How to Remove Ceramic Floor Tile Without Breaking It

Written by april dowling
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How to Remove Ceramic Floor Tile Without Breaking It
Removing ceramic tiles without breaking them requires time and patience (floor care machine image by Greg Pickens from

Removing ceramic floor tile is tedious and rigorous, especially if you are planning on reusing them. Salvaging ceramic tiles is never guaranteed, as they can break easily. However, you can usually remove ceramic floor tiles without breaking them, as long as you are very careful and use the proper materials. Removing ceramic tiles from concrete will be more difficult, or even impossible, without breaking them.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Safety goggles
  • Heavy-duty dust mask
  • Work gloves
  • Kneepads
  • Rotary cutting tool
  • Chisel
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Protect your eyes and lungs from ceramic dust particles by wearing safety goggles and a heavy-duty dust mask. Ceramic is a type of glass and therefore is dangerous to work with. Wear work gloves to protect your hands, and kneepads to pad your knees from the hard floor.

  2. 2

    Remove the grout by using a rotary cutting tool to cut along all of the grout lines. You can either cut around one tile at a time, or around all the tiles at once, it makes no difference.

  3. 3

    Slide the tip of the chisel under the edge of each tile, with the chisel positioned as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Tap the chisel lightly with the hammer, until the tile loosens from the floor. Repeat these steps until every tile has been removed.

Tips and warnings

  • An electric chipper and shovel may be required for tiles that break.
  • Do not try to rush through the process, or you will risk breaking the tiles.

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