We all know that tile comes with many benefits as flooring – it’s easy to keep clean, comes in various colors and designs that can fit your aesthetic, and is durable and hard-wearing. But it can also break off, crack, and become badly stained over time. If this happens to your existing tile, there’s nothing else to do but remove it. If you have decided to remove it yourself, it’s no easy work – so here are the top aspects you should consider before you remove old tile DIY-style.
The basics you need to know
If your tiles have been attached to or installed on the wallboard, you may be able to remove them without any damage. But if your tiles are attached quite firmly, you would have to break it down bit by bit. This kind of project isn’t just messy– it can also lead to damage to your ceiling right beneath the tile flooring. If you aren’t too eager contending with dust and a lot of manual labor plus the handling of materials that can be dangerous, it’s best to leave it to a contractor; many tile floor removal companies can provide you with a reasonable quote and even do the new tile installation as well or recommend someone who can do it.
If you decide to do it yourself, however, here are your top considerations:
- Removing the caulk and grouting
Before you can even try removing any tile, you will have to deal with the caulk and grout first. You can do this using a utility knife. Next, you can remove the grout as is, but you need to soften the caulk using a heat gun. When you’ve removed both the caulk and grout around a piece of tile, you can try prying it out using a putty knife. If you can do this with no problem, it’s a good sign since you may be able to do it easily by yourself. But if it doesn’t come off that easily, your best bet is a professional.
- Removing the adhesive or cement
When you have removed the tiles, you will also have to remove the adhesive or cement using a particular product (experts recommend a product with a methylene chloride base). However, keep in mind that the fumes from this are flammable and toxic, so be extra careful and make sure that the room is adequately ventilated.
If your tiles are older, it may be wise to check them first for the presence of asbestos. If this is present, you are obligated by law to enlist a qualified and licensed contractor who specializes in asbestos removal.
- Removing floor, countertop, and wall tiles
Removing wall and floor tiles is almost the same process, but protecting the sub-surface is more difficult if you remove wall tiles. If you’re removing old floor or wall tiling because they’re cracked, this is often easier because they’re not as tricky to remove. But you still have to be careful with the sub-surface. Countertop tiles are even more challenging because they may be installed on mortar, plywood, or backer board and then reinforced using wire mesh. It’s often much more difficult to remove this intact without using a diamond blade saw.
If you feel that you can’t easily do it yourself or are hesitant about making any mistakes, it’s better to let a professional and expert do it for you.
Image attributed to Pixabay.com