5 Things To Know Before Taking Up Tile

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

So, you have old, outdated tile and you've been drooling over new hardwood floors. Maybe you've even seen some tutorials on installing and thought it was something you could tackle! Awesome. But first things first. If you want to do it right, ya gotta take up the old stuff.

1. It sucks

It's awful, there's no way around it. It's dirty, it's dusty, you'll get sweaty, and it's not pretty. Plain and simple. It's a necessary evil to get those floors you've been dreaming of. It's better to know this ahead of time and be prepared. Gloves. Denim. Actual shoes. I'm talking to you... the one who does everything in flip flops... you know who you are... gotta put on actual shoes for this one.

Seriously, shoes y'all. Look at this mess. 

2. Get help

This is the time to call in all your favors. You need muscle. Lots of muscle. We decided to hire some help to get this demo done and it was worth every penny. The bigger the project the more important this really is.

3. Get a dumpster

One thing you need to do is rent a dumspter. Unless you are only taking up 100sqft or less, you will need a dumpster. One thing you don't realize is just how heavy tile is. Once you add in the cement backer board it really starts getting heavy. Make sure you know the weight limit of the dumpster and be prepared to pay any fees if it goes over.

4. Pick the right tools

In order to get the tile out, you will need to break it up. There are several schools of thought on this and it mostly has to do with how it was originally installed. 

If the tile is mortared right onto the wood or concrete subfloor, you will want a hammer chisel.  
Be Your Own Handyman @ Home has a good video on how to use one here. If however, the tile has been installed on top of cement backer board, such as Hardi Board like ours were, you will need to take that up as well. 

A demolition fork is going to be your best bet. Home Depot has one here. We did a lot of research and this was by far the best option. So look at that, I saved you from having to do all that research! Check out their video on how to use one here. Aside from the demo fork, a sledge hammer and crowbar are going to be your best friend.

5. Go for the corners

The last important thing took us half a day to figure out and cost us extra time and effort. In order to get that tile up faster, you will want to go through and sledge hammer the corners where 4 tiles all come together. We would do about 6 rows of tiles at a time. This loosens up and breaks the grout lines holding them together making it significantly easier to get under the backer board and pry it up.

So that wraps up my 5 top thing you need to know before you take up tile. What do you think? Would you tackle a project like this to get the floors you really wanted?

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