How to Remove Patio Tiles

By lining your patio with tile, you can make a stylish area for relaxing al fresco.

Remove your own patio tiles.Remove your own patio tiles.
Patio tiles are set down by adhering them to a layer of mortar or adhesive set on the surface of the patio, similar to the way that interior tiles are set. Patio tiles, however, tend to be larger and tougher than their indoor counterparts, to enable them to stand up to the extremes of weather. You can remove patio tiles yourself, rather than paying a contractor to do it, and save yourself a bit of money.

Pick a location to start removing your patio tile. This could either be at the center of the are or off to one of the sides. If these patio tiles are laid to the edge of the patio and there is no edging in place, it might be easier to start at the side. Another place to start is where the grout between the tiles is beginning to crack. This will make removal easier.

Don safety equipment, including goggles, kneepads and gloves. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants while working.

Saw away the grout from around the edges of the first tile. Use a grout saw and grout cutting blade. With larger grout dimensions, you can use a rotary type tool with a cement or stone cutting blade. Remove as much of the grout with your chosen tool as possible.

Insert one end of a tile chisel underneath one side of the tile. Gently tap on the chisel to drive it underneath the tile. Move the chisel back and forth on that same side to loosen the tile from the adhesive underneath.

Repeat the process with the chisel on all sides of the tile. Gently tap on the chisel until the tile comes loose from the adhesive underneath.

Use a hammer drill and chisel attachment. If you don't care about saving any of the tiles and time is more important to you, attach a chisel bit to a hammer drill and begin chipping away at the tiles. The hammer drill works like a mini jackhammer and will make short work of the patio tiles.

Clean up any of the tile debris with the broom and dustpan. Use the chisel or hammer drill to scrape up any remaining bits of mortar, grout or adhesive.

Things You Will Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Kneepads
  • Gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long pants
  • Grout saw
  • Grout saw blade
  • Rotatry tool
  • Rotary tool stone cutting blade
  • Tile chisel
  • Hammer
  • Hammerdrill
  • Chisel bit
  • Broom
  • Dustpan

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.