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

  • What is "thick set" tile? Do you just mean tile installed over plaster? It would still be installed with mastic, and not a mortar bed like you would see on a floor. – isherwood Jun 15 '18 at 12:36

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.

  • In old school thick set it is not even backer or plaster, it is wire mesh, instead of wood lath or rock lath... Still the same process of removal as you mentioned. – Jack Jun 16 '18 at 6:44
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    Thank you. Demolition seems to be the way to go (it is wire mesh). Im new to DIY so I am just concerned that if there plaster on the upper half of the wall, would drywall be able to sustain the upper plaster wall or should i plaster all the way through. Thank you – Sarra Jun 16 '18 at 20:44

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