Removing the existing tiles may be the first thing you need to do in your tiling project. It is possible to lay fresh new tiles over existing tiles. But for the best results, we recommend removing the old tiles. So, here are some tips on how to remove tiles.

What You Will Need

  • Safety gear such as goggles, gloves and a mask
  • Chisel
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Grout knife
  • Broom and dustpan

Removing Floor Tiles

It’s usually impossible to salvage floor tiles as they are normally stuck down completely with adhesive. However, with the right tools and right method, you can still remove floor tiles effectively. Something to keep in mind is that there are many hazards in removing tiles, especially porcelain tiles as they break like glass and there will be many sharp edges to avoid.

  • You may need to first remove the grout near the end of the room to create a starting point. You can do this by using a grout knife.
  • Use a hammer and chisel to start removing tiles from one end of the room to the other. As you do, remove broken tiles frequently to eliminate any extra hazards.
  • Remove any remaining adhesive on the floor. You can effectively do this with a putty knife.
  • If you wish to lay new tiles, prepare the surface by wiping it free of dust and debris, then apply a primer to prime the surface.

Removing Wall Tiles

Removing tiles from walls can present special hazards as when you remove them, they may suddenly fall off the wall. Use safety gear, long pants, and a shirt to protect yourself. If you don’t want to damage the ground by any falling debris, make sure to cover it with some tough material such as plywood or some thick cardboard.

  • Remove grout near the ceiling and the floor to make a starting point.
  • Lift tiles with a putty knife or chisel, whichever tool works more effectively.
  • As the tile lifts off the wall, hold the tile with one hand while lifting the tile with the other hand. If the tiles are large, it’s best to have someone help you.
  • If the tiles are stuck completely to the wall, you may have no choice but to break them. If so, make sure to wear protective goggles and a dust mask.