What are the steps to remove ceramic tile from a kitchen floor?


Quick Answer

Removing ceramic tiles from a kitchen floor or any surface requires the right tools and knowledge of what's under the tile and includes either prying them up with a crowbar or using a saw to break them up. After assembling the proper materials, those do-it-yourselfers undertaking this project should remove a few tiles to see what's underneath and proceed accordingly.

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Full Answer

Getting the right tools

A chisel, shovel, trash can or wheelbarrow, hammer, mallet and sledgehammer are good basic tools to have for this project, although the exact tools needed will depend on what's underneath the tile.

Preparing the space

Prior to breaking or removing tile, it's a good idea to disconnect any water pipes or electrical lines that might get hit or damaged during removal and empty the room of anything that might get in the way or get ruined by debris. Covering counters is also wise to make cleanup easier. Breaking up tiles may generate dust and small fragments, so safety goggles and thick gloves are necessary to protect hands from sharp tile.

Check under the tile

The sledgehammer can be used to break a small section of tile, preferably not right against the wall, after which a chisel can be used to pry up some of the broken pieces and see what's underneath. The material under the tile will determine the approach to completing the project.

The process if the tile is on masonry and tar paper

This is the best-case scenario because it results in the easiest removal process. If the tiles aren't attached to plywood or some other hard material, it should be easy to pry up sheets of tile with tool that provides suitable leverage, like a flat shovel.

The process if the tile is Attached to a hard surface

Tile that is laid down directly on a hard surface is a bit harder to remove. This requires the use of a saw to cut through the plywood or cement board in order to get leverage on the bottom of this hard material and remove it. Home improvement novices may want to find additional assistance.

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