How To Remove Tile Flooring

If you want to change the flooring in a room that currently has tile, you need to have the right tools. Usually, removing the tile will be the hardest part of the entire job no matter what type of floor you are eventually going to install. While the work might tiring and physically demanding, it is pretty straightforward, especially if you have the right tools. This article explains the best way to remove tile floors from concrete subfloors.

Using an Electric Jackhammer

The most essential tool for this job is an electric jackhammer. Since you probably don't own a jackhammer, you will need to rent one. However, don't rent your jackhammer until you are completely prepared to use it. That is, you should spend a day cleaning the room and getting everything out of it before you even pick up the jackhammer rental. The rental will come with just the actual jackhammer and a carrying case. You will need to buy or rent everything else on your own. The right safety gear when operating the jackhammer. For instance, make sure you are wearing steel toed-boots, safety goggles and thick pants. 

Safely Operating the Jackhammer

When operating the jackhammer, you want to place the head directly onto a grout line. This way you can vibrate the grout line and hopefully lift the tile up without breaking it into a million little pieces. Of course, this will largely depend on what type of tile you have. In some cases, the grout and mortar underneath the tile will break up, but the actual tile will remain in tact. This makes it very easy to remove it. However, if your floor has large tiles, they might be too heavy to remove until they are broken into smaller pieces. Basically, don't jackhammer until all the tile is broken into super small pieces because it will take much longer to sweep them all up.

Scraping Away the Excess Mortar

You also need to be careful to not chip the concrete subfloor. Once you have hammered through the majority of the tile, you might expose the subfloor. If you place the hammerhead directly on the concrete subfloor, you can cause it to crack, creating serious damage that needs to be fixed before you can install your new floor. Because of this, you usually can't remove all of your old tile with just a jackhammer. You often need to finish the job with handheld floor scraping tools. These allow you to scrape away the more stubborn remnants of mortar stuck to the subfloor.

Once the floor is completely free of all the tile and mortar you can vacuum it and prepare for the new floor installation.