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How To Remove Ceramic Tile Flooring

Removing Your Old Ceramic Tile

If you're tired of the look of your old, cracked ceramic tile floor, you may want to replace it with a new hardwood floor. There are a couple of ways to do this. The simplest way is to install a laminate floating floor system right over the existing tile.

But if you want a real hardwood floor, the best way is to remove the existing tile first and then install the new wood. It's not an easy task, but following these simple guidelines, you should be able to handle the project.


Removing Ceramic Tile - Tools Needed

First off, a good set of knee pads and work gloves will be well worth the money. The hand tools you will need are, hammer, chisel, small pry bar, large pry bar or heavy duty scrapper, and safety glasses.


How to Start Ceramic Tile Removal

It's best to start by removing the base moulding. Taking this off before you start will keep it from getting damaged so it may be reused after the new flooring is installed. If there is any carpeting adjacent to the tile, pull it back to give you room to work. You are now ready to remove the tile.

Start with a loose or cracked tile or if there aren't any of those, then you can start from the edge that was exposed by the carpet. Slide a pry bar under the edge of a tile and pry it loose. It may just pop right out in one piece but most likely it will break.

If it does come out in one piece you may have a pretty easy job with the rest of the tile. Continue prying the tile loose and move them off to the side. You may need to switch between the big and small pry bars depending on how much room you have to work with.

Ceramic Tiles Breaking Into Pieces Continuously?

If the tile seems to be breaking into small pieces, you're going to have a more difficult time removing them. It may even be difficult to slide the pry bar under the tile to break them loose. If this is the case, there are a couple of things you can do. First is to use the hammer and chisel.

Place the chisel under the edge of the tile and tap it with the hammer. Be sure to wear gloves, safety glasses, and in my experience - a long sleeve shirt is a good idea as well.

Small sharp pieces of tile and grout will be flying so be sure to protect yourself. Sweep away the pieces from your work area as you continue chipping away at the tile.

Final Steps in Removing Your Ceramic Tiles

Now that all the tiles are removed, you will need to be sure you remove all the remaining mastic or mortar. This can be done by using a heavy duty scrapper. If there are some tough areas you may need to do a bit more work with the chisel. When that is complete just sweep or vacuum the floor and you're ready to install your new floor.


Contact Alpine Flooring in Denver or Boulder Colorado, for your hardwood floor installing and refinishing needs.

Or give us a call at your convenience: 303-884-8020