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How to Remove a Tile Floor

Removing an old tile floor can be done easily by following these step-by-step instructions.

More in Floors

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  • Time

    Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Break Up the Tile

Place a towel or tarp over the section of tile to be removed in order to prevent shards from flying up. Use a small sledge-hammer to strike the tile through the towel, breaking the tile up into pieces

Step 2: Scrape Up the Broken Tile

Use a hand-scraper to remove any remaining pieces and floor-adhesive that is left behind (Image 1). Rent a power-scraper (Image 2), about $50 to $75 a day to rent, for large areas of tile. The power-scraper has a sharp blade (Image 3) that reciprocates to get underneath and break up the tile and adhesive (Image 4). It's a good idea to purchase extra blades in case one breaks. Use ear protection available for purchase at most home centers when using a power scraper.

Step 3: Clean the Floor

Use a broom and shop vacuum to remove all loose particles.

Step 4: Check for Bumps

Use a flashlight parallel to the floor to check for bumps that may not be readily apparent and still need to be removed. Shine the flashlight and look for the shadows cast by the bumps. Scrape the bumps away and clean the floor.

Step 5: Smooth Gouges

If necessary, use floor leveling compound to fill in any deep gouges to make a smooth surface for the replacement flooring.

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