How to Remove Tile From Concrete

Welcome to Home Renovation Jeopardy!

Answer: SRS Roto Hammer Drill

Question: How to get those damn tiles off of a concrete floor without breaking my back?

MakitaAfter struggling to find a means of removing the tile in the kitchen I stumbled across a YouTube video demonstrating how well a rotary hammer drill accomplishes this task.  Soon after, I found a deal on a 1″ roto drill and a “free” 4.5″ grinder for only $199 at Home Depot (I swear I’m not trying to promote Home Depot, they’re just the only decent home improvement box store in my area) and once I realized that for the same price of renting a massive tile stripper machine for one day I could play for keeps with a hammer drill and grinder, the drill and grinder won. I mean, hey, I should have plenty of projects in the future to use those on.

As much fun as it is, tile removal is not a pretty job. It’s dusty (for health’s sake, wear your dust masks, people!!), and noisy, and not at all glamourous. Expect to get hit with loads of flying tile shards as you work. But daaamn does it feel good to rip into materials as solid as ceramic tile and concrete like they’re butter under a warm knife! I also love the fact that a hammer drill is just as easy for a weakling like myself to use as it is for a buff man. All you have to do is gently press the drill to the edge of the tile and off it goes! It does all the hard work for you, and in fact, it works better if you put little effort into it at all.

In roughly 8 hours of work time we’ve removed all floor tiles in the house except for the ones in the laundry room and downstairs bath. The only reason we haven’t knocked those out yet is because we need to keep a door or window open so our fan can help manage the dust and the weather simply hasn’t been cooperating this week. Right now, as I type, it’s a balmy 2°f out there. ::shivers::

Tomorrow through Friday should be much warmer, around 45°, and hopefully I can finish all tile removal by the weekend so I can start cleaning up the 1/8″ of cement dust currently resting on EVERYTHING in the kitchen. Yuck.

Coming soon: how to grind Thin Set (the cement-like glue stuff you’ll find under the tiles) off of cement.

You can't see it, but we're giving our fiercest tile battling war-cries under those masks.
You should know we’re giving our fiercest tile battling war-cries under those masks.

 

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