I am removing my thickset tiles in the kitchen of my 1950s home. I want to replace dated tiles with a smooth wall. Do I need to remove all the way through to the wire mesh or can I chisel off 1/2 of mortar (after removing the tile) and even it out with plaster? Thank you
All things considered you will probably find it much easier to simply remove the existing wall down to the studs. Demolition is hard work but its fast work if you prepare the edges properly by cutting a seam along all the edges that goes the depth of the wall. Then you just pull it all out and get rid of it.
After you're down to studs you can put up new, clean drywall. Overall it's going to be faster than trying to "save" the old wall - which you won't really be likely to save anyway cause its nearly impossible to remove tile w/o destroying the wall underneath. Tile from concrete sure, but tile from backerboard or plaster wall? Forget it. Demo the thing.