DIY Tile Removal
Phase 2 of our kitchen renovation is here and today we’ll be talking tile. This week, we wrapped up the DIY tile removal part of the project and I’m sharing all the juicy details below.
Check out Phase 1 of our DIY Farmhouse Kitchen redo here.
If you’ve removed tile flooring before, you are familiar with pre-project feelings of dread and can probably feel your back aching just thinking about it.
While DIY tile removal is no walk in the park, there are certain things you can do to help make the project go more smoothly with less effort.
Items for DIY Tile Removal
- Shop Vac
- Air Impact Hammer Kit
- Air Compressor
- Face Shield
- Trash bag/trailer (or some way to dispose of the tile)
- Plastic Drop Cloth
- (Optional) Ibuprofen. Your back with thank you later.
Easiest Way to Remove Tile Flooring
Going into this project with the proper setup and appropriate tools is key to a successful project.
Tip #1: Prepare your space
Before taking out any tools, prep your space by either removing and/or covering all furniture, décor, shelves, etc… with plastic sheeting. Close all doors near the work area.
These extra steps may take some time but believe me, it will be worth it.
Removing tile is DUSTY. No matter how careful you are and how many vacuums you have going at once. It’s just a messy process.
This is a case of do as I say, not as I do. While Cully and I closed all the doors, we did not cover everything in plastic.
So our time “saved” by not thoroughly prepping was spent cleaning in every nook and cranny to remove the fine dust spread throughout the room.
Tip #2: Define Your Work System
To keep the mess somewhat contained, this project is easier with at least two people.
One person is the primary tile remover and the other is the primary cleaner upper.
As Cully was removing the tiles, I was right behind him collecting the tile pieces and vacuuming up the debris.
I recommend using a shop vac to suck up all the fine dust rather than sweeping it up. Sweeping will stir up the dust even more.
As the buckets were filling up with tile pieces, I dumped them into our trailer in preparation for disposal at our local dump.
Best Tool to Remove Tile
When it comes to DIY tile removal tools, using the proper tools for the job is critical.
Tip #3: Use the right tools for the job
This brings me to tip number three. Use the right tools for the job.
You may see people simply using a hammer a pry bar, which can work…but can also take FOREVER to complete the project.
In fact, Cully started the project this way. We have removed tile using these simple and inexpensive tools before.
But this project was different. The tile was installed VERY well and it was taking forever using the hammer and pry bar.
Cully ended up switching to the air impact hammer.
There are many air impact hammers to choose from. We went with the most cost effective tool from Harbor Freight. It was only $12.99…who would pass up a price like that?!
If you need a tool just for a project or two, Harbor Freight is a good option. Their tools are inexpensive and usually get the job done. Don’t expect them to last forever though.
For longer lasting tools, go with brands like Dewalt and Makita. Wen is also a good brand that usually does not break the bank.
After about 6 hours of work, almost 700 square feet of tile is gone! To ensure the floor is level and ready for the new flooring, we’ll need to remove the remaining grout. We’ll remove it using the same tools and process and I’ll be back with an update. Wish us luck!
See ya next week for Week 2 in Phase 2 of our DIY Kitchen Reno.
Have a question about his project or want to share a tip? Drop it in the comments below!
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