Tile Removal

Hi All,
We are renovating a condo and hoping to do as much of the 'grunt' work ourselves as is possible. There is a LOT of tile in this place (kitchen floor & backsplash, dining room floor, 2nd bdrm floor, bathroom floor and walls). I am wondering what is the best way to remove ceramic tile from (1) concrete floors and (2) walls.
Any advice on what tools or techniques to use would be greatly appreciated. Also, the more you can dumb it down the better - I am new to the home renovation world!
Thanks,
Sarah
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This might help: http://www.askthebuilder.com/620_Removing_Ceramic_Tile.shtml
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SarahF wrote:

1. From concrete... hammer scrapers pry bars There is no particular tecnique, you just need to destroy what is there and remove from floor.
2. From drywall... Remove drywall, same tools plus - maybe - a circular saw. It may be that you won't have to take off entire drywall sheets but can saw through part of it to wood. Or steel...steel studs are often used in condos. If steel, you'd be better off using a knife to cut the drywall.
You are going to be very busy for a long time. The cost is going to be much greater than you expect. I'd hire it done.
--

dadiOH
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I use a 6 foot long solid steel wrecking bar with a chiesel point (point is about 2 inches across). The bar is so heavy that is does not "jump up" over the tiles, you just run the bar into them getting some momentum and the tiles pop right off. The bar itself weighs about 80 pounds I got mine at a home store maybe 25 years ago, dont know if I've seen them lately. If it starts jumping the tiles then I just grind a sharper point on it and that fixes it. A small sledge hammer is handy too.
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I rented a small jack hammer with a wide blade and it just ate up the tile very easily. It also worked good on the tile cement that stayed behind.
As for on the drywall, I agree, remove the drywall.

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I renovated a small bathroom recently and simply cut thru the wall-mounted tile with a circular saw (with a tile-cutting blade, 3-4x the price of a normal blade), then pulled the tile/drywall out in one piece. I made cuts about 18" - 24" apart and simply cut thru the tile & drywall, then pulled it all down. It worked pretty well, but...
The problem is, this method generates a HUGE amount of very fine dust that goes EVERYWHERE. No amount of fans or closing doors will stop this cloud from getting to anything. If you go this route, plan on hiring a professional cleaning crew afterwards.
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Scan the forums at http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php for anything having to do with tile. That said, I've just done this with an entire bathroom (shower, walls, floor). The walls were plaster, which I didn't want to damage, so I gave each tile a whack with a cold chisel and most of them just fell off (applied with mastic). The shower was in thinset, which was impossible to remove without brute force so we simply bashed through the plaster and demo'd it down to the studs. The floor was the hardest part-- it had been professionally installed in a 2" think mud bed, with really tough steel mesh, over plywood that was screwed into the floorboards. Again, wanting to preserve the original 6" t&g floorboards, we went at this carefully...ended up smashing up one side with a 25# sledge, then working a rock bar (basically a 6' long, super heavy duty pry bar) under the subfloor and ripping the screws out of the floorboards. The mud bed came up in chunks, had to tear through the steel mesh every few feet. It was a lot of work, probably easier just to tear out the floorboards and start fresh if you aren't trying to save something as we were. Any place it's tile over cement board and/or drywall, you're best off just smashing a hole for access and ripping it totally out for a fresh start.
Good luck!
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