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Tile Floor Removal Tips for Beginners

Tile floor removal tips are important.

Especially if you’re replacing a tub with a walk-in shower, yet want to keep the main bathroom floor.

This tutorial shares how to cut out a portion of the tile floor and do it the right way.

Let’s dive in!

Tile Floor Removal Supplies

  • Montolit CGX115 Diamond Blade
  • WSG7-115 Angle Grinder (Fein)
  • Dust Shroud (Fein)
  • MultiMaster (Fein)
  • ProKnee Pads
  • Ironclad Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hearing Protection
  • Silica Dust Respirator

These supplies make tile floor removal much easier and safer.

Furthermore, many of the tools can be used to build tile showers.

Thus, the initial investment will pay off during other projects.

Best Tools for Cutting Tile Floors

Angle grinders equipped with the right diamond make tile floor removal much easier.

Montolit’s CGX115 diamond blade is awesome because it cuts through both ceramic and porcelain tile.

CGX115 Diamond Blade

This 4-1/2″ diamond blade can be used with any 4-1/2″ angle grinder. Fein’s WSG7-115 grinder is fantastic because its RPM rating is less than the CGX115’s; this is important because the grinder should not overpower the blade and cause it to potentially break.

Furthermore, the WSG7-115 can be used with a dust shroud. This severely cuts down on silica dust that’s created when cutting tiles.

Therefore, these tools also make cutting tiles a safer process. Read this excellent tutorial to see how to properly set up the grinder with the dust shroud and HEPA vac system.

How to Cut Tile Floors with Grinders

The first step to cutting tile floors with a grinder is to estimate the tile floor thickness.

The tile floor, thin-set layers, and DITRA (an underlayment for tile) were roughly 3/4-inch thick.

Therefore, setting the diamond blade depth of cut at slightly more than 3/4″ allowed the tile and DITRA to be penetrated.

Get the grinder up to full speed and make a plunge cut in the tile. Always wear the appropriate safety gear (silica dust respirator, safety glasses, hearing protection, and gloves).

Plunge Cut Floor Tiles

Make the initial cut in the floor tile and follow it up a second time to ensure the diamond blade made it completely through the tile.

How to Use a Hammer to Remove Tile Floors

Once the tile has been cut, it’ll be separated from the rest of the tile floor that needs to be preserved.

This process makes removing the old tub and installing a new walk-in shower possible while keeping the old tile floor in place.

Use a hammer to smash out small sections of tile. Any shards of tile should be immediately removed from the surrounding area to prevent hand or face injuries.

Smash Tile Floors with Hammer

Always wear thick gloves to prevent sharp broken tiles from cutting your hands – I really like the Ironclad gloves in this tutorial because they’re super thick and protective.

Try to remove as much of the old thin-set as possible and shop vac the area.

How to Remove Bathtubs Connected to Tile Floors

The bathtub in this situation was connected to DITRA using KERDI-BAND. An oscillating multi-tool was used to cut the KERDI-BAND and separate the tub from the DITRA layer.

This allows the tub to be disconnect from the subfloor.

Obviously, it’s imperative to also disconnect the tub from the studs and old plumbing – so do that as well.

Using a long 36-inch pry bar under the tub helps pry it up off the floor.

The same pry bar can be used to take up the DITRA layer bonded to the wood subfloor.

This short but sweet video tutorial shows all the tips just mentioned, it’s well worth the 3-minutes!

What’s Next

The tile floor removal tips for beginners in this tutorial will hopefully help you with your project.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

Hope you have an awesome day!



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