How To Remove Tile Floors

Thinking of removing tile floors on your own? Depending on your physical ability (it is physically demanding) and how much of a quick learner you are, this is a project you can definitely take up. The level of difficulty here is medium.

Now, there is always the option to spend extra bucks and hire a professional. But, if you are tight on budget and determined to give it a shot, you need to learn a few things otherwise even the simple steps may seem very difficult. Don’t worry as this article will help you get updated with all the steps required to remove tiles from the floors.

Well, let us get started with the details without any further delay.

Steps to Remove Ceramic Tile Floors

Removing hard tiles like ceramic may be slightly tricky but following the below-mentioned instructions will help you get the work done efficiently.

1. Keep the materials and tools ready

It is highly recommended that you arrange all the materials and tools before starting with the work. This way you will not have to run to the nearby store every time you need them.


  • Plastic sheeting (Construction grade)
  • Masking tape
  • Trash bags made for heavy-duty
  • Trash can be made of metal or dumpster rental


  • Respirator or construction mask
  • Eyeshield
  • Hammer
  • Work gloves made for heavy-duty
  • Shovel
  • Sledgehammer
  • Chisel
  • Pry bar
  • Shop vacuum
  • Foot scrapper
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Push broom

2. Safety First

It is very important that you keep yourself safe during the entire process and for that, the very first thing you need to do is put on the respirator or the dust mask. This will protect you from airborne dust.

3. Prepare the area by removing fixtures

If you want to protect fixtures, it is better to remove them before starting with the tile removal process. This will include mirrors, toilets, stand-alone sinks, bathtubs, and every other item that may get damaged during the process.

In case of fixtures that you cannot remove, it is recommended that you cover them using masking tape and good-quality construction sheeting.

Do not forget to cover all the vents as that will help prevent the dust from getting circulated.

4. Choose a spot and start

If your room has a bare edge after you have removed a fixture, it is recommended that you start removing the tiles from there with the help of a sledgehammer and pry bar. If that does not work for you, then get rid of the grout with the chisel and hammer and then remove the tile and create a bare edge. Once there is a bare edge, start the tile removal process using a floor scraper or pry bar and hammer.

5. Remove tiles properly

Usually, a flat shovel or floor scraper comes in handy when it is about removing the tiles easily. However, if the tiles in your room were set with solid mortar or any strong adhesive, you may have to put in some extra effort. In such a case, it will be sensible to break the tiles using a chisel and hammer or pry bar. However, avoid using too much force when using a hammer as that might badly damage the subfloor and the underlayment.

After removing the tiles, place them in a wheelbarrow, trash bag, or trash can. This will help you easily dispose of them.

6. Do the cleaning and inspect

Once you are done with the removal, you should check for any mortar, nail, or adhesive being struck to the subfloor and underlayment. If you find any, remove the excess material using a chisel and hammer. If the underlayment is damaged, then get rid of that from the subfloor by prying.

Clear the debris using a shop vacuum and push the broom. After that, you are free to install new tiles and give a brand-new look to your rooms.

However, when you are cleaning the subfloor or the underlayment, check for signs of water damage, rotting, or mold. If you notice them, contact a professional before things get worse.

How to Remove Vinyl Tiles

When it comes to removing vinyl tiles, it is usually considered easy in comparison to removing ceramic ones but it can get dangerous if they have asbestos. This is because the vinyl tiles having asbestos release a hazardous material when you rip or pull them apart. So, when you are dealing with it, you got to be super careful.

1. Be sure it is safe

It is difficult to say whether the tiles contain asbestos or not but usually if your home is built after the 2000s, the tiles do not contain asbestos. In case it is built before that, it is recommended that you check the label at the back of the tiles. Most of the time, you will get your answer from that but if that is not the case, then it is better to call a professional for inspection and then follow his or her advice.

2. Buy the supplies

In this case, as well, it is important that you keep the supplies ready. Here is a list of things you will require to remove the vinyl tiles that are asbestos free.

  • Scrapper
  • Utility knife
  • Boiling water
  • Hairdryer
  • Adhesive remover preferably something citrus-based
  • Dish soap
  • Trash can

3. Pull the tile up

With the help of the utility knife, score the center of the tiles. Loosen the glue by heating the tile with a hairdryer. Work the tile up by slipping the scrapper under the edge while it is still warm. Boiling water may also be used to soften the glue. You just have to let it rest for half an hour. In case the water is not working on its own, you may a bit of dish soap on it.

After that, you can use an adhesive remover that is citrus-based or simply soap and water to get rid of any remaining adhesive after you have pulled the tiles.


Removing tiles is not very difficult. If you are in good health and know the basic tricks, you can definitely get it done.