Nov 19 , 2018
Tile Removal: Start with a chisel and hand maul
There’s no easy way on how to remove tile. Unlike tile on cement board or wood, there’s no underlayment or subfloor that can be pried up and thrown away. How to remove tile from concrete requires knocking out the tiles and adhesive. How to remove tile takes time and hard work. Even a small bathroom will take half a day, at a minimum.
Chisel up tiles
Work the chisel between the tiles and the concrete, hammering them up with a 2-lb. maul. Use a 3/4- or 1-in. masonry chisel and a 2-lb. hand maul. Start at a broken tile or between tiles where the grout has loosened. Work the chisel under the tiles, forcing them loose. Strike the face of stubborn tiles to break them up for easier removal. Wear safety glasses, gloves, pants and a long-sleeve shirt, since hammering the tile sends sharp shards flying. Also wear a dust mask.
Typically, older floors with mastic adhesive will come up easier than floors laid with thinset mortar. Rent a small jackhammer with a chisel point if the tile refuses to come loose. For larger rooms, consider renting an electric tile stripper.