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How to Remove Tile Floor

Courtney Cole

Removing floor tiles is a common part of any renovation. If you haven’t been faced with the task of removing tile floor before, you may not know where to start! We’re sorry to be the ones to break it to you, but removing floor tiles is no easy task and is not to be underestimated. While doing it yourself is a great little project and will save some money, you must follow some simple steps to ensure you get the job done efficiently and correctly! Here is our fool-proof guide on how to remove tile floor.

Floor tile removal tools
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
  • Brickies bolster
  • Bucket
  • Dust mask
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Earmuffs
  • Gloves
  • Heavy-duty floor scraper
  • Shovel
  • Knee pads (if you’d like)
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Paint scraper
  • Rag
  • Safety glasses
How to remove tile floor
Follow these simple steps to ensure you remove floor tiles safely and the job is well done.
  1. Use a drop sheet to cover any surfaces you need to protect.
  2. If you don’t already have an exposed edge, place the chisel on the edge of the tile and hammer out a section to try and break the tile and mortar into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to remove the tile.
  3. Once you have an exposed edge, pry the tiles from the floor by driving the bolster blade underneath them with a mallet.
  4. Get rid of the removed tiles using a shovel.
  5. Now for the hard part, time to get rid of the adhesive. To scrape off the floor tile glue, use a heavy-duty floor scraper. We recommend using a smaller paint scraper for the finer edges so that you don’t do any damage.
  6. Continue the process until all the glue is off the floor, sweeping and cleaning as you go.
  7. If you pride yourself on your attention to detail, shine a flashlight and look for any bumps you may have missed and scrape until there are no bumps to be seen.

How hard is it to remove floor tiles?
It’s no secret that removing floor tiles can be hard work. If you thought it would be an easy DIY, we’re sorry to crush your dreams! You’ll need to ensure you have enough energy, the right equipment and follow our step-by-step process, which should make the task as easy as possible.

Removing floor tiles can be such tough, physically challenging work because of the stuff used to actually hold the tiles in place. This ‘stuff’ is also known as the mortar and adhesive, and if your tiles were installed to stay on, you could see why it can be an arduous task to get it off!

The difficulty of removing floor tiles also depends on the type of surface the tiles have been mounted on. If your tiles have been mounted on concrete, this is the hardest surface to deal with. So, if you’re wondering how to remove tile from your concrete floor—hard work! Concrete board-mounted tiles are easier to lift but take much more effort and time to take off.

How much does it cost to remove floor tiles?
If you’re thinking you’d rather pay for someone else to do the dirty work, you may be wondering how much it costs to remove tile flooring. There are dedicated tile removal services that will do the job and bring their own equipment. They can also do floor grinding and floor leveling as an extra perk. The cost usually ranges from $20 to $50 per square meter for floor tile removal. Hiring help is something to consider if you have a huge job on your hands or are simply too busy to DIY.

However, if you’re set on completing the task yourself, the only costs you’re looking at are the materials, and your precious time, of course! You can expect the cost of materials to range from $50 to $150, depending on what you already have and the quality of what you buy. If you have a big job on your hands, you will also need to hire a skip, which usually costs anywhere around $230.

Removing floor tiles—your turn!
Now that you have all the necessary information, tips and background knowledge, you’re set to embark on your tile floor removal project. First, decide whether you want to take the DIY option and prepare for some hard yakka. Or, if it's too much, consider hiring someone else to do it. If you’re ready for DIY, hit the shops, gather the essentials and get scraping. The end result—your tile floors will be no longer, you’ll have saved a significant amount of money, and you can be proud of all your hard work! If you're currently renovating or looking to renovate, check out our article on the top 9 renovation traps that burn your cash.

Courtney Cole
As an interior designer at TileCloud, Courtney brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the world of home renovation. With a Diploma in Interior Design and Decoration and a passion for creating stunning interiors, shes dedicated to helping people on their journey to transform their homes. Currently channeling her expertise into renovating her own home, she aims to share valuable insights, tips, and inspiration to assist others in achieving their dream space!