General Question

sophied's avatar

Can you remove silicon adhesive from tile?

Asked by sophied (106points) October 2nd, 2009

I want to install this shampoo dispenser ( in my parents’ shower to help them out, but they won’t agree since they think they will be unable to remove it once installed. It attaches with silicon adhesive. Are they right? Is it impossible to remove silicone adhesive without damaging the tile, or is there an easy way to do it?

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10 Answers

gussnarp's avatar

If it’s a glossy tile you can remove anything from it. But hey, I’ve never tried it and I’m not a contractor or anything. Glossy ceramic tile is tough and slick though, so it should be able to be pealed or scraped off. If it’s a silicone adhesive like caulk or such, then it will definitely come off. Hey, you can’t sue me if I’m wrong, right?

grumpyfish's avatar

“There are a number of solvents on the market, but one of the best is Silicone-Be-Gone, a product made by DAP and developed specifically for removing silicone. It can be used both for dissolving cured silicone and for cleaning up the area around freshly applied silicone. The product takes several hours to work completely. It’s also an oil-based solvent that has a noticeable odor, so use with proper ventilation. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves to minimize contact with your skin.

If you don’t want to use the stronger commercial products, you can remove silicone with mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. These products are safer, but they will take longer to work, and they will likely also require some elbow grease and a fair amount of scraping.”

gussnarp's avatar

I really think that you can just scrape it right off with a putty knife.

grumpyfish's avatar

@gussnarp I’m pretty sure you can too, but if the surface is at all rough, you end up with a little bit of “goo” left over, which is what the remover is good for.

sophied's avatar

yeah, my dad said when they removed a cabinet that had been attached with silicone it took the shine off the tiles. so now he won’t use any silicone. but that stuff was installed like 20 years ago. have there been changes in silicone adhesives?

gussnarp's avatar

Hmm, now that’s interesting. I’m thinking the problem is with the tile, not the adhesive. I don’t think they’ve changed much. There may be a solvent of some kind that keeps the silicone soft until it meets the air and that chemical may be the culprit. If so it’s probably still there. You could check out some different silicone adhesives and see what claims they make. If they’re cheap you could even get a single loose tile and test some out, then use whatever seems best instead of what comes with the dispenser?

gussnarp's avatar

I’m thinking though that your parents are never going to go for this.

grumpyfish's avatar

I agree—they’re never going to go for this.

one4gold's avatar

I’m faced with the same situation. After considerable pondering (and having found no acceptable answers using google) I think I’m going to try putting some really good duct tape on the tile then apply the silicone to the tape. I used Scotch tape in a similar manner for a towel holder on my kitchen cabinet a year ago and it’s still holding. I figure I need a stronger tape to hold the weight of a soap/shampoo dispenser. After I install the back plate to hang the dispenser, I’m thinking I’ll outline the edges with hot glue to help keep the water off the tape. Duct tape residue comes off easy enough with goo-gone, wd40, alcohal . . . and hot glue will will peal off glossy tile pretty easy with no damage (I’ve hot glued several things to the same tile by my sink, ie. razer holder, toothbrush holder, tooth paste holder – this isn’t a perfect fix since every once in a while they fall which is why I certainly wouldn’t depend on hot glud holding a shower dispenser but I think it will make a good water barrier). Enough said, I’m now going to put my plan into action. :-)

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