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How To Remove a Tile Floor – In 12 Easy Steps


1. Safety First
Photo credit: dcysurfer / Dave Young / Flickr

It may not be a job that you are looking forward to, but if renovating your bathroom is part of your plans then removing an old tile floor will usually be part of the project. While there are some sources that claim you can tile directly over old tile, the possibility of uneven tile, and tile not adhering properly may cause you to change your mind.

You may also have some cracked and broken tiles that need to be removed anyway. Removing an old ceramic tile floor and starting over is often the best choice. While you are at it, you can check the subfloor for any damage or squeaking. Here is how to remove your old tile floor in 12 easy steps.

12. Safety First

Before you get started on removing the tile you need to think about the inherent dangers that are part of this project. There will be flying debris, some very fine dust and you will be working on your hands and knees on some sharp ceramic pieces. Make sure you wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, safety glasses, knee pads and a dust mask. You may want some ear protection as well.

11. Clear the Area

If you’re working in the bathroom this means disconnecting all water pipes that go through your floor and remove the toilet. If you have a pedestal sink, you’ll need to remove that also. You may also need to remove baseboard trim if it is sitting over the tile.

10. Dust Control

Hang some plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from drifting through the house. To minimize the dust that will be created during this job, it helps to hang plastic sheeting to create an enclosed space around the work area. Time spent in preventing dust from drifting throughout the house now will be much less than the time you will need to clean up the mess if you just let the dust go unchecked.