How to Remove Peel and Stick Tile?

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By Alexandra Miller

Updated: Mar 25, 2024

8 min read

How to Remove Peel and Stick Tile
Photo: @ArmstrongFloors

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    Peel and stick tiles are also known as self-adhesive tiles which are loved by homeowners because they are affordable, easy to install, and look good. This idea is no longer limited to tenants, but homeowners also prefer it due to its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. Whenever you get bored of the existing tiles on the floor, bathroom, or splashback in the kitchen, with a few simple DIY steps, change it and get the desired fresh look.

    Many times, you choose the tiles, install it and then realize that it’s not looking as good as you had anticipated. What option do you have at that juncture? There’s no looking back. However, with peel and stick tile, you have the flexibility to change it with little hassle and expenses. Let’s see how to remove the peel and stick tile with all the details.

    Peel and stick tiles are available in stone, glass and metal, but easily available material is vinyl and is affordable and available in multiple designs.

    Tips to Remove Peel and Stick Tiles

    Dress up safely when removing tiles, wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling fumes, wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes respectively and keep doors and windows open for ventilation to allow fresh air to come inside and contaminated air to go outside and clean the knife with soap after using it. If a mild solution doesn’t work in removing strong adhesive, try acetone solvent or citrus stripper.

    Materials Required to Peel and Stick Tiles

    • Hair dryer
    • Hammer
    • Baking soda
    • Pry bar
    • Iron
    • Towel
    • Floor scraper
    • Dust mask
    • Heat gun
    • Broom

    Steps to Remove Peel and Stick Tiles

    Apply Heat on Tiles

    The strong adhesive in the peel-and-stick tiles keeps the tiles secure at their respective place for a long time, but removing it requires patience. Apply heat on the tiles to loosen the adhesive on the back of the tiles for easy peeling off from the surface of the wall or the floor. Make sure you remove the tiles in single or, at the most, two pieces because scraping tiles in small pieces is a cumbersome task.

    The best way to soften the tiles is to use a hair dryer for a small area and a heat gun or iron gun for a larger area for not more than 30 seconds. Using a hair dryer for a larger area may lead to overheating, so it’s advisable to use it for a small area.

    Tips: When using a heat gun, don’t scorch the tile, and when using an iron, place a towel between the tiles and the iron because fumes could be dangerous in both cases.

    Pry a Tile Corner

    Insert a pry bar under the edge to easily lift the corners of tiles. Start from one corner gently and move to the next corner to avoid tile snapping. All you need to do is gently hammer the pry beneath the tile at an angle of 40 degrees until the piece is lifted.

    Remove the Tiles

    Keep removing the tiles using paint scarper one by one in one piece else removing tiles in pieces will be a time-consuming task. In case you face difficulty in removing tiles, repeat the heating process once more and then try to remove tiles. Don’t forget to wear a mask and goggles to protect your eyes.

    Tips: Remove tiles towards yourself with gentle hand pressure to raise the tile up.

    Repeat the Process

    Repeat the process of heating tiles and removing adhesive until everything is done completely.

    Clear Off Adhesive From the Surface

    Once all the tiles are removed from the wall or floor, it’s time to clean the adhesive left on the surface. The best way to remove adhesive left in large quantities is to scrap it or sprinkle baking soda on the surface, leave it for some time, and vacuum to remove the adhesive. A sanding can be used to remove minor spots from the surface.

    Clean the Floor

    Once adhesive is removed, clean the floor thoroughly to avoid any moisture seeping in, leading to mold issues. You can use a steamer to do this job or a homemade solution of water and vinegar (1:1 ratio).

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