I installed Hardi Backer under a ceramic tile floor several years back. We are planning a remodel soon. Can I remove the tile, clean up the backer board, and install new tile? That stuff has a million screws in it! I would really like not to have to remove it.

  • I partially agree with redlud97, if properly installed the tile will tear up the surface when removed, but it’s worth a try. I see more cracked tiles on floors when products like Ditra are used. A solid base that couples a shock wave through the bonding agent into the backer and then to the sub floor has a much higher chance of surviving than a flexible bond. Or that is my experience. When I do tile I expect it to be there for a lifetime, or be a real bugger to remove this is why we use tile for it to last.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 4, 2021 at 0:34
  • My understanding is cracked tile often comes from movement of the subfloor due to deflection or seasonal shifting that propagates up through the backer and bonding agent into the tile casing it to crack. Hence why uncoupling membranes are popular nowadays
    – redlude97
    Feb 4, 2021 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


The tile, if installed correctly will not come off the backer board cleanly, it will leave behind thinset or rip up chunks of backer board when you demo it. Even if it was relatively easy, keeping the flatness spec of 1/8" within 10' and 1/16" within 6' will be hard to meet with reused board. Its best to get back down to the subfloor to inspect anyways and install new clean board or use an uncoupling membrane like Schluter Ditra in the future.

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