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How to Remove Marble Panels From Around a Bathtub

Larry Simmons

Whether you’re redecorating your bathroom or making repairs, removing marble panels from around the bathtub without breaking them can be a difficult process unless done correctly. There’s no quick or clean method for panel removal. You’ll have to clear the panel edges, then carefully pry them from the surface.

In the process you’ll raise some dust from the grout removal and leave some difficult-to-remove adhesive behind. In the end, though, you’ll have a clear space around the bathtub, and the marble panels intact for reuse.

  1. Clean the marble panels with a soft lint-free cloth and a cleaner specifically formulated for marble use. Rinse the marble after cleaning with warm water and pat the panels dry with a cloth.

  2. Remove caulk from the joints of the panels adjacent to the bathtub surface you intend to remove. Cut the grout into manageable strips at the corners where the panels meet with the corner of a putty knife. Run the corner of the knife down the length of the panels along the panel edge, with the edge knife beneath the surface of the grout to loosen it from the joint. Pull the caulk free by hand.

  3. Remove grout present between the panels, using a rotary tool with a carbide grout blade. Start the tool and run the blade down the center of the grouted joints between the panels to cut through the substance. You may have to run the blade through several times to clear the grout from the joint entirely.

  4. Clear the joints of debris or dust, using a nylon brush.

  5. Place a pry bar into the cleared joints between the panels. Push the end of the pry bar beneath the edge of the panel and apply pressure to the bar to pull the panel from the floor. Move the bar slowly forward under the panel as you apply the pressure to shift the pressure point farther along to help pop the panel free.

  6. Clear away any adhesive left on the subsurface beneath the panel by running the carbide grout blade along the surface and cutting the adhesive free. Clear away any debris remaining from the panel removal.

  7. Tip

    Substitute a putty knife for the pry bar if the marble panels are too thin to pry up with the bar without breaking. Wear safety goggles, work gloves and a dust mask as protection during the panel removal process.