to reuse tiles can have several reasons:

  • For repair work, there is no suitable replacement for individual (old tiles) in the trade
  • a small number of tiles should be replaced elsewhere
  • These are historical building materials
  • The tiles are still completely undamaged and would otherwise have to be disposed of

Especially with historic building materials you usually have no alternative anyway. Replicas of original tiles are very rare to get, and then quite expensive. Original product is certainly the better (and more valuable) solution here.

Glue scraps on the tile back

After losing weight, there are still adhesive residues on the back of the tiles in most cases. As far as possible, you should remove these residues as possible. Coarser remnants can be scratched well with the spatula of the tile.

To get a tile completely clean, you can only edit the tile carefully with an angle grinder. In order to be able to work on the tile without damaging it, the tile has to be securely fastened beforehand.

Here it is advisable to build a suitable edition of wood, in which the individual tiles can be securely fixed. This is easily possible with a little skill.

Installation with adhesive residues

Tiles are usually laid in a glue bed. If you want to lay several tiles with adhesive residue on the back, you can easily increase the thickness of the adhesive bed by the amount of adhesive residue for all tiles. The tiles are then laid, as with uneven surfaces, practically in a thick bed.

However, this can be problematic during repair work or when installing individual tiles, as the newly used tile can only be made very difficult to match the height of the other tiles. Here is a grinding of the adhesive residues certainly often recommendable.

Tips & Tricks

With many historic tiles, especially if they were stored outdoors for a while, the remnants of old cement glue often dissolve easily. It's definitely worth a try, especially since old cement-based adhesives weather much faster than modern products.

Video Board: Tile 101: How to Remove Grout & Adhesive From Tiles