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I need to remove about 100m² of ceramic tiles, mostly floor tiles. We have floating concrete floors and brick walls. At the moment I have a Bosch rotary hammer (SDS Plus, about 3Joule impact energy).

Is that enough or should I better get an SDS-Max hammer?

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  • You've got the rotary hammer. Give it a go and see if it works. If not, invest in the purchase/rental of additional weaponry. If the rotary hammer works, but just not fast enough, rent a second one and conscript someone to operate it.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 29 '20 at 12:21
  • How did the rotary hammer work? What chisels worked best? Anything else you can add to help the next person facing this challenge?
    – mongo
    Jan 6 at 13:25
  • @mongo the work got delayed. I don't know yet
    – Martin
    Jan 7 at 17:48
  • Which rotary hammer drill do you have, if you don't mind sharing?
    – mongo
    Jan 7 at 18:35
  • @mongo The predecessor of the GBH 2-28 F . Don't know the exact model now as I lent it away. Can recommend it. I mostly used it for drilling in reinforced concrete and hard stone.
    – Martin
    Jan 7 at 22:32
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Should be fine, with a decent wide chisel bit. I used my Bosch SDS drill to completely strip the pebble-dash off my old house.

At the end of the day, though, a lot will depend on what the adhesive is like, and how strong the tiles are (whether they shatter or come off in nice large pieces)

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    In my experience, the type of tile, as well as the adhesion method, will have a big impact (no pun intended). For most household tile, the SDS plus will be adequate. If you had to remove terracotta or something similarly dense, then tool reinforcements may be necessary. The Bosch tool, about 1.5" wide and with a curve in it worked well, and will last for at least 10m2 in a normal household bathroom. That tool is about $11. Other tools may last longer, but that spoon/chisel gets under the tile nicely.
    – mongo
    Nov 30 '20 at 14:57
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With the small SDS drill the wall tiles went off like a dream. The floor tiles were thicker than usual, and placed not in tile adhesive, but mortar. The small drill was not enough to remove them in reasonable time. After realizing that the underfloor must also be replaced, I left that work to a contractor, who sent me two rugged man and some of Hilti's finest.

Lessons learned:

  • For tiles placed on the wall: An light tool trumps a strong one. Your shoulders will thank you.
  • The need for machine power varies highly by the type and placement of the tiles.
  • Sometimes your time (and health) is more valuable than the cost of an contractor.
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  • Thanks for coming back to follow up!
    – FreeMan
    Sep 2 at 11:52

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