Tile salvage jobs are a popular way to recycle old materials. As the green building becomes more common, more old tiles are being recovered from floors, walls and countertops and are being installed in new applications. Porcelain plates are extremely dense and durable materials, making them easier to save than some other tiles. The binder removal process will depend on the type of binder used.
Use a 6-inch razor blade to scrape off the bulk of the adhesive. This does not remove all the glue, but it can get enough to make the solvent work easier.
Scrape away the softened glue with razor blades after the remover is penetrating. Use a sponge to clean up remaining glue and prepare tile for reuse. Allow the plate to dry thoroughly before installation.
Use a foam brush to spread a paste glue remover, found on most hardware stores, on the old putty. Let it penetrate and soften the mastic. The time varies based on the picker used and the age and amount of mastic. Test the adhesive often by scraping it with razor blades to see how easy it is to get up.
Use a 6-inch razor blade to scrape off the bulk of the adhesive from the plate.
Grind off additional adhesive from the tile with an angle grinder. Continuously move the mill over the tile. Keep the mill in one place can etch or damage tiles. Grind the old glue down to a smooth surface or until the tile shows through. The plate should be even and horizontal for reinstallation.