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corky 01-28-2007 04:50 PM

Approach to demo bathroom ceramic tile floor for remodel
Beginning demo on a remodel of small 3/4 bathroom. Current floor is grouted ceramic tile over approximately 1" morter on plywood. The tile and mortar do not extend underneath the current base cabinet (so there is a depression).

The remodeled bathroom floor and shower walls will be finished in travertine tiles. The new sink base will be open to the new flooring below.

What is the best approach, remove all material (morter, tile and grout, down to the plywood?) or just pop up the tiles and fill in where morter is currently missing. If the answer is to remove the material down to the subfloor, any tricks to going about this?

AtlanticWBConst. 01-28-2007 06:46 PM

You could install cement board into that area of the floor. Use the cement board to build it up to the point (measurement) you want. You could also use plywood under the cement board to take up any fractions of depth. Make sure that you use adhesives and screws if starting off with the plywood. After the cement board layer, apply thinset over all of it to even it out. (Obviously you should use the thinset when installing the cement board too)

If you do decide to remove it all, a simple and effective tool is a demolition hammer. It is slightly smaller than a jack hammer. You can rent these.
We have one and it paid for itself ($800) after about 3 jobs...
2 basement bathrooms and tearing up several tile floors.

Bud Cline 01-28-2007 09:22 PM

Corky as you know, travertine is a natural stone product. But did you know that natural stone tiles require double the floor strength of ceramic tile? You will need to add plywood after removal of the tile and cement to meet this need. Trying to remove the tile only will more than likely result in damaging the cement beyond what it would take to support the travertine.

The demo hammer should make short work of removing it all, the vibration will work in your favor.:)

AtlanticWBConst. 01-29-2007 09:59 AM

About the Demo hammer: We use a spade tip for removing tile. Essentially, it is in the shape of a concrete type chisel. Instead of going thru and using a chisel and hammer manually. The demo hammer, with this attachement, does all the grunt work for you.

And as Bud Cline stated: The subfloor materials pretty much always get wrecked with it....But then you can put in a nice new solid subfloor...

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