Removing tile from a counter top

Decided to remove the tile counter top from my kitchen and replace it with something else. Some of the tiles were pitted, some were cracked and so on. It just looked old and worn. So I got out the hammer and went at it. Turns out this is going to be a nightmare. The tile is set in cement, and it's on expanded metal that's nailed to some one inch pine boards. From the top of the boards to the top of the tile it's 1 1/2 inches thick. It's taking way too long to get it off. I'm using a hammer, chisel and a crow bar. Any ideas on a better way?
Al
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I don't understand why you aren't taking everything out, boards, tile and all. What you've got there is a good old fashioned mud job, which isn't going to come out easy. You'll also ruin the integrity of the boards anyway trying to pry and bang off the tilejob. I'd be trying to pry that entire countertop off in one big unit (with help from a strong friend).
thetiler
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The counter is a large "U." And the top is countersunk about 3/4". I have to get it to a point where I can get it out. The tile goes up the wall too, but that comes off.
Thanks,
Al
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Big Al wrote:

Countersunk in relation to what? The boards have to sit on top of the cabinet boxes (carcases for you purists out there), and the setting bed and tile is on top of those boards.
As was already pointed out, removing the whole shebang in as big of pieces as you can manage is the easiest and cleanest way to do it. Have you looked underneath the countertop to see how those boards are attached?
R
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wrote in message

I looked but there is nothing visible underneath. The boards must be nailed from the top. I'll bust some more out and see. The pine boards are beneath the edge of the cabinets, (countersunk??) and there was a trim board nailed around the edge. The tile edges were over the trim. I'm at a place where the metal screen joins together. I'm going to follow that seam to the wall and see what I find. Gathered up three "superbar's" and I'm going to try to get under the edge at the seam. There is some kind of brown and black paper under the screen. Maybe it will just come up.
Al
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They're screwed in, not nailed.
What I'd do is cut the counter top with a sawsall in manageable pieces, being very careful not to ruin the cabinets. Then you'd have to cut the screws that are between the ply and the cabinet.
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As expected I got serious today and got the counter top out in four pieces. Also removed all the floor tile and the tile that was on the wall. Man is that stuff heavy:)
Used three Wonder Bar's as wedges to lift the cement off the 1X12" boards. Then applied two crow bars to get it out. BTW: The cement was not under the level of the cabinets. There was another trim board that fooled me.
Thanks to all that replied and gave me the support to try.
Al
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if you're trying to save the mud bed, go to home depot and rent the correct tool for this. looks like a small jack hammer, runs off electricity. it'll take you less than an hour to get off all the tile. wear eye and ear protection.

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Look into a reciprocating saw with a looong blade suitable for cutting metal. Slide that between the cabinet and the countertop and commence cutting nails/screws and lift out the whole thing. It'll likely gouge the top edge of the cabinet, but that shouldn't matter too much, since you're covering it back up again.
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