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13 Different Types of Tile Removal Tools

Sick of your drab old tile finish? Give your room the makeover that it needs by removing or replacing those old tiles. Check out which tools you'll need to ensure safety and success for your tile removal project.
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Man with a hammer and chisel removing tiles.

Removing tiles is a home renovation project that can save you serious cash. It can be a grueling task, but it’s also reasonably straightforward if you know a few necessary steps. Sticking to safety guidelines and using the proper tools is also essential when demolishing tiles.

Fortunately, the tools you’ll need aren’t expensive, and you might even already own some of them. Keep in mind that shards of broken tiles can be very sharp so be sure to prevent unnecessary injuries by practicing safety first.

Floor Scraper

12-inch steel flooring scraper with fiberglass long handle.

 

Source: Amazon

One of the first tools that you are going to want to purchase for tile removal purposes is a floor scraper. These are also often referred to as bully tools. Regardless of what the tool is being called, the purpose of it is going to be the same. You are going to use this tool to scrape the floor and help you to pull up the tile. It has a flat edge that is effective at getting underneath the tile.

The design of this tool works great for removing the tile. Depending on the type of tile that you are removing, you may be able to get the tile up without using any serious power tools. It depends on several factors, but this will definitely come in handy no matter what. You need to be able to scrape the floor properly to get it ready for your new tile or whatever other flooring solution you are installing next.

These floor scrapers are very affordable, as well. They don’t cost too much, and they are a very effective tool. This makes it easy to get access to one of these, so there is no reason to avoid buying one. If you know that you have a tile removal job on the horizon, then you should definitely make sure that you purchase one.

Take note that you can purchase floor scraper tools that are longer. Some of them will be somewhat short and might be more useful to use on your hands and knees. Others will be much longer and can be used similarly to a shovel. Decide which type is going to work best for you, and then make a decision on what to buy.

Masonry Chisel

1/4-inch blue color masonry chisel.

Source: Amazon

This masonry chisel is going to come in handy when you need to cut out stubborn pieces of tile. It is possible that you will have trouble maneuvering the larger floor scraper to remove the tiles that are placed in corners. In this situation, having access to a masonry chisel is going to be a boon. You will be able to go over to the corner and use the chisel effectively to remove the corner pieces.

The chisel is also going to come in handy for removing grout that is stuck to the floor. Grout is going to be stubborn in some situations, and you will need to take care to remove it properly. The masonry chisel will work well for this purpose. All you need to do is grab your hammer and use it in tandem with the masonry chisel to get the results that you’re looking for.

Masonry chisels can be purchased from any major hardware store. You will need a good hammer to use alongside your masonry chisel, as well. When you use these two tools together, you will be able to manually remove grout. Popping tiles away from the corners will be easy, as well.

There are different sizes of masonry chisels on the market for you to consider. The size isn’t incredibly important in this situation. You are going to be getting on the floor to use this chisel regardless of the size that you buy. It will work well to remove the grout whether it is on the smaller side or the larger side, so just buy the masonry chisel that will appeal to you the most.

Hammer

Black head mallet-style hammer.


As mentioned above, you are going to need a quality hammer in order to use your masonry chisel properly. Thankfully, hammers are among the most common tool that you could possibly purchase. You will be able to find a good hammer at any hardware store and almost any large department store. They don’t cost a lot of money, and they will come in handy for other purposes during this tile removal job too.

The hammer being shown here is a mallet-style hammer. This is going to be a bit more convenient for striking your masonry chisel than a traditional claw hammer. Having a claw hammer will definitely come in handy, too, though. If you already own a claw hammer, then you may be able to forego going out to specifically buy one of these hammers.

Aside from using a hammer with the masonry chisel, you can also use a hammer to smash up the tile if you need to. Sometimes tile isn’t going to come up in one piece. You will have situations where you need to destroy the tile to remove it from the floor.

Of course, many people would prefer to have proper demolition tools to do this job. Even still, a hammer can be effective if you are on a budget and need to demolish the tile. Just make sure that you take the proper safety precautions before you begin. You’ll certainly be glad to have a high-quality hammer, no matter what purpose you have for it during this job.

Sledgehammer

10 pound yellow base sledgehammer with black handle grip.

Source: Amazon

A sledgehammer is going to be one of the more useful manual demolition tools that you could use to smash the tile. Using a sledgehammer will allow you to easily smash up the tile. It may take a bit of time and energy, but you will get the job finished in the end. Depending on the size of the room that you are removing the tile from, this can be either an easy task or a difficult one.

