removing ceramic tile AND thinset from concrete - quickest best way?

need to remove approx 900 sq feet of tile -and- the thinset* under it from the top of a concrete slab. purpose being to turn a small apartment into a workshop for myself. I have lots of -very- heavy wheeled machines, and handle big steel in there all day long, so leaving the tile on 'just wouldn't be workable'. I also have a "tree root chopper" thing, a sort of huge 5 foor long inch-diameter long straight crowbar, with a 'straight axe head' at one end....
so, how best to proceed? also got chisels, hammers of all sizes, a pneumatic muffler chisel. I suppose there's no 'practical' way of saving the tile (or is there?) the slab is approx six inches thick.
how are tasks like this 'ordinarily' done? using what tools? are there huge electric jackhammers I can rent that might be 'way faster' for this type stuff?
thanks for advice,
toolie
*don't have to remove ALL the thinset, just enough so that it won't be forever 'breaking down into dust-sized pieces' all the time when I roll iron-wheeled machines over it...and drop huge steel beams on it, and stuff like that...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wonder how a couple of these: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber7073 would do?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eric in North TX wrote:

your couldn't use this tool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I recently had to remove some tile and thinset for a retiling situation. I already had a Bosch 11224VSR rotary hammer that I obtained reconditioned. Got a chisel bit at the local home center for about $15. It worked fine for the few tile I had to do (< 10). Weighs only 6.5 pounds. You might want to rent a more heavy-duty chipping hammer, stopping at the 35 pound unit, electrically powered. I would advise working at a low angle to the floor so you just hit the edges of the tiles and do not create divots in the concrete by removing more than just the thinset. Over time, the steel wheels will break up the ridges in the thinset created when the tile was laid.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OR when finished, rent a floor grinder to take the thinset lumps and ridges down to the concrete. The result will be like a poor man's version of terrazzo.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You have already got some good advice but I will add some other info. I believe the rotor hammer with a chisel tip is your best "rental" option anything bigger will cause problems positioning the tip in a mannor that will get under the material. You may see if you can rent a long handeled air chisel (like a ice scraper only powered by air) this is what we use for the first step in this type of removal. I suppose if you did not want to rent the rotor hammer your air chisel will do an ok job just much slower because of the size. Keep in mind that the thinset (not the grout) is actually harder than the concrete and YOU WILL pull up portions of the concrete if you are not careful and then you will have divits for your wheels to catch on. If you are not concernd about removing all of the thinset I would pop the tiles off with the chisel or "chipping hamer/rotohammer) and rent the Terrazo grinder to smooth out the high spots because the thinset will not wear down, thisets compressive strenth is aprox triple what the floor is so it will be there for along time. As far as saving the tile dont wast your time its not worth the hassel at the average price of 1.00 a sq ft for tile you will spend much more than that pissing around trting to save it. dave wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.