Removing floor tile is a pain in the backside. Period.
I have experience in removing tile backsplash but this was my first time removing tile floors.
Removing tile floors is backbreaking, pit sweating, anger-triggering hard work. Okay, this might* be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it is not far off.
The basement bathroom is around 30ft2. Since it was such a small space, I was doing my best to use tools I had on hand to remove the tile. I didn’t want to spend unnecessary money, so here are the three things I tried based on what was available in my toolbox….
First, I tried a handheld heavy-duty floor scraper. This was about $20 and I was certain would be instrumental in removing the tile, but I was way off base. It didn’t remove anything, period.
Secondly, I attempted to use a scarper attachment on my multi-tool. I was convinced the multitool vibrations and the sharp scraper would get the job done. I was wrong. The only thing this was good for was loud noises and increased frustration.
Then, I headed to my last resort… A wood chisel (yes, one for wood) and a hammer. This was working, but at the rate it was taking, I might be done by the year 2030. It was awful and was really starting to hurt my back.
Tile removal advice from a viewer
I ended up doing a tile removal session on TikTok LIVE and one of the viewers was like, “hey, I don’t mean to come across as a jerk, but you should really consider renting a floor scraper from your local equipment rental place. Trust me, I do this for a living.”
You guys, this kind of feedback is the best. A professional was genuinely giving me advice on the best way to remove the tile from the concrete flooring. I don’t know if you’ve been on the socials lately, but there can be a lot of rude comments on there from viewers. Kind, constructive comments are very appreciated. I hung up the TikTok live and headed to the local equipment rental place 30 minutes before the closed… it’s like the DIY gods were looking out for me that day. First, because the store had exactly what I needed and secondly because it was a Sunday when my husband was home, and my dad was stopping in for a visit. (PS – I get my love of DIY from my Dad – he taught me so much of what I know).
The timing was perfect
Since there was a big power tool involved, I knew my dad and husband would both want to help out with the tile removal. Who doesn’t want to at least try out a new power tool given the opportunity? I am so thankful for their presence, because the manual floor scraper weighed about 200lbs and was very hard to manage on my own.
We hauled it downstairs, attached the giant blade to the head of it. The blade alone cost $30… I bet it weighed 3lbs. We then prepped the bathroom for this big tool by removing the vanity sink and the toilet, giving us great clearance for maneuvering the scraper.
This was a serious tool and I am SERIOUSLY thankful that the guys did most of the driving when it came to the floor scraper. You see, I have this thing where I am a little too ambitious. These ideas sound so great in my head. Occasionally, I forget that I am a petite 5” tall woman and am not as strong as superwoman, though pretty close… Thankfully, I have guys in the family who are happy to support me, even if they have to lend a muscle or two (or three).
After 45 minutes, we were removing the dull blade, and putting the scraper back into the car to return it.
It had done the job beautifully! To see this floor scraper in action, peep this quick video.
To reward the guys (and myself) for all of the hard work, we ordered pizza and turned on the season opener for the NFL. Andddddd, scene cut.
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