How to Remove Ceramic Floor Tiles

Mayuri Kulkarni Sep 29, 2018
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Planning to renovate your house, but wondering how to give the floors a new look? Well, if you have a ceramic tile flooring, then you can remove the tiles yourself and place new ones. Here's how ...
Removing ceramic floor tiles is something many homeowners avoid while renovating their house, because it is hectic and time-consuming. Many people hire professionals for removing ceramic tile flooring, and it costs them thousands of dollars.
However, one can do it without engaging the services of a professional, and save a lot of money in the process. However, the laborious job needs at least two to three days to complete, and one must be healthy and fit. Before we discuss the steps on how to remove the ceramic tiles, let us have a look at the list of equipment required for the same.

Equipment Required

  • Roofing shovel
  • Cold chisel
  • Grout saw
  • Putty knife
  • Floor scraper
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponge

Step 1: Preparation

Before beginning with the process of removal of ceramic tiles, here are some safety measures that must be taken.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing goggles, as there are chances that the tile chips may get into your eyes during the removal process.
  • Wear a mask to prevent dust from entering into your nose and mouth.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Arrange for a broom and dustpan to remove the dust that will accumulate after removing the tiles. You'll also require a sponge to clean the dust particles on the walls and the floor.

Step 2: Removal of Grout

Removing the grout is important, as this makes it easier to remove the ceramic tiles. Here are the steps ...
  • With the help of a utility knife, scratch along the grout lines. In most cases, the grout can be removed just by using the utility knife.
  • Use a chisel and hammer if you cannot remove the grout only using the utility knife.

Ensure that you take safety precautions mentioned in the previous step.

Step 3: Removing the Ceramic Tiles

Once you have removed the grout, removing the ceramic tiles becomes easy, as all sides of the tiles are free. Just follow the simple steps.
  • Locate the loose tiles, if any, by tapping on each tile. Removing them first can make the process easier for you.
  • Tap the free pieces with the help of a cold chisel and hammer to remove them.
  • If the tiles do not get removed by tapping alone, use a drilling machine and make holes on different parts of the tiles. This will divide the tile into smaller parts. Pry the smaller pieces using a hammer.
  • Once you have removed the tiles, use a floor scraper to remove any remains, or adhesive residues, left on the floor. You need not worry about any minor damage to the sub-floor, as you can easily repair it when you will be installing new ceramic tiles. However, you should be careful that you do not cause any severe damage to the sub-floor.
  • Clean the area and remove all the dust and debris. Damp the sponge and clean the sub-floor.
Removing ceramic floor tiles can be difficult for larger surface areas. Hence, it is recommended that you should hire a professional if the area is larger, as there are more chances of causing irreparable damage to the sub-floor. However, if it's for a smaller area, you can remove the tiles yourself.