You want to be able to make sure that you have enough room to swing one of these safely. If you are removing tile from a bathroom, it can be difficult to swing a sledgehammer in the confined space of a typical bathroom area. Think about your surroundings, and purchase a hammer that will work well with the size of the room. You have to be smart about this in order to get good results.

The sledgehammer being shown here is a good size. It only weighs ten pounds, and it is very good at helping you to demolish things. It has vibration dampening particles that will help you to feel less impact when you strike something. This is important because you don’t want to injure yourself while using this tool.

Even though this tool has an anti-vibration handle, you still need to take caution. It is very easy to injure your back while swinging a sledgehammer. Using proper technique is very important, so try to know what you’re doing before you get started. If this seems too cumbersome for you to do, then it may be best to look into using power tools instead.

Air Hammer

Air hammer with quick change and chisel set.

Source: Amazon

An air hammer is going to be very helpful for the demolition process. Air hammers function like a normal handheld hammer in some ways, but they have additional functionalities. For instance, this air hammer that is being shown off here comes with a chisel set. This means that if you want to make the investment, you could use this air hammer to do the job of both the masonry chisel and the traditional hammer.

The convenience of having an air hammer available to you in undeniable. You will love being able to make short work of grout and not having to waste your energy. An air hammer can make these tasks very simple. You won’t have to worry about tiring out when using one of these, as they are very lightweight and simple to use.

You will be able to cut things really fast using this hammer. Getting right up to the corners of the tile will be fairly easy in most situations. Being able to cut right where you need to will make getting the tile up a lot simpler than it would otherwise be. You might be able to get a lot of the tile up cleanly.

The three chisel pieces that are included will work great for your purposes here. You’ll feel comfortable using it the entire time as well due to the ergonomic handle grip design. This is a durable tool that you can use for many years. It’s a worthy investment if you want to save yourself some time and hassle.

Jackhammer

Jackhammer in blue and black color.

Source: Lowes

Firstly, it should be noted that a jackhammer is not going to be well-suited to every type of tile removal job. It really depends on the type of tile that you are removing and how much space you have in the room. If you have enough space to use the jackhammer effectively, then this could save you a whole lot of time. A jackhammer is going to be capable of making short work of a tile removal job.

These are very powerful tools, and you will need to be careful with them. You don’t want to hurt the structure of the floor, so some caution needs to be used during the tile removal process. Regardless, if you are confident in your skills with a jackhammer, this could work out nicely. You’ll be able to get the job finished in a timely fashion and can move on to cleaning up sooner than expected.

It needs to be said that buying a jackhammer isn’t going to be simple. These tools are quite costly and may be prohibitively expensive for some people. You should expect to spend a sizable sum of money to buy one of these jackhammers. Owning one is definitely something that will prove to be useful, but it may not work well with many budgets.

The jackhammer being shown here has great shock reduction capabilities. It feels very comfortable to use while still being quite powerful. If you want to buy a jackhammer that is going to be as convenient as possible for you, then this one is definitely recommended. You will enjoy its overall versatility and will be able to make use of it for many years to come.

Demolition Fork

Demolition fork with yellow base and black handle grip.


Source: Amazon

In some situations, a demolition fork may prove to be more useful than a floor scraper. When you need to pull up tile, a demolition fork is going to be able to dig in and allow you to muscle it out. Most people decide to buy a demolition fork in addition to a normal floor scraper tool. Both tools are very useful for tile removal, and you’ll like having access to both of them.

You will be using this demolition fork like a pry bar, essentially. You position the demolition fork just right, and then use your arm strength and leverage to pry something free. This is going to be useful for much more than just tile removal. You’ll be able to use a demolition fork just about any time you have a project where you need to demolish things or remove large fixtures from a room.

This tool is made completely out of steel, meaning that it is very durable. You will be able to use your new demolition fork for many years, and it will be a reliable companion during demolition projects. Whether you are using it for flooring removal or wrecking something, it’s going to do its job well.

This particular demolition fork is forty-inches long. You can buy a version of this tool that is longer, as well. This should be long enough to work perfectly for a tile removal job, but use your discretion. Buy the best tool that will help you to complete your tile removal job.

Power Grout Removal Tool

Power grout removal tool.

Source: Amazon

Grout is one of the most annoying aspects of tile removal. The grout that a tile leaves behind on the floor can be a bit annoying to remove by hand. As mentioned earlier, many people use a masonry chisel to remove grout. Taking the time to painstakingly chisel out bits of grout can be time-consuming and a bit monotonous.

