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Old 11-30-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


Hi all, we want to replace our kitchen floor tile...problem is that the existing 6x6 tile was directly set into 3/4" of concrete which looks like it was applied directly to the subfloor. The tile itself is a red terracotta, about 3/8 thick. The work was done in 1979, and the floor is still in excellent condition, I cannot find any cracked grout or tiles and there is no movement. It's just ugly!

So, what would be the best method to remove this stuff? Atomic bomb? Any ideas would be much appreciated - thanks!!

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Old 11-30-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


Why not tile over it?
A lot easer and faster then trying to remove it.
If you key word "tiling over tile" lots of sites come up with instrutions.
The only draw back is it will throw the height at the baseboards and any other flooring it meets.


Last edited by joecaption; 11-30-2011 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


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Hi all, we want to replace our kitchen floor tile...problem is that the existing 6x6 tile was directly set into 3/4" of concrete which looks like it was applied directly to the subfloor. The tile itself is a red terracotta, about 3/8 thick. The work was done in 1979, and the floor is still in excellent condition, I cannot find any cracked grout or tiles and there is no movement. It's just ugly!

So, what would be the best method to remove this stuff? Atomic bomb? Any ideas would be much appreciated - thanks!!
Are you sure it's over a 3/4" bed of concrete? Have you chipped some of it out or gained access to a side view somehow to verify?

If someone used their setting (leveler or thinset, etc) a leveling compound or something of that nature it's likely that the 3/4" is just in some areas.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


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If someone used their setting (leveler or thinset, etc) a leveling compound or something of that nature it's likely that the 3/4" is just in some areas.
Snav, I think what he's got is a "mud set" job, not self leveling compounds.

I too suggest thinking about going over the present tiles, if it's is perfect shape.

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


It should all just break right out if the mud bed is only 3/4" thick and over a wood subfloor. Bang the hell out of it and it will soon begin to remove itself.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


I checked the edges and can see the concrete under the tiles at two places, but nothing else is visible btwn the tile and concrete. As far as I can tell, the concrete was applied diectly to the wood subfloor. We bought the house in May and the former owners visited and tipped us off on the concrete.

Only problems with tiling over is our refrig is in a built in cabinet and the cab would need to get modified. I suspect we'd run into some issues with the height difference elsewhere - existing tile with bed is already over an inch.

So, would chipping hammer, sledge and elbow grease be the best bet for tear out? Any other suggestions?
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


I use a Bull Dog Bosh brand hammer drill with a chisle made just for tile removal. It's about 2 or 3" wide and has a raised spot in the middle. You go right down the middle of the tiles and it lifts and cracks them in half most of the time.
You need hearing protection, knee pads, gloves, eye protection, a flat shovel, a big shop vac, floor broom, and a few 5 gal. buckets. Trash bags are not going to hold the waste, it's to heavy and to many sharp edges. So your going to have to come up with some way to get rid of the trash.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


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I checked the edges and can see the concrete under the tiles at two places, but nothing else is visible btwn the tile and concrete. As far as I can tell, the concrete was applied diectly to the wood subfloor. We bought the house in May and the former owners visited and tipped us off on the concrete.

Only problems with tiling over is our refrig is in a built in cabinet and the cab would need to get modified. I suspect we'd run into some issues with the height difference elsewhere - existing tile with bed is already over an inch.

So, would chipping hammer, sledge and elbow grease be the best bet for tear out? Any other suggestions?
Once you get a hole started down to the subfloor you can probably lift everything out with nothing more than a pry-bar. Listen, it is never a good idea to heap tile on top of tile. I would caution against it. There are times when it may be acceptable but not in this case.

If you have a dishwasher, "look out", that would be a major issue in addition to the fridge issue. Transitions will become an issue. Take out the old tile and concrete below it if it is only as thick as you say. It will take some effort but it won't be that difficult.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:21 PM   #9
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


what ever works best to remove tile for you do it .. it the proper thing to do...ben
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


Sandcoat. remove it buy renting a Demolition hammer from Home Depot.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


Excellent, thanks very much for all the info- going forward with the demo this weekend, will post back how it went...now to figure out the floor assembly-
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:28 AM   #12
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


Well it's out- took about 5 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday which included chipping the tile off from the back entry and four stairs there.

We found that the mud set depth ranged from the high point at 3/4" to as deep as 1-5/8" in some areas, so there's some floor prep that needs to be done.

It was hard work, but not terrible. Used a Bosch chipping Hammer and it worked great.

Now on to the floor flatness....
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


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.. Used a Bosch chipping Hammer and it worked great.
That's what I used too.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:12 AM   #14
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


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Now on to the floor flatness....
So...is the basic subfloor now that far out-of-level?
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:33 AM   #15
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Remove floor tile set in 3/4" concrete


It's off 1" in the 8' direction in the 8x10 main kitchen and 5/8" off in both directions in the 5x7 breakfast nook. although its "generally" flat in these slopes, it's not flat enough for the tile. And where the two areas intersect is a problem with two directional sloping.

It seems like it would take a lot of SLC to bring this up to level. Ideally, I'd like it to be level, especially since the old tile was nicely level.

With the room size and depth that I'm dealing with is SLC a good option still? Or is there a better alternative? I'd need a lot of SLC which gets pricey.

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