Do I need to remove the tile and mastic on my floor before ?

I want to replace the tile in my kitchen and bathroom but dread the time consuming and backbreaking job. I thought of two options that might work.

One option is to cover the tile in self leveling cement. This would eliminate the majority of labor intensive work and leave me with a smooth hard surface. Then I could decide what type flooring to install over the cement or just leave the cement and possibly color it.

The second option would be to remove the tile and instead of smoothing the mastic beneath use the self leveling cement.

Do you think either of these options are feasible?

If so what about some tips and suggestions.

If using the cement is just a stupid idea, I need some suggestions to make the removal of the tile and mastic less of an arduous task.

Thanks so much for your thoughts.



  1 answer
  • Paul Dempsey Paul Dempsey on Aug 14, 2018

    It is always better to start with a clean surface back to the original surface for many reasons. It allows you to inspect for rot and termite damage. It also keeps transitions with other floors level or near level. Also, if tile failing or starts to fail, then the concrete will crack and fail too. And finally, you may be adding more weight to the structure than it was designed to handle.


    Tile me can be difficult to get up, but if you want to do it do it right. Start on an edge and use a wide chisel for this. You can move up to a blunt shovel if that works when you have enough off to get a few inches of start with the shovel. You can also rent better demo tools for this work.


    As as a rule I don’t like concrete as a finished indoor surface.