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Removing Ceramic Tile

Project Overview

Removing Ceramic Tile

Damaged or loose ceramic tile must be completely removed. Don't bother trying to salvage the old tiles. Just bust 'em up and chip away the pieces. Of course that can be easier said than done, depending on how the tile was installed.

3 Steps

  1. Remove Grout and Tap Pieces Free
  2. Chip Away Tile
  3. Cut Old Subfloor
Remove Grout and Tap Pieces Free

Step 1

Remove Grout and Tap Pieces Free

Chip out the grout along the grout lines. Use a ball-peen or masonry hammer and cold chisel to tap the pieces free. Always wear safety glasses when removing ceramic tile. And remember that in some cases the only way to tear out ceramic tile is with heavy equipment such as a jackhammer or air chisel.

Chip Away Tile

Step 2

Chip Away Tile

For ceramic tile set in adhesive, chip away the tile with a masonry hammer and cold chisel. Use a long-handled floor scraper to scrape away tile fragments and any old adhesive residue. After all the tile is removed, you may need to smooth the subfloor with a sander.

Cut Old Subfloor

Step 3

Cut Old Subfloor

After you've chipped away ceramic tile set in mortar, cut the old subfloor into small sections with a circular saw equipped with an old carbide blade. Pry up the sections with a pry bar. If the old tile was laid on underlayment, cut through the underlayment and mortar, but not the subfloor.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 3 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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