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How To Remove Tile Floor – A DIY Guide

Tile Removal DIY Guide

Hey everyone! The past few weeks have been slow in our remodeling progress. That’s usually the way it goes though, right? It always goes by slower than you’d like, but it’s still worth it. If you’ve been following along our journey, you know that we’ve been doing our best to knock projects out on our own and save money along the way.

Since we completed our Journey To Debt Free Living, we decided that we didn’t want to get back into debt through this remodel. So, we are taking it step by step, saving money with DIYs and starting projects when we have the funds for them. We would love to be able to do just do it all at once, but I know in the end, we will be so thankful we decided to go this route. It will be so rewarding!

After we finished with the popcorn ceiling removal and the initial living room changes, the next project on the list was removing tile floor from our downstairs. Every time we told people that we planned to remove the tile on our own, they tried to discourage us! They all said it was too big of a job for us and that we would need help. Guess what, they were right – it was a big job…but…WE DID IT!!! And I know you could too if you ever decide to. We were quoted between $1,500 – $2,000 and doing it ourselves, we only spent $210 plus two Saturdays! So good! Here is a step by step guide to tile floor removal.

Supplies you will need:

For Small Spaces

Step 1: Rent Tile Removal Tool

We first rented this 11 LB Demolition Hammer from Makita. If the space where we were removing tile wasn’t so big, this machine would have worked fine. So if your space is small like a bathroom, laundry room or something like that, this tool will work great!

Step 2: Hammer tile to loosen the glue and adhesive

This works best and fastest if you have a two person team. The first person can start hammering pieces of tile and once they’ve loosened a few, the second person can start with the next step.

Step 3: Power hammer tile

Once the first person has hammered a few pieces loose, the second person can start power hammering the tile up and off the floor. As you can imagine, this is a good stress reliever and great arm workout! Haha.

As the tile pieces start coming off, you will notice there will still be some areas that have the adhesive still stuck to the cement. You will want to hammer drill that glue off as well to leave the concrete clear and level for whatever new floor you will install.

Like I said, we initially just rented the small demolition hammer but soon we realized our space was so big and it would take us forever to complete with just that little tool. So we went back to Home Depot to rent this baby.


For Large Spaces

Step 1: Mow that tile away, baby!

Haha. This thing is so good that this is the only step lol. No pre-hammering needed because this big mama gets the job done. This machine is a full body workout, haha. This thing is powerful.

The Clean Up

Step 1: Double bag

We had thick Spanish tile in our kitchen and it kept breaking through our bags, so we finally wised up and started double bagging. I highly recommend it, your legs will thank you that they don’t have to be scratched up by the tile breaking through the bags. Ha.

Step 2: Load large pieces of tile in bags, but not too much

Remember that you will have to carry the bags out so don’t fill them up too much.

Step 3: Sweep up all other smaller pieces

Sweep and put in bags.

Step 4: Vacuum up the dust

And there you go! These images above have some left over glue on the concrete. We used the smaller demolition hammer to pick up the remaining adhesive. So, the people were right, this was a tough job…but we were so proud of ourselves that we didn’t let them discourage us haha. It was a lot of work, but we did it and got a good work out in too 😉

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