We removed some river-pebble-effect tiles in our hall, and found period (1910ish) tiles underneath.

We have an area of about 2m², still with lots of the adhesive from the overlaid tiles.

Otherwise the tiles appear to be in fairly good condition.

How do we remove the adhesive from the top of the tiles?

What's the best way to clean them?


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    Is the adhesive mortar or mastic? By mastic I mean any gummy polymeric adhesive. I have used orange oil to remove mastic adhesive on concrete. I applied the orange oil to a square metre of thick layered adhesive and allowed it to stand for 15 min or so. Then I scraped with a putty knife or razor scraper. The lifted goo is frequently scraped off the putty knife (e.g., with a 2nd putty knife) onto news paper. Once the thick layer is removed use more orange oil on a rag, and finally clean with detergent in water. – Jim Stewart Aug 4 '19 at 15:28
  • @JimStewart thanks, but it's some kind of hard mortar. The tiles on top were pebbles on sheets of black plastic net, but with gaps between the sheets so that they looked like square tiles. – Keith Aug 4 '19 at 17:57

I did something similar on a smaller area.

I used some plastic tools - scrapers etc and some cement remover product.

The cement remover product has an acid base (stings like xxxx if you have an open cut...), but I only applied it to small areas (used a cotton bud) and never to the joints between the tiles you want to keep.

If you don’t have patience at the beginning - you will by the end. And persevere with care.

  • Cheers, do you remember which product you used? There seem to be a lot out there, and I've tried a couple but so far they don't seem to be strong enough. – Keith Aug 4 '19 at 18:00
  • Can’t remember a name, but I think I got it from Jewson’s or Travis Perkins - a 1 litre container... – Solar Mike Aug 4 '19 at 19:06

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