Removing Ceramic Tile Or A Stone Floor Tile Installation.


In some cases, removing ceramic tile or stone tile is not necessary before a new floor tile installation. If your old floor is sound, you can tile right over it. But be aware that this might cause your new floor to be higher than the neighboring floor levels.

In most cases removing the Ceramic tiles or other tile materials are always the best way to go. This way you can address unseen issues, such as rotted floor boards around your sink or bathtub. Sometimes problems with aging tiles underneath may even damage your future tiles.

To begin Removing Ceramic Tile Or Stone Tile, first Remove your thresholds

Thresholds are usually on the floors across the doorways. They are often used to separate different flooring materials or rooms.  Removing the threshold will give you a good starting point for removing your old tiles.

To remove a marble threshold pry your demolition pry bar between your threshold and the tile. Pry it upward. It will crack in the middle and allow you to pull it out from under the door stops.

For a wooden threshold just cut across it with a hand saw or demolition saw, and with a little help from your pry bar it should quickly come out.

Remove Baseboards

If you're planning on installing new baseboards along with your new floor tile installation, there's no better time to remove them then now.

To remove baseboards, First use a sharp utility knife to pry off all the old caulk and paint. Then carefully pry off your baseboards and shoe moldings.

When you replace your baseboards, They give your new floor tile installation a more professional look. Not only that, but they can also hide any flaws that may occur while cutting your tiles, such as cuts on those outer tiles that come out short or crooked.

If you remove your baseboards and shoe moldings carefully, you can save them. Then you can replace them after completing your new floor tile installation.

Remove Doors

Remove all the doors to the room where you'll be removing Ceramic tiles. Then tape plastic over the doorways, to keep dust from spreading throughout the house. Be sure to wear your heavy duty gloves, goggles, and your respirator

Removing Old Tile From The Tile Underlayment

Start at the tile edge you earlier exposed by removing the threshold. Work your demolition bar under the tiles, and begin removing the tiles, by prying them up from the existing tile underlayment.

If the tile pops off the tile underlayment relatively easy, This means it was probably installed with a plywood or backerboard tile underlayment.

Unfortunately, the old thin-set is nearly impossible to remove. So you will need to remove the entire old tile underlayment, and replace it with plywood, and if needed new backerboard sheets before beginning your new floor tile installation.

You could have just left the old ceramic or stone tiles in place and just removed everything all at once, but removing ceramic tile or stone tile this way has too much weight. These tiles can make the old underlayment pieces too heavy to lift.

Removing The Old Tile Underlayment

Wearing your safety goggles set the depth of your circular saw to the exact depth of the subfloor. Cut the subfloor into roughly 1 foot wide strips. Use your demolition bar to pry each strip up.

For plywood use an old wood cutting blade. For backerboard use a masonry cutting blade.

If your tiles don't budge as you pry them, you probably have a mud job underneath.

Removing Old Mud Jobs

A mud job is a thick layer of concrete topped with tiles.


The trick to removing it is to use a long heavy demolition bar, and work it under the entire mud job, removing Ceramic tile and all.

Pry it away from the subfloor below. It will break up into thick chunks. If staples were previously used for the old floor tile installation, It would pull out fairly easily. If it's been nailed to the subfloor, you may need to pry the nails out.

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