How to Clean Used Ceramic Tile for Reuse

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing ceramic tile from a surface often leaves you with a pile of tiles that are still usable. To put it to use, however, you'll have to clean the tile first. This cleaning involves removing not only any dirt deposits from the face of the tiles, but also any adhesive remaining on the tile rears. Once cleaned though, you can use the tile as you would any new ceramic tiles, securing the tile to the new surface with the adhesive of your choice.

Place the tiles face down on a flat surface.

Brush the rear of the tiles with a thin layer of adhesive remover. Allow the remover to sit on the rear of the tiles until it begins to dry.

Scrub the rear of the tiles with a heavy-duty cleaning sponge to remove the adhesive remover and any adhesive remaining on the rear of the tiles.

Wipe the rear of the tiles after removing the adhesive with a damp cloth. Dry the tile rear with a dry cloth.

Examine the tile rear for any remaining adhesive not removed by the chemical remover. If adhesive remains, remove the material from the rear of the tile with a 4-inch angle grinder containing a coarse sanding pad. Wipe the tile clean with a wet cloth after removal then dry with a dry cloth.

Flip the tiles over and spray the fronts with a ceramic tile cleanser. Scrub the surface clean of any dirt with a scrub brush then rinse clean with running water. Dry with a cloth before reuse.

Things You'll Need

  • Adhesive remover
  • Brush
  • Heavy-duty cleaning sponge
  • Cloths
  • Water
  • 4-inch angle grinder with coarse sanding pad
  • Ceramic tile cleanser
  • Scrub brush
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About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.