How to Remove Tiles
Time Required: Over 1 day
If you find a damaged tile or two in your floor, it is much easier to remove and replace them than installing a new tile floor altogether.
This guide details how to successfully complete this project in 6 easy steps including removing the grout and tile, applying new mortar and setting the new tiles.
Grout locks a tile in place, sealing the joints between individual pieces. Remove the grout from around the tile with a grout saw or rotary tool, cutting as deeply as you possibly can. Throw the chipped pieces out and wipe up any excess dust.
Put a straightedge across one of the diagonals. Guide a scoring tool along the straightedge, scratching a line in the tile. Repeat until the line is at least 1/16 inch deep. Repeat on the other diagonal.
Put on your safety glasses and strike the center of the tile with a center punch. The tile will begin to break up. Put a cold chisel on the diagonal near the center and strike it with a hammer. Repeat along the entire length of both diagonals until you’re able to remove all of the tile pieces.
Chisel away the mortar with a bricklayer’s chisel. Remove as much mortar as you can. You can leave some mortar, as long as it is firmly attached and there is enough room for a new layer of thinset.
Mix your mortar according to the directions on the box, and spread and comb it on the floor with the trowel specified by the manufacturer. "Back-butter" the replacement tile, spreading just enough mortar to cover the back; too much will cause the tile to sit high on the floor.
Put the tile in place and twist it back and forth to spread the mortar. Tap the tile down with a flat board and mallet. Remove excess mortar that squeezes into the joints. Let the mortar cure, then grout and seal the joints.