The Basics of How to Remove Floor Tiles

chisel tiles feature
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One of the integral parts of home renovation is floor modification. It may look easy, but it requires due diligence and proper floor tile removal in order not to break the old flooring. So the question is—how to remove floor tiles the right way? In this article, you will learn the basic method of carefully removing floor tiles for future usage. So without further ado, let’s begin…

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Before You Start

Before you begin the process of how to remove tiles, there are a few variables that you have to take note of in order to make the procedure successful and long-lasting. Some of the considerations include the following information—

Know the Facts Under Your Tiles

The very first thing that you have to know about your tiles is they are glued together with a strong adhesive that keeps them from falling apart. In addition, tiles are typically made of ceramic which makes them extremely fragile that could shatter upon contact with strong impact. Accidents are also likely to occur when you actually break them. You could obtain wounds or injuries to the eye if the shards of ceramic do come flying at you.

With this being said—it is of the utmost importance that you know how to remove floor tiles without breaking them and gathering the essential floor tile removers and tile remover tools and equipment that will preserve the tiles for future use but more importantly, they keep you safe from accidents during the entire process.

Equipment and Machine

Unlike flooring installations, you don’t need that much for the procedure of how to remove tiles from floors. The following are the best tool for removing tile from concrete floors and essential equipment and machine, and materials for the task at hand—

  • Vacuum
  • Safety goggles
  • Lump hammer
  • Dust mask
  • Cold chisel
  • Knee pads
  • Trowel
  • Tile glue remover, such as a cement or adhesive remover
  • If you are renovating your bathroom as a result of the tile removal, you may also need an affordable yet reliable grate drain.

Prepare Your Area

Before you begin the actual process, you have to prepare the space first in order for the project to be successful and improve the installation longevity—

  • First and foremost, set aside and put all the furniture and fixture out of the area where the flooring installation will be conducted
  • Clean the room and remove all of the debris that would interfere with the activity as much as possible
  • Diligently remove the wall’s baseboards first and put them outside the room
  • Close the windows and close the vents to prevent the elements from interfering. It also averts the debris from the removal process from clogging the vents
  • Close the doors and cover the furniture and fixture to keep the dust from accumulating on their surface

How to Remove Floor Tiles

Removing existing floor tiles can be a tricky job, but with the right tile removal tools and techniques, it is achievable. Here are the general removal steps for floor tiles laid with different types of materials.

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How to Remove Floor Tile Adhesive

The most important step in removing floor tile is to remove the adhesive. This can be done by using a chemical adhesive remover. To remove the adhesive or underlayment glue, follow the tips below—

1. Find a broken tile where the subfloor is exposed partially. If there are none, you can sacrifice one tile for the cause by mildly chiseling it to create a small crack.

2. Carefully pry the cracked tile, and other ones will follow.

3. Use a glue remover to clean the excess glue from the adhesive.

4. Once it has loosened up the adhesive, use a putty knife or a scraper to scrape off any remaining residue.  

How to Remove Floor Tiles from Concrete

broken tiles

Removing floor tiles from concrete slab Australia? This may be time-consuming, but it’s possible with the proper steps.

To remove the tiles laid with 25mm mortar bedding above the concrete, please follow the following instructions to successfully eliminate both tile and mortar.

  • Start by using a hammer to gently loosen the tile from the surface.
  • Place a chisel at the edge of the tile and use a sledgehammer to break off pieces of it.
  • Once you’ve broken off some pieces, use an electric screwdriver or drill bit to remove any remaining pieces.
  • With all the debris removed, you should now be able to scrape away most of the mortar bed with a scraper or trowel.
  • Scrub away any remaining dirt and grime with a solution made up of hot water and dish soap before rinsing with clean water.

If you’re looking to remove the timber flooring from concrete, the adhesives are difficult to remove if the cement tile board underlay is covered to protect tiled floors. In this case, please confirm whether the tile board is still worth saving, or we advise you to remove both the tiles and the tile boards together.


How to remove floor tiles is a tough task to do, and you’re going to need a lot of patience and resilience if you plan to do it professionally. But as long as you have the right tools, equipment, and knowledge in removing old flooring, it won’t be that difficult. After all, there are always professionals who can help you with your tile removal project so don’t hesitate to contact them when needed.

FAQ on How to Remove Floor Tiles

Below are the additional queries that people have about how to remove floor tiles—

1. What is the Best Tool to Remove Tile Floor?

The best tool for removing tile flooring depends on the type of tile you have. For ceramic tiles, a chisel and hammer may be sufficient.
However, if you’re dealing with porcelain or stone tiles, it would be better to invest in an electric chipping hammer or a specialized rotary tool for faster and easier removal.
If you’re removing tiles from a concrete slab, then your best bet is to use an angle grinder fitted with the appropriate diamond disc to make short work of it.

2. How Much Does it Cost to Remove Floor Tiles?

The cost of removing floor tiles depends on the number and size of tiles, as well as the condition of the subfloor. Generally, it would cost around $2-$7 per square foot to have your tile flooring professionally removed. Of course, this price may vary depending on the complexity of the job and access to the area.

3. Is it Hard to Remove Floor Tiles from Concrete?

Removing floor tiles from a concrete surface is not easy and can be a time-consuming process. It requires patience, skill, and the right tools necessary to get the job done safely. Additionally, you must take extra caution when handling old tiles as they may contain harmful substances such as asbestos which can harm your health.

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