How to Remove Slate Tile

Renovating an existing floor or wall area is an issue that comes up from time to time, whether you are purchasing an older home to customize for yourself or you are helping remodel a friend's house.

Removing slate tile

Removing slate tile isn't as hard as it might seem at first. In fact, you can easily accomplish this task with the help of some proper planning.

Use your hammer to fragment a section of a tile. Your goal here is to fracture the surface so it will flake out, allowing you access to the substrate beneath the slate.

Use your prybar to get underneath the bottom of the slate tile. Ease the edge of your prybar underneath and apply pressure. Some tiles will be easier than others, so you will be applying varying degrees of force.

Repeat the process, using your hammer if necessary to drive the prybar under the edge of the slate. Most of the tiles will simply flake up once you get the edge of the bar underneath, but sometimes it requires a little excess force to get the prybar under the edge.

Use your hammer and chisel for areas where the slate tile is more difficult to remove. Thinset mortar is concrete-based, and if the installation was done properly then the thinset will likely require some additional effort to remove.

Work your way out from your starting point until you are done.

Things You Will Need

  • Gloves Safety glasses Hammer Chisel or prybar


  • Removing slate tile is a messy process but an extremely easy one. Slate is a naturally soft stone that easily flakes off once you apply pressure with a prybar or hammer. If you have a large area that needs removal, you can speed up the process with a demolition hammer, which can be rented at your local Home Depot. All other supplies can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe's Home Improvement.


  • Always wear safety glasses and gloves when removing any sort of tile.

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.