How to Remove Old Ceramic Tiles

What You'll Need
Safety goggles
Hammer and chisel or electric chipper
Flat bar
Broom and dustpan

Removing old ceramic tiles can be quite a difficult task for the Do-it-Yourselfer, but it is not impossible to do. The problem with removing these tiles is when the homeowner decides to save the old tiles for other projects, such as kitchen countertops. However, if the tiles are going to be discarded or to be used as broken pieces for other projects, the task is a lot easier to do. In addition, the task can be quite dangerous for those who are not careful enough during the removal process because broken tiles may cause serious injury. This is one reason why professional tile removal services are so expensive. Here are some instructions for people willing to do the project themselves.

Step 1 – Preparation

Decide whether to save the tiles or to simply discard them after the project. If the ceramic tiles are to be used for future projects, extra precaution needs to be emphasized when removing the tiles in order to avoid breaking them all.

Before proceeding with the removal process, wear safety goggles to protect the eyes from flying solid debris. Use a mask as well to protect the respiratory tract from the harmful effects of dust inhalation. Finally, wear gloves to protect the hands. It is important to remove any furniture or objects that may get in the way.

Step 2 – Removing the Ceramic Tiles

Start removing each tile manually from the door or any other entryway to the room. Hold the chisel on one hand and the hammer on the other hand. Position the chisel underneath the first tile at a low angle and simply tap it with the hammer repeatedly until the ceramic tile detaches from the floor, wall or surface. Do not force the hammer on the head of the chisel with too much force to avoid having any debris from flying forcibly at any direction. A flat bar may also serve as a good alternative to the chisel especially when working with tiles that are harder to pry. A hammer and chisel is best to use when salvaging the tiles because it allows the worker to add extra care when detaching the tiles from the working surface.

For people who do not need the tiles any longer, using an electric chipper or power chipper works just fine. Read the instructions on the power tool manual very carefully before starting with the tile removal process. Always start at the tiles found at the corners and work the tool until all the tiles are removed, exercising caution during the process.

Step 3 – Cleaning Up

Removing old tiles can be a messy job so prepare for the cleaning process afterward. Segregate tiles that are still left completely in tact from those that are already broken. Use a broom and dustpan to clean the dust and broken pieces on the working surface to wrap up the job.