How to Remove Ceramic Floor Tile Safely and Effectively?
If you’ve been thinking about re-doing your bathroom or kitchen, removing old tile can be an important step. You’ll need to get rid of old or damaged tiles, so you can make room for new ones. There are a few ways to remove ceramic floor tile safely and effectively. First, be sure to use the proper tools and safety gear.
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Safety glasses, dust masks, and gloves should be worn whenever you’re breaking up or removing ceramic tile. You’ll also want to make sure you have a clean work area and plenty of trash bags for collecting any shards of broken tile or debris from the job.
Using a cold chisel and hammer, set the chisel perpendicular to the face of the tile, and hit it with your hammer until it cracks or breaks the tile. Be sure to break up the tile, not a section of it, and take care not to damage the surrounding tile or grout.
Continue with the same technique along the rest of the flooring, making sure to break up the ceramic tile and not just a section of it. Repeat this until all the tile has been removed from your floor. Remove any plywood or backer board under the ceramic tile, if present. This can be tricky, but it’s essential if you plan to re-do the subflooring.
Once the tile has been removed, if there isn’t enough space for you to work on the floor, consider putting down a tarp or sheets. This can prevent dust and debris from getting on the other surfaces in the room.
You can also place dropcloths over any counters or cabinets that you’re not able to move. This will keep the dust and debris off of them, allowing you to complete the project. If you’re not comfortable tearing up tile by hand, you can rent a specialized tile cutter from a home improvement or tool rental store. This is a handy tool to have on hand when you’re tearing up tile and can save you a lot of time.
Be careful not to rip up any of the tile grout or adhesive. These are both extremely dangerous to breathe in and will require you to wear a respirator mask that is R95 or higher.
Unless you’re an expert in breaking up and removing ceramic tile, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to do the job for you. Depending on the type of ceramic tile, it may be a challenging and hazardous job.
A professional can also help you remove any trim that’s attached to the tile, such as baseboard or caulk. They’ll know how to handle these types of items in a safe way and be able to replace them with new ones if you don’t have them on hand.
You can also use a solvent to dissolve the tile adhesive. This is a relatively easy process, but it can be tedious and requires you to follow all of the safety precautions that are recommended for using these products.