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Removing a 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.





Step 1

Step 1: Chip out the grout along the grout lines 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.

Step 2

Step 2: Chip away the tile with a masonry hammer and cold chisel

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's removed, you may need to smooth the subfloor with a sander.


Step 3

Step 3: Cut the old subfloor with a circular saw

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.