How to Remove Ceramic Tile

How to Remove Ceramic Tile

Damaged or loose ceramic tile must be completely removed. Depending on how the tile was installed, it can be quite difficult to remove. Don’t bother trying to salvage the old tile, simply follow these directions to completely remove it and start fresh.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Remove Grout and Tap Pieces Free

    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.

  2. Step 2 Chip Away Tile

    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.

  3. Step 3 Cut Old Subfloor

    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.

     

What You Need for This Project

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