How to remove tile flooring

When it comes to our home, I love doing home renovations. Anything DIY is great. There is something I find satisfying about completing a home project without anyone else’s help.

Some tasks are easier than others but don’t ever be too intimidated to try a hard task for yourself. For instance, removing tiles to be replaced with new ones can be challenging and labor-intensive, but if you follow a step-by-step process anyone can do it.

Furthermore, if you are planning to put your home on the market, it can actually pay off to update your home to maximize your equity. So even you can learn how to remove tiles and rip out old flooring to make way for something new. 

#1. Tools / Planning

Even you can learn how to remove tiles and rip up the old flooring if you have the proper tools and planning. Before you can get started on anything physical, having the right tools and a plan to follow will make your job that much easier. Assemble a sledgehammer, safety glasses, a pulsing hammer drill with a chisel bit, a broom, and a flat head shovel. A shop Vac is also a good idea because it will be able to catch any fragments that the broom might miss. Check your local hardware stores and shops for deals on the essential items you will need. 

Your next step is to remove everything from the room. This not only includes furniture but also any pictures and trinkets that might be lying around so things don’t get wrecked or broken. This also keeps your things clear from collecting any dust or other sharp fragments. Anything else in close proximity should be covered with a sheet. Once all of this is done you can get started. 

#2 Remove the Trim / Baseboards

Once the room is empty you can begin by removing the trim and baseboards. This is important as you will be prying the tiles up and do not need any obstructions in the way. If you don’t remove the trim and baseboards, the tiles can chip under the trim or the baseboards and trim itself might break. So save yourself the extra work and just remove them.  This can easily be done by removing the nails which fasten the trim or baseboards to the wall. Remove each board gently, placing all the pieces in a safe spot to be reattached after the tiles have been replaced. 

Tip: You may be scared, thinking I can’t do this or it’s too much work. Any DIY project is worth the time and effort to say you did the job yourself and to save you time and money.

#3 Remove the Tiles

This is the fun part. Once you have your tools assembled and all your safety equipment on hand, it’s time to break the tiles. You can use a hammer for this. Just remember to be careful because the last thing anybody wants is to be cut by a sharp piece of tile. Loosen the remaining tiles with the flat-headed shovel. You can pry them off the floor. Make sure you dispose of the pieces as you work by either lifting them with your hand or shovel them away. Eventually, you will have to begin sweeping the smaller fragments up. Once space is completely cleared, it is time to vacuum the room before proceeding.

#4 Remove the Underlay

Once the tiles are completely removed, and it has been properly cleaned, it is time to inspect the underlay. This is the layer below the tiles which is used to help keep the tiles even. If it is in good shape and you are laying new tiles it can be left as it is. If the underlay is deteriorating, it should be removed. This is a simple process, just remove any screws attaching it to the floor below and then lift it off. Dispose of the underlay in the same manner as the tiles.

#5 Clean the Floor

Once the underlay has been removed you will hit the subfloor. This is the foundation of the room and so you should make sure it is in good shape or if it will require repairs. It should also be properly cleaned. Chisel off any adhesive from the previous flooring that you see. This often takes longer than expected, so be patient. It will come off eventually. Give it a good sweep and clean all the debris that you come across. This will ensure that it is in good shape for any future flooring choices.

#6 Prep & Smooth the Floor

The last step of taking out your tiles is to make sure that the subfloor is smooth and even for the next flooring material. Use a level and walk across it to see if it feels off. This can be an indication of necessary repairs. If smoothing it is your main concern because chips and old adhesive have made it uneven, a buffer is your best friend. This will keep smoothening in down so that future flooring will remain even on the surface. Just be sure to sweep and vacuum again after this process.


If you are in need of tools or more support, look no further than your local tile supplier. They’ll have all the information and tools you need to complete this process yourself. And don’t forget, once this is out of the way, another fun part arises! You get to pick out the new tiles. Go visit a tile store to find the motivation to give this a try.

Happy DIY!

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