We're wondering if removing the tile that's on our concrete foundation is too hard for us to do ourselves.

Question: Is there a way to do it that makes it a little easier and faster?

We want to remove all tile and do engineered wood or vinyl tile planks throughout.

Quotes to take the tile and grout beneath it up are extremely expensive. Just wondering if there's a method or tool, some way to keep it from being so labor intensive and taking so long.


I use a air chisel wide blade for a large area. I can pop thinset mounted tiles off with little time and almost no effort. a pole chipper is almost as fast but a lot of work, (mastic glued tiles are harder and usually the tiles break more often.

once the tiles are all picked up and discarded I clean up the thinset. I actually find my belt sander is best for this. Thinset is quite soft and an 80 grit aluminum oxide belt takes the bulk of the material off quickly. I use a pillow case on the discharge of my belt sander and this helps to control the dust (this is the messy part, I recently helped a friend do a 34x16 room I had all the tiles popped in about an hour, I started grinding with the belt sander while the tiles were being removed by my friend.

First pass was just over 2 hours and 5 belts., I had planned to acid etch the entire floor with muriatic acid and water but my friend was happy with the results just sanding (muriatic acid helps to break up the remaining thinset and would have made is smoother close to the original finish of the slab).

The total time including mopping up was just over 4 hours and to be honest the hard part was scooping all the tile and grout up but my friend did that. Our total time under 8 man hours and that included a few beer breaks. For me the hard part is being on the ground after 18 knee surgeries including both of them being replaced, so if a great grampa can do it it’s not that bad with the right tools.

I could have done it with a pole scraper/chipper but then it would have been hard work and probably taken longer and a few more beers. He now has a nice click lock wood floor that is much warmer feeling than the porcelain tile that was down there.


In all the floors that i have prepped i have found that there is no "easier and faster" way to do it. There is difficult and very difficult and very very - - - -

The tiles may or may not pop off relatively easy, there are floor scrapers you can buy and floor scraping machines you can rent. The hard part is usually the thinset or mastic that is the adhesive, it is tough to get it off of concrete. You need to get all of that off for a smooth base to install your new flooring. A floor scraper may get some or most of it off, or you may have to use an angle grinder and an abrasive disc, Very dusty and messy.

You can give it try and if you feel it is beyond what you can/want to do then hire someone.

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