How to Remove Ceramic Tile

Out With the Old and in With the New

Removing ceramic tile that is old and broken or while you are remodeling your bathroom, is not a task that the average home renovator looks forward to because replacing tile is tedious and time consuming. While everyone likes the idea of hoping on board the next wave of bath trends by upgrading their walls or switching out old dingy floors, no one really looks forward to the broken mess or the amount of physical work involved in the bath redecoration process.

With so many varieties of interior surfacing materials on the market, sometimes it is easier to rip out your old tile than it is trying to decide which kind of covering material to replace your old one with! Another thing that makes homeowners hesitant about home improvements is the replacement cost of the new material. Unless you are a frugal shopper or you are lucky enough to find a bargain on discounted name brand then replacing all your walls and floors can be an expensive proposition.

Despite these nuances, removing and installing new ceramic tile can dramatically change the look of your tired bathing space and incrementally increase the value of your home. So to get the most out of the tiling experience and smooth over the process, there are certain things you must do before and during removing this surfacing material in your bathroom.

Recycle or Reuse

One of the first things you will need to establish before you start removing ceramic tile is whether you intend to use the tiles in the future. If you plan to reuse them, then you will need to be very careful so as not to damage them when you are digging or cutting. If you are remodeling your whole washroom including your ceramic tile walls and intend to use different tiles, then you will not have to be extremely careful when taking out ceramic tile.

Get the Right Equipment in Your Tiling Tool Box

With the right tools and good preparation, you will find that you can take out ceramic tiles with relative ease. This will depend on the underlying surface that the tiles are on and just how worn they are. Ceramic tile installation that is less than five years old tends to be a challenge due to the resistance from the elements that are around and under the ceramic tile. Some tools you need include: hammer, putty knife, grout saw, sponge, goggles, gloves, and water.

Start Extracting the Caulk and Grout First

You will have to start removing the caulk and grout first before you start removing ceramic tile. You can easily use the grout saw we mentioned above to dig away at the grout and ensure that it loosens to set the tile free. If you intend to reuse the tile then all care should be taken to maintain a steady hand while digging at the grout with the saw.

Establish a Starting Point

There are two possible areas that you can take out ceramic tile in a bathroom: on the floor or on the wall. You will need to trace a plan as to how you intend to get out the bath tile by removing ceramic tile one by one. We recommend starting from the entrance of the room and then work your way to the inner part. If you are removing ceramic tile from the bathroom wall, then you should start from top to bottom. If there are ceramic tiles around the bathtub, then ensure you cover it first to avoid scratching the surface.

Use Force, But go Gentle

When your ceramic tiles were first installed, they were intended to last for many years, and as such you will find that you need to apply force when removing ceramic tile. You can easily use a hammer to hit against the putty knife that is placed on the underside of the tile to apply the necessary force that is needed when removing ceramic tile. You should also take care not to damage the underlying surface because it will be the base on which you will lay future tiles.

Work With Small Shingles First

You will notice that when you start removing ceramic tile that not all tiles have the same shape or cut. This is usually seen around door corners, fixtures and other areas that it is difficult to place a square ceramic tile without having to cut it. You should start to remove these first because in many instances they help to hold some tiles in places. When you are replacing tile this way, then you will find that getting out the smaller ones create a chain effect for the others.

Streamlining the Cleanup Process

The best approach to removing ceramic tiles is to pile them in a bag as you go along. This will ensure that you have a free work area and also that you do not have the excess work to remove the pieces after you are finished digging away the tile.

Expensive ceramic tiles and even more expensive contractors, for some homeowners this is a bill they would rather not pay and often resort to taking out the surfacing material by themselves in an effort to keep their renovation costs under control. What some renovation newbies do not generally bargain for when removing tile is the amount of work and the arduous processes involved in getting out ceramic tile.

In addition to this, some of them are usually not physically prepared nor have the right type of tiling equipment when attempting to remove their ceramic tile. This usually causes many to abandon the whole bathroom rejuvenation task altogether and end up calling expensive contractors to dig away tiles that were left behind.

However, as you can see knowing what the professionals know and following their tips and procedures will greatly simplify the tile removal and replacement process from start to the finish of your bathroom remodeling project.