We have a modular home. We are attempting to remodel one of our bathrooms. The trouble is, we can not get the tile off the cement board. My husband states if we take the cement board off the wall we will mess up the spray foam insulation. I’m not sure the tiles were put on with just thinset. How do we get the current tiles on wo damaging the cement board so it can be reused?

  • You will find that even if you could remove the tile, and the cement board remained intact, the surface would be so uneven from adhesive that stayed in place and that came off with the tile it would take a lot of work to get it flat enough to retile over. This is also being very optimistic.
    – Jack
    Aug 13, 2023 at 5:17

1 Answer 1


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think it can be done. Any repairs that I have made involving just one tile leaves a hole in the cement board. When comes to renovating, the whole wall is stripped down to bare studs.

If the foam is sprayed in, it should be sprayed in from the inside. I don't think it is ever sprayed from the outside against the interior wall, but I guess it can be done that way.... If the foam is an extruded rigid board, fitted between the studs, there will be no issue there either.

At the most in either case, creating hand holds to pull the cement board off will perhaps be the only place where damage to the foam will occur. If that is the case, touch it up with canned spray foam. Careful, doing this is really messy.

  • 1
    That's a no. Finish the demo. If you gotta fix the foam then you fix the foam. "touch it up with canned spray foam" or don't; it'll be fine. Even if it was wooden subfloor and therefor possible I'd still quote you on replacing the sub. Same thing every time you do a roof, site unseen; quote includes 'plywood as necessary'. Do-it-yourself becomes professional level when you quit dicking around like this.
    – Mazura
    Aug 12, 2023 at 18:25
  • @Mazura I take it that is a comment for the OP?
    – Jack
    Aug 12, 2023 at 22:13
  • Yes, sorry. Any animosity there is from my own experience learning how to renovate and make money by the end of it. Too much time spent working around what shouldn't still be there by the time it's done, and half the time w/e it is ends going away anyway.
    – Mazura
    Aug 13, 2023 at 3:32

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