What is The Best Way Remove Ceramic Tiles From The Floor

We all know ceramic tiles are a decorative flooring material that has been permanently hardened by heat. It consist of a thin square or rectangular slab of baked clay or other material used for covering walls, floors or other surfaces. But how do you remove the dang things? If you’ve ever tried to take off ceramic titles from the floor or separate them from the wall, you’d quickly find out how much effort it takes to accomplish the task. Let’s face it, removing ceramic tiles isn’t easy. This guide will show you the most convenient way to take ceramic tiles off from the floor.

Removing Ceramic Tiles

Removing ceramic tile can be an extremely difficult and time consuming task, but with the right tools and solid plan, you can accomplish the task in no time. Be sure to always wear eye protection and gloves to protect yourself when handling sharp ceramic pieces that can become projectiles during your removal. Based on the subflooring, removal of the tiles can be accomplished systematically or through brute force. An inexperienced craftsperson with basic tools will be able to remove the tiles following this guide.

Rotary Hammer Tile Remover
Remove ceramic tile like a pro using a rotary hammer with a Makita SDS-Max floor scraper.

Choose a Starting Point

Choose a starting point; a tile in the center of the room. Starting near the center of the room will afford you the room you will need to remove the first tile. Starting in a corner or near a wall will require that you duplicate the steps necessary to remove the first tile for the surrounding tiles. 

Score the grout around the center tile with a chisel or other sharp-edged tool, such as a box-cutter. Dig deep enough into the grout to form a groove deep enough to receive a prying tool. Sweep the dust away from the groove to assess the depth.

Separate Tile from Sub-flooring

Place the cutting edge of a prying tool into the groove you’ve created. Use a 3-pound hammer to tap the back of the tool to drive it solidly into the groove. Your tapping should be just hard enough to dig the tool into the groove while making sure not to smash the tile in the process. Removing the tiles in solid pieces will make for an easier and quicker job. Work your way around the perimeter of the center tile with the hammer and chisel until the tile separates from the subflooring.

Difficult Tiles

For tile that is particularly resistant to your efforts to work around the perimeter with a chisel, you will need to take a more direct and brutal approach. Make sure you have gloves and eye protection on before proceeding with removal of a difficult tile. Use the 3-pound hammer to strike the center tile, breaking it into several pieces. Remove the pieces by hand until all of the parts of the first tile have been removed. The space available after the removal of the first tile should allow you to attack the surrounding tiles at a more acute angle. If the space does not make for an easier time removing the surrounding tiles, smash the tiles with the hammer and remove the pieces by hand.

James Hutchinson

Hi my name is James Hutchinson. I am the proud owner of Miami Carpet & Flooring. Our family-owned business has brought the community more than 37 years of flooring experience in hardwood floors, vinyl tile, laminate and carpet. Feel free to ask me a question using the comment box.

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