How to Remove Tile Without Any Fuss

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Tile is a beautiful flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, and more. It comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, and can be laid in any number of patterns and arrangements. However, whether for cosmetic reasons or for repairs, your tile may need to be replaced! You’ll first need to learn how to remove tile before installing your new flooring.

Stripping a Floor vs. Removing Tile Flooring

First, you may notice that a quick internet search shows different machines and methods when you type in ‘stripping a tile floor’.

Although they might sound like the same thing, ‘Stripping a Tile Floor’ may refer to a different project than ‘Removing a Tile Floor’. What’s even more confusing is that the terms are often used interchangeably!

Tile floors are sometimes waxed after installation. This gives the tile an extra layer of protection from daily use and spills, as well as makes it easier to clean. Waxing your tile also gives it a shiny and appealing appearance!

You need to strip your floor when the current layer of wax is turning yellow or looking hazy. A floor stripper machine will do a great job at preparing your tile for a fresh waxing; it won’t help you remove old tiles. That’s what a tile stripping machine does – although it can also be referred to as a ‘Floor Stripper’, ‘Tile Stripper’, or ‘Floor Scraper’.

If you plan to remove old tile, make sure that you are getting the correct machine! You can determine which is which by looking at them.

  • A Floor Stripper is a fairly streamlined machine, and features a large, usually round brush to rub wax off your floor.
  • A Tile Stripper can be either large or small (depending on the type of tile you are pulling), but all of them feature a flat blade at the front to remove tile.

How to Remove Tile Flooring

Old tiles, bathroom tiles, broken tiles, cracked tiles – regardless of where your tile is located, it will all be removed in the same way!

Tools You’ll Need

Pry Bar or Handheld Scraper
Hammer
Scraper
Small sledgehammer
Broom

OR
Tile Removal Tool

AND
Trash Can/Tarp
Shop Vac
Protective Clothing (Gloves, safety glasses, long-sleeved pants and shirt, ear protection, etc,.)

Method

Whether you’re using manual tools or tile removal machine, pulling up old tile is pretty straightforward!

Manual Tools

  • Break up the surface of the tile by using a demolition chipping hammer, a jackhammer, or sledgehammer. A good starting point is usually around installed fixtures like toilets or cabinets. Exposed piping may also provide a good starting point.
  • Using your pry bar or handheld scraper, pull up the tile pieces.
  • Smooth out any rough patches with your scraper.
  • Sweep up the pieces of tile into your trash can or onto your tarp for removal.
  • Vacuum the work area afterwards.
  • Inspect the floor. If you have a plywood sublayer, remove any exposed nails and make sure the surface is ready to have new flooring applied. If you have a concrete subfloor, make sure it’s intact and even, and doesn’t need any repairs or replacement.

Tile Removal Tool

  • How to Remove Tile Without Any Fuss - Northside Tool RentalFamiliarize yourself with the safety and operating features of your tile removal machine.
  • Set up the machine to your desired configuration, including handle angle and blade type if applicable.
  • Begin in one corner of the room and start the tile removal machine.
  • Push the tile removal machine across the room bit by bit, clearing away tile with your broom and removing it from the work area as necessary.
  • If you have difficulty removing a tile with a machine, try using one corner of the blade to work under the tricky tile.
  • Vacuum up the work area once the tile has been removed and discarded.
  • Inspect the floor. If you have a plywood sublayer, remove any exposed nails and make sure the surface is ready to have new flooring applied. If you have a concrete subfloor, make sure it’s intact and even, and doesn’t need any repairs or replacement.

Your floor is now ready to lay new tile!

Northside Tool Rental

The next time you need to pull up some old or broken tile, visit Northside Tool Rental! We have both large and small tile removal machines, so you can pick the best fit for your project! Contact us today at one of our five Atlanta-area locations!