Flooring 101 : A Quick Guide On All That You Will Need To Do While Removing Your Floor Tiles On Your Own
Are you planning to remodel your existing space? Is your flooring distressed and in dire need of replacement and experts suggest you remove all your existing tiles? If the answer to both these questions is a resounding yes, then you can save a lot of money by removing the tiles all by yourself. As much as it is preferred and recommended that you bring in a professional when it comes to installing or removing your flooring, it is still quite doable to remove the floor tiles for home. Here is a comprehensive guide to remove floor tiles by yourself.
First things first, the tools that you will require to remove the floor tiles:
- Safety Goggles : These are a must as there will be a lot of dust, and particles, flying around that could cause injury to your eyes if left unprotected. So, safety goggles are a must!
- Safety Gloves : You don’t want to remove tiles with your bare hands and stand to risk of hurting your hands. Get a pair of strong safety gloves to be safe.
- Dust Mask : Keep a dust mask handy, especially if you are allergic to dust.
- Scraper : To scrape the flooring and to prep it for the new tiles.
- Hammer : In case you need to break a stubborn tile that won’t come out.
- Mallet : Mallet is a softer version of a hammer which you can use to drive chisels, giving lesser impact than a metal-head hammer. This will lead to very little or no marks of impact on your flooring.
- Masonry chisel : These can be used for trimming or shaping materials like brick and stone.
- Dust sheets : They will help prevent you from staining the new flooring tiles with paints, dust, gravel, or sealants.
- Shovel : To dig up loose granular materials like dust, grain, gravel and dirt.
- Floor scraper: This will help you remove the many layers of your flooring.
- Wheelbarrow : This will help you carry a large amount of stuff here and there without breaking your back.
- Push broom : It is used to move light and heavy dust from the floor to a garbage receptacle.
Now, coming on to the crux of this article – how to remove a floor tile?
How to remove a Floor Tile?
Follow the following steps to safely remove the old tiles properly and use advanced tools to reduce your manual efforts and time.
Check if the space is safe for you to go digging and removing the tiles. See if there are any chipped or cracked corners that might hurt you while prepping the floor or removing the tile.
Prepare the room for tile removal by removing all the appliances and furniture. You cannot remove the tiles with things around. Clean the room after you have removed the furniture to get rid of all the loose debris. Seal the vents if there are any – your air conditioning will get clogged with dust and grime as tile removing is a very dusty job! If you can’t move something, like a kitchen island or a cabinet system, cover them using some dust sheet or simple newspapers. It will make cleaning up much easier once your job is done.
In your prep check for safety you would have already noticed areas where the flooring is already chipped or cracked. It is easier to start from there since you get a starting point and then you can move on easily to spaces where there are no such damages. It can also happen that there are no damaged or cracked spots for you to start from. In this case, you will have to find your own starting point. You can start with your door or any corner of the room, in such a scenario and work towards the centre.
Tile removal is not as simple or straight-forward as just smashing tiles and removing the broken pieces. Sometimes, you will need a technological push to get the tiles to budge. In case your older tiles were laid using a modern adhesive, you will have to resort to using advanced tools such as a power scraper to help ease the process of the tile removal.
Once you have removed the tiles, it is now time to inspect the underlayment or a subflooring. If you find that it is plywood then you will want to look for something that is more sturdy and solid. A quarter or a half-inch cement board would be a suitable underlayment for tiles. Plywood is not a wise choice as it absorbs moisture and tends to expand, which can cause a tile to eventually crack. However, if you are using vinyl or linoleum, you can use plywood as the underlayment.
Tile removal is a very messy process. You will have dust, grime, nails, and broken tiles among a few other things that will add to the mess. So the next step is to remove the rubble before you start adding the new tiles. You don’t want anything to hurt you or damage the flooring while you start laying new tiles.
Once all the tiles are removed, clean the entire space properly. Get rid of all the dust and grime so that you have a smooth surface for the professional or for you to start working on the installation of new tiles. It is always better and easier to start working on a clean and smooth surface than a dusty and irregular one.
Now that the tiles have been removed, whether you want to install the next batch of tiles yourself or you want to bring a professional onboard is up to you. With so many options and types available for low-maintenance flooring in the market, you definitely cannot go wrong.
About the Author :
Isha Tandon has worked within the architecture and interior design industry as a flooring consultant expert – specializing in tiles, stones, and terrazzo. She has worked with Orientbell Limited, a leading tile manufacturer in India, as a product development manager in the design team and has recently joined the marketing team as their digital content expert. Her experience comes in handy in understanding the audience as she creates value-driven functional & informational content for the readers. She creates lifestyle pieces that focus on interior design products, trends, and processes. She loves to travel to historic places with rich architecture.