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Old 12-30-2017, 07:52 AM   #1
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Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


My wife wants the ceramic cove base tiles removed from the bathroom and replaced with wooden cove base - probably painted. For background info the walls are drywall, the floor is 1 x 1 ceramic tiles, and the cove base tiles are a hideous gold color.

I am considering using a stiff bladed putty knife 3 or 4 inches wide, and striking it with a hammer along the top grout line, parallel to the wall, to separate the tiles from the wall

Other suggestions or recommendations?

The new wooden base molding will be 4-1/2 inches tall to help hide any evidence of the old 4-inch tall ceramic cove base.

Thanks,
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


You are on the right track. Keep the tool as flat as possible to the sheetrock and rock it outwards as you get it to sink behind the tile. Hopefully they will pop off without incident.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


Or if that fails cut the drywall at the top of the tile and remove both tile and drywall replace the drywall and cover with cove.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:23 AM   #4
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


After you remove the first row, I would use a flat bar. I don't think that a putty knife is strong enough. Trying to save the drywall maybe harder than you think.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:30 AM   #5
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


If I had to do that job with the least damage to the wall, I'd be cutting the grout lines first with an oscillating saw with a carbide blade, then using a wide stiff blade putty knife flat against the wall to protect it and tapping the curved part of my flat bar behind the tile using the putty knife as my fulcrum point.
I'll be surprised if just using a putty will work.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


Thanks guys!

I don't own an oscillating saw but their cost is reasonable to the added cost of wall repair if my plan doesn't work, or if use of a wonder bar doesn't work. I will start simple and ramp things up as the needs require.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


I'd never buy one from here but Harbor Freight has some cheap ones for a one time job.
I agree 100% I have 3 of them and use them all the time for jobs no other tools can do.
https://www.harborfreight.com/power-...ool-63111.html
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I'd never buy one from here but Harbor Freight has some cheap ones for a one time job.
I agree 100% I have 3 of them and use them all the time for jobs no other tools can do.
https://www.harborfreight.com/power-...ool-63111.html
My Dad always told me to buy the best tools you can afford. While in my Teens, 20's, and 30's I followed that advise. Now in my 60's I realize that every additional tool I buy may be a single use item, so the better quality Harbor Freight items (their Pittsburgh brand) are definitely considered but not always purchased.

My youngest son wanted a new set of screwdrivers at Christmas, Made in the USA preferred. So I bought him a set of S-K screwdrivers from Harry Epstein. Sort of wish I had bought two sets - one for myself.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:08 PM   #9
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


Quote:
My Dad always told me to buy the best tools you can afford
Then you should look at Fein. Q250, probably in the $500 range. German made, and will last a long time.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:31 PM   #10
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


This job has been hanging over my head for a while now. How to remove the ceramic base tiles without damaging the walls and floor? When my wife first announced this project she told me that I could buy a new tool if necessary to do this project. (Being over 60 years old I am trying to not buy any more tools as they will have a high likelihood of being single use items).

The impetus to not damage the walls grew even more important after last weekend when my wife re-painted the bath! So now the walls will need to be repaired and re-painted for a second time if I damage them removing the tiles!

I woke up with a start at 4:30 Friday morning after dreaming of this project. A Cordless Demo Hammer or a small corded Demo Hammer was the tool I need!

I checked prices, $800 and up for reputable brands. I checked Harbor Freight (remember the single use probability) and theirs was $300 with chisels. I checked tool rental prices, $44 for a half day from Home Depot. Perfect!

My wife asked me to remove the tiles today. I showed her the price sheet from H-D and said I needed to go get the tool. She snorted and asked "Why can't you do the Putty Knife and Hammer method"? "You could at least try to do it that way before you go spending money on a tool rental."

Remember, this is the same woman who told me three weeks ago that I should buy any tool that I need to do this job easily!

So I tried the Putty Knife and Hammer method. Worked great! Job is done.
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:24 PM   #11
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Re: Best method to remove ceramic cove base tiles?


Procrastination will always leave you behind Glad the job turned out ok. Now next time she suggests the tool......................
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