Salvaging tile

Reclaiming tile is pretty easy, actually. First you buy a house with five kitchens. Then you tell your husband that you are sure the tile in Apartment 1 can be saved. Then he saves it for you while demolishing the kitchen. Two years later you try to figure out what to do with it.

Old kitchen tile

We ended up treating it like hardware covered with paint. Put them in an old slow cooker (we paid $1.25 for ours at a garage sale), covered with water and some dishwashing soap. Cook for a while. Remove with tongs.

Tools for salvaging tile

Prop in a dish drainer because the tile is hot. Scrape off the mastic and glop with a table knife. (If it’s too hard, put it back in to cook for a while longer.) Let cool.

Cooling tile after scraping

Of course, this takes a long time so you should have something else to do while you work on it. Like snuffle around the house with a cold. I got 21 tiles done today. I think it may end up as a backsplash in our kitchen. Maybe. We picked out creamy yellows for the walls, ceilings, and cabinets that are compatible with the tile, in any event.

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5 Responses to “Salvaging tile”

  1. Holly Childs says:

    You’re going to have only one kitchen?

  2. Lisa says:

    One kitchen. One kitchenette.

  3. Laurie Childs says:

    This is fascinating! Cleaning bricks was my most ambitious reclaiming effort.

  4. Paulette Pace says:

    Wow, Lisa! I had no idea the house you are restoring is such a monumental enterprise! I’m impressed. We are just planning a kitchen remodel and it’s pretty daunting. Good luck!

  5. [...] have been gradually removing mastic from the creamy yellow kitchen tile* without a clear destination for the cleaned-up tile. I have [...]

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