The Guide to Removing Old Tile Flooring | Mosaic Tile Outlet
The Guide to Removing Old Tile Flooring

The Guide to Removing Old Tile Flooring

DIY Projects – Floor Tile – Part 1: Removing old flooring


So you’ve just closed on your dream home and now it’s time to make a couple renovations throughout your new space. You’ve decided on this gorgeous new floor tile for your entryway but have to eliminate what the previous owners have put down. Where do we even begin?


Of course part of beginning any job; DIY or professional, is prepping your space. This almost always involves stripping the area of any unwanted materials. These materials can include but aren’t limited to wood, glass, porcelain, ceramic, wallpaper, or even linoleum. (People still use that?)


Today we’re focusing on standard floor tile. Think porcelain, ceramic, and stone, as these are likely to be what you’ll be encountering in most cases. Okay…so we know what we want to do now, the question is how and where do we begin?


Getting started.


Replacing long-standing floor tile isn’t as simple as just tearing up old carpet, wood flooring panels, or just going straight overtop of linoleum. Because of this, lets break it down into a few steps and make sure no more damage is done than is absolutely necessary.


  • Remove any and all baseboards in the area you’ve chosen to renovate. Patience and a careful touch go a long way here. Remember, it’s likely you’ll be reinstalling these baseboards unless you’ve chosen to take them out or replace them all together. Be sure to also cover any vents in order to avoid unnecessary dust or debris entering your ventilation system.
  • Feeling any stress lately? This might be your opportunity to let some of that out. Using a hammer, break some of the tile currently installed, preferably just a single sheet or so. Once you get at least a single sheet broken apart, you can use a chisel and gentle application to easily pick up the remaining tiles in the immediate area. Continue this until it’s all been stripped away.
  • Remove any currently installed underlayment. Unless you’ve recently put it down yourself on the previous installation and you know it’s still good, we recommend replacing it. Also, keep in mind it’s always better to use screws than nails. Unscrew what you can and use a shovel to lift the rest of it up.
  • Now, you just need to make sure your space is completely clean, smooth, and free of any debris or leftover adhesive. All of this before you begin laying your new tile using the appropriate methods determined by your chosen application or material.


Caution: Be sure to check with your county or area of residence to ensure you follow any and all applicable building codes as well as confirm whether or not you will need a permit to make these types of renovations to your home or building and remain in compliance.


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