How to Remove Floor Tiles From Concrete

Many people assume that it's a back-breaking job to remove tile from a concrete floor, but nothing could be further from the truth.

With a little bit of planning and the right tools, this nightmare job can turn into a fun little weekend project that will give you the chance to turn your floor into something new and exciting.

Pick an area to start. Using the demolition hammer, ease the chisel into a grout joint between two tiles. Be careful to avoid digging into the concrete underneath the tile itself. There will be a layer of thinset mortar between the tile and the concrete, and your goal is to simply pop the tile and thinset up off of the concrete.

Using the vibration of the demolition hammer, let the chisel head "skim" the surface of the concrete floor, using side-to-side sweeping motions to keep it from eating into the thinset and popping the material up off the floor.

Use the hammer and pry bar as necessary in tight corners or around sensitive areas, such as the sliding glass doors common in basements.

Continue using the demolition hammer until you have finished the area.

If the tile is particularly fragile, you may need to ease the chisel underneath the tile at an angle. However, this should not be necessary, as most concrete slabs make for an easy and clean demolition.

Things You Will Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Earplugs
  • Demolition hammer
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Dust mask

Tip

  • The demolition hammer can take a little bit of getting used to, but it's relatively light and easy to use. It will make quick work of any concrete tile--removal project and is highly recommended above a traditional hand hammer and chisel. It can be rented from Home Depot.

Warning

  • Never forget to wear proper protective gear when doing demolition. This includes eye, hand, ear and foot protection. When using a vibrating tool like the demolition hammer, avoid using it for prolonged lengths of time.

About the Author

Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.