While removing old tile is not for the faint of heart, with some elbow grease, a few simple tools and some know-how, your diy ceramic tile removal project will be finished in no time.
- Remove any appliances or fixtures that will get in the way of removing the tile. Usually your toilet will be installed over tile and dishwashers are often installed over tile. Obviously your refrigerator will need to be moved out. Make sure you have someone to help you.
- You will need a starting point, a place where you can put the pry bar under the tile and pull it up. Usually there will be an edge somewhere when you remove the appliances or fixtures, but if not, you will have to break the tile with a hammer to something heavy. Remember to be careful if you are dealing with a plywood subfloor. You don’t want to have to make repairs there.
- Start prying up the tile. By now you should know for sure whether or not there is flooring installed underneath the existing tile. Sometimes you will see an underlayment like mortarboard. You can try to salvage this if you want, but often it needs to be removed. Keep a container nearby for disposal of the old tile. A good tip is to make it a medium to small container so you can resist the urge to put too much in the container. Tile is very heavy and it will be easy to make the container impossible to lift.
- When all the tile and damaged underlayment is removed, it’s time to clean and prep the floor for new flooring. Whether it’s carpet, hardwood or new tile, the floor will need to be smooth, level, and clean.
As you labor to remove your ugly old tile, remember to be safe. Wear protective goggles since shards of tile or other material can fly up as you work. Wear gloves and shoes that cover your toes, preferably steel toed boots.
Also, make sure you have the right tile removal tools. A pry bar and a good sledgehammer will be very useful to you. Have a stiff broom and sturdy dustpan nearby for cleanup as you go.
This will be very messy. Dust and debris will be everywhere. If you are prone to asthma or bronchial problems, you should wear a mask and keep your windows open, if possible.
Good luck, and happy flooring!
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