How To Remove Tile

6 Materials
10 Hours

I have to first say, this was not an easy DIY project! As always the end result was totally worth it, but know going in this will be hard work. We wanted to replace our living room carpet with new vinyl plank flooring, but in order to do so we also needed to remove the tile from our tiny foyer area.
After we removed the carpeting, I began prying up the tile. I used a flathead screwdriver to wedge under the tiles and a hammer to help drive it underneath. Some of the tiles would pop up in larger pieces and some in tiny pieces. Be sure to wear safety glasses because some of those pieces will go flying!
Getting the tiles up wasn't that hard. What was underneath was the problem. All that mastic needed to be removed as well to give us a level surface for the new flooring. Yikes!
My husband used a chisel and a rubber mallet to slowly chip away at this. I a chisel scraper and a hammer. The mastic came up in very small pieces as you can see above. We had to stop and take breaks because this was so difficult. The chisel scraper was useful, but I also used it as a sander in spots where I could no longer chisel but still weren't perfectly flat.
Though that was a ton of hard work (my arms hurt for days!) it was worth it. Here is what the area looked like once we got that new flooring in. We still needed to replace the moldings in this photo as well. The yellow stripe is from where we removed a chair rail because we planned on adding board and batten.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Kim
    on Aug 14, 2018

    Nice job. I do have a question. Am needing to replace flooring and wondered why you went with vinyl plank and not hardwood? I need to make some decisions and would really like your input. Thank you.

    • Charmaine
      on Aug 30, 2018

      Look up Core-Tech Luxury Vinyl Flooring! I have them all through my house and love them. You can sweep the floors with a dust mop and mop using Bona laminate floor cleaning is a breeze. We are installing them next into our bathroom, closet. We had engineered hardwood and our two dogs destroyed them after 16 years. Replaced them two years ago and LOVE the floors.

  • Suz33233153
    on Sep 3, 2018

    how to clean the toilet...

  • Joni
    on Dec 15, 2018

    My question is, is it possible to remove tiles from the wall in my wet room without damaging them. Water got behind some on false wall and I can't get anymore the same, (discontinued).

Join the conversation

3 of 15 comments
  • Elaine DiAntonio
    on Aug 23, 2018

    Hopefully, I'm not being out of line, but I'll just say what we did. First, we hired a professional installer (not necessarily better, simply our choice.) We chose LVT to replace our ceramic tile. The retailer and installer said no need to remove the tile, they skimcoated, then sanded. The LVT (Armstrong) was cemented down and grouted with acrylic grout. It did come out beautifully, has been down for over 4 years and still receives lots of compliments & looks great. Not an inexpensive project, however, I've been told that hardwood can be installed also without taking tile up.

  • Lucy Ricardo
    on Sep 3, 2018


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