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!
1. From concrete...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.