How to Remove Ceramic Tile
Time Required: Over 1 day
Before installing any new tile or flooring, you may need to remove old or damaged tile and mortar. This guide details how to remove the tile in three steps.
- Use a ball peen or masonry hammer and cold chisel to tap the pieces free. Always wear safety glasses when removing ceramic tile.
- In some cases, the only way to tear out the ceramic tile is with heavy equipment such as a jackhammer or air chisel.
Use a long-handled floor scraper to scrape away tile fragments and any old adhesive residue. After all the tiles are removed, you may need to smooth the subfloor with a sander.
- After you have chipped away at the tile and mortar, cut the old subfloor into small sections with a circular saw equipped with a 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.