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how to remove old tile diy

A DIY Guide to Removing Old Tile Flooring

Whether you’ve been in your house for a decade or want to renovate the house you just bought, removing tile is a project you can tackle on your own if you know what you’re doing.Other than that there can be various reasons why you might need to remove your tile floor. It might have cracked while you were relocating your refrigerator. Maybe it’s a little too slick when you come out of the shower. Or perhaps you simply want a change.

Can I Remove the Tile Myself?

Removing tile yourself is a time-consuming task, but it may save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a professional. It’s critical to have everything you need and to execute it correctly to avoid ruining your subfloor. If you’re up for a do-it-yourself effort, self-removal is an excellent option.

So, what is the best way to remove a tile floor? We’ll teach you how in five simple stages, but first, here are a few things to bear in mind before you begin.

Tools Required to Remove Tile Flooring

Once you’ve decided to take on the project yourself, you’ll need to acquire the necessary tools to do it as quickly and securely as possible. You will need the following items to remove tile flooring:


  1. Hammer
  2. Chisel or an air hammer equipped with a chisel set
  3. A pry bar
  4. Scraper
  5. Oscillating tool or angle grinder (optional)
  6. Scraper with a long handle
  7. Screwdriver
  8. Plastic wrap and tarps
  9. Blankets or cloths to cover immobile objects
  10. Tape for painting
  11. Vacuuming in the store
  12. Shovel for scooping up rubbish from a trash can


In addition to possessing the proper tools, it is critical to dress for the work. This will safeguard you from avoidable harm. In addition to a long-sleeved shirt and slacks, you should wear the following:


  1. Knee pads
  2. Safety goggles or glasses
  3. Gloves
  4. Dust-filtering mask
  5. When using power tools, use ear protection.

How To Remove Old Tile Flooring?

Taking off old tiles is not an easy process. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also expensive to hire someone else to do it. So it may be worthwhile to pull up those old tiles yourself.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to completing this task correctly.

Step 1: Remove the Trim

Before you begin removing the tile, remove any trim and baseboards from the space. Be cautious with all of the materials you remove so that they can be simply replaced once you’ve completed removing the tile and installing your new floor. Cover any vents in the room as well so that dust does not enter them (and from there the rest of your house).

Step 2: Take Out the Tile

After you’ve gotten all of the trimmings out of the way, it’s time to remove the tile. This procedure is more difficult if you wish to maintain the tiles rather than simply replace them. You can begin by breaking the tiles with a hammer if you don’t care about saving them. Begin by severing a single tile with the edge of a hammer.


Begin by severing a single tile with the edge of a hammer. Remove the rest of that tile, followed by the tiles around, with a chisel. You’ll have to shatter at least one tile, but if you’re careful not to pry up the ones adjacent to it, you’ll be able to keep the rest. You may use the claw end of the hammer to simply pry them up. If you don’t care about keeping the tile, you may simply smash it all up with the hammer if that’s simpler than prying it apart.


If your tile is cement-adhered to the floor, maintaining it may not be an option. If the tiles are difficult to remove, then, using the hammer, break them up and scrape them away with the floor scraper.

Step 3: Removing the Underlayment

Examine the underlayment once you’ve totally removed all of the tiles. The mortar may be removed from the underlayment using a hammer, but depending on its state, it may need to be replaced. Because removing adhesive can be difficult, it may be worth your time and money to remove and replace the underlayment. If it’s ancient, it may already be degrading.


Remove the underlayment by first removing any fasteners that hold it to the floor. Then, pry up the edges of the underlayment using a roofing rake or a flat shovel.

Step 4: Scrub the Subfloor

After you’ve removed the underlayment, it’s time to clean the subfloor. Scrape away any residual glue from the subfloor before cleaning up any screws, tile fragments, or other debris.


Examine it for any mould or damage that requires treatment. Make any repairs or cleanings that are required. The subfloor should be totally clear of dirt, clean, and in good condition before laying a new floor. You don’t want to conceal damage or mould that will only worsen with time.

How Can I Ensure That My Floor Doesn’t Contain Asbestos?

Some older tile flooring were placed with asbestos, which may enter into your lungs and cause ailments. The only guaranteed way to detect whether or not your floor has asbestos fibers is to have an expert examine the area for asbestos particles.


You may, however, look at the size of the tiles on the floor (and for an outline of older tiles underneath). Asbestos may be present if the tiles measure nine inches on each side, since it was commonly used with tiles of that size.

How Do I Get Rid of the Old Tile?

If you hired a professional to remove your tile, the installer would charge you a fee and then handle the removal for you. You will have to dispose of the tile if you remove it yourself. Ordinarily, old tiles are not accepted in regular recycling.


Once you’ve checked that your local recycling centre will accept it, you may take it there. If your tiles are in good shape, you may donate them to someone who could benefit from them. A donation of free tile would be much appreciated by various community construction initiatives.

Costs to Remove Old Floor Tile?

The cost of removing tile flooring is heavily influenced by the size of the room. Here are some ideas of how much your project may cost depending on the size of the space.

How Much Does Tile Flooring Removal Cost Per Square Foot?

Tile flooring removal costs between $2 and $7 per square foot, with $3.50 being the average. The cost is primarily decided by whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Some contractors charge a flat cost, such as $400, to come to your home and complete the service.

Do-It-Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor Cost

Removing a tile floor yourself can save you hundreds of dollars, but it will take at least a day for a 100-square-foot room. If you employ a professional to install new tile flooring, make sure they also remove the old.

Discuss costs and included with your contractor before beginning the job. To compare pricing, obtain at least three quotations from local flooring businesses.



Related Articles:


How to Hire A Professional Tile Installer For A Project?


How to Install Floor Tiles? Step by Step Guide


To Summarize

Tile is a popular flooring choice for bathrooms and kitchens because it is both durable and easy to maintain. Tiles, like any other type of flooring, can fall out of style or get damaged and worn. Even if your tiles are in good condition, they may not complement your home’s style. We hope that our advice has given you the confidence to tackle the tile floor removal process on your own.


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