How to Rip Out a Ceramic Tile Floor

I made a video of this process and I had the camera set up the wrong way. Vertically. Which is wrong. I wanted to address this before I addressed anything else about ripping out my floor.

So let’s watch the video.

Spending 3 days ripping out tile, cement, wire mesh and plywood tends to wear a person down. It wasn’t nearly as bad a job as I thought it was going to be, but … it was bad enough that I wasn’t quite thinking straight. Hence the vertical video. And the meal on Tuesday night of a Hungry Man dinner.

A HUNGRY MAN FROZEN DINNER. That is what I ate. I have no idea what the fella ate. Cat hair maybe. The most perplexing part is I thought the frozen dinner was going to be really good.  Anything that didn’t involve cooking or even chewing really, seemed enticing.

Mid demolition I had to run into my local drugstore for something and saw the Hungry Man dinners on sale. I grabbed 2 of them thinking they’d be as good as I remembered them being when I was a kid.  I’m a sucker for fake mashed potatoes. Mmmm.  The Hungry Man dinner was one of the weirdest things I’ve eaten in a long time.

It just occurred to me that this post isn’t about frozen dinners. It’s about ripping out a ceramic tile floor.

O.K. This isn’t a real tutorial because demolition is pretty much just breaking things, shovelling them and dragging them out of the house. All while looking as cute as a used vomit bag.

I do have 2 tips for you if you’re going to demo a ceramic tile floor though. You *can* rent tools to do this, but you don’t need to. It’s not fun, but it’s not that hard either. It can definitely be done manually.

What you *should* invest in is a Super Wonder Pry Bar.  Or something like it.

 

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Also, buy yourself a roofing shovel. It’ll make ripping up the plywood floors easier.  I did not invest in a roofing shovel and used a flat end shovel instead.  It worked fine, but a roofing shovel would have been better. I just plain old couldn’t be bothered to go out and buy a roofing shovel. I ate a Hungry Man frozen dinner for God’s sake. I was obviously in a fragile state.
 

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Lest you think from the minute long video, everything was easy, here are a few shots revealing the true mess of everything during the ceramic tile phase of this Big Spring Project. Click on the picture to see the full sized images.
 

 
Now just the heated floors, self levelling concrete, tile adhesive and the actual tiles to go. Please send help. Or yes … even a Hungry Man dinner.

85 Comments

  1. Karena Cawthon says:

    Hi Karen,
    This comment has nothing to do with this particular post. But on one of your posts, you mentioned having a dirty lens. I don’t know what type of camera you’re using, but if you are using one with interchangeable lenses, here’s a tip on avoiding dust spots in your images (almost) forever… Every time you change lenses, hold the body of the camera DOWN so that no dust can get in there while the interior (of the camera) is exposed. Obviously the interior of the camera is the one thing you can’t really clean or wipe with a lens cleaning tissue. I’m now a retired professional photographer (living in Mexico). For years, I would either spend hours removing dust spots or finally I’d break down and send the camera body back to be professionally cleaned, inside and out. No matter how much you clean the front and back areas of the lens, you’re never going to get all the dust out that’s collected on the mirror and in the camera’s interior. And they really show up (and are in sharp focus) if you’re shooting with a small aperture. Finally some smarty-pants kid in a camera store let me (the longtime professional) in on this tip. I felt so stupid, I mean, it makes so much sense, not waving the body around, just collecting all those dust motes (is that what you call them?). Anyway, love your site.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Karena! I actually already do that. Well, most of the time, lol. Anyhow, finally, FINALLY after about a decade i’m getting a new camera! I’m going to buy the Fuji X-T3 mirrorless camera and a new prime lens for it. It’s all very exciting. :) ~ karen!

  2. Jana says:

    OMG I am dying laughing about your hungry man thing…I used to be so excited as a kid when my parents would go out so we could have hungry man….lmao picked up one on a,busy night….so not what I remembered at all..lol. I only do turkey so know idea on the others…but thank you for saying that lol everyone looks at me like what lol

  3. Cat says:

    I have tile over radiant heated floors. Adjoining rooms have wood with baseboard hearing. I hate the tile and want the whole main floor to be wood. We r thinking of ripping up the tile and installing the same wood throughout. What is the most important thing to keep in mind? Thank you

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