If you want to speed the process up significantly, then buying a grout removal tool is going to be in your best interests. You will be able to remove the grout a lot more quickly than you would with a masonry chisel. If you want to be able to get this done in a timely fashion, then buying a grout removal tool is your best bet. You’ll be able to complete your task and can be assured that the grout is being removed properly.

Sometimes these grout removal tools are referred to as multi-tools. They’re perfect for sanding or cutting drywall and wood as well. If you buy one of these, then it will be useful for several purposes. This makes it even more appealing as it has value outside of your tile removal job.

There are handheld grout removal tools that you can purchase. These will work well, but they won’t be as quick as the power tool being shown off here. If your aim is to save yourself some time and effort, then you will want to go with the power option. It’s simpler to use and will save you a lot of energy.

Wheelbarrow

New-looking wheelbarrow.

The wheelbarrow is necessary so that you will have something to put your debris into. You need to be able to dispose of tile and other debris that is created during the tile removal process. If you have a good wheelbarrow handy, then this is going to be easier than it would otherwise be. A wheelbarrow is more convenient than using a large garbage can or tote because it has wheels.

You could definitely just use a garbage can to throw your old tile away. The problem is that the garbage can is going to get pretty heavy after you have put a lot of tile inside of it. Using a wheelbarrow will work better because you will be able to wheel it wherever it needs to go. You don’t need to be concerned about it getting too heavy.

Admittedly, using a wheelbarrow inside of a house isn’t the most typical thing. Regardless, this is going to be the most convenient solution for getting rid of the tile. You will save your back a little bit of trauma by not having to lift a heavy garbage can or tote. Protecting your well-being is important, so make the right decision and purchase a wheelbarrow.

You may already have a wheelbarrow that you could use for this purpose. If you don’t, then they are readily available just about anywhere. The wheelbarrow being shown here is cost-effective and can be used for many different things. You’ll find uses for this throughout the years, and it’ll make the cleanup process for your tile removal job a lot simpler.

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles in transparent.

Buying safety goggles for your tile removal job is a smart idea. If you plan on working with power tools, then you’re going to want to protect yourself. The potential for getting injured is high if you do not take the proper precautions. Using a jackhammer could cause pieces of tile to fly up in the air, and you do not want your eyes to be injured.

This is going to be one of the least expensive tools that you will be purchasing for this job. It is affordable to get safety equipment, and it will keep you safe. Wear your safety goggles at all times during the process for the best results. This will prevent you from suffering any eye injuries, and you will only be spending a small amount of money for this peace of mind.

Work Gloves

Work gloves in black, grey and yellow colors.


Buying a good set of work gloves is imperative if you plan on swinging a sledgehammer. Working with tools like this without wearing the proper gloves can be tough. You will wind up hurting your hands and chafing them pretty severely by the time the work is done. Gloves also protect your hands from being injured, so you can avoid little cuts and scrapes.

Work gloves aren’t cumbersome to use, either. You will be able to buy a pair of gloves that don’t limit your dexterity in any way. You won’t have any difficulties manipulating the tools that you need to use while you’re wearing the gloves. It’s important to keep your hands safe because you’re going to be using them a lot during this process.

Safety Mask

White safety mask.

It’s smart to buy one of these safety masks because you will be creating dust when smashing up the tile. You don’t want to breathe this stuff in. It has the potential to make you sick, and it is definitely not good for your lungs to be breathing in dust particles like that. A safety mask is a simple way to keep yourself safe.

The safety mask is really easy to put on. It will cover your nose and your mouth without making it difficult for you to breathe. Some people don’t like wearing these as they don’t find them to be comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative. If wearing a mask can help to keep you protected from breathing in things that you aren’t supposed to, then you need to put up with wearing it for the duration of the project.

Noise-canceling Headphones

Black noise-canceling headphones.

Source: Amazon

Using power tools such as the jackhammer will make a lot of noise. Your ears are very sensitive to noise levels that are this high, and you don’t want to injure yourself. Your hearing is a precious thing, and taking precautions to safeguard it is the smart move to make. Buying noise-canceling headphones to wear while you’re using the jackhammer is the best thing that you can do.

These noise-canceling headphones will be useful for other projects, too. Whenever you are using a power tool that creates a lot of noise, you will be able to wear these headphones to save yourself from the potential ear trauma. It’s a simple way to ensure that your hearing won’t be negatively impacted while you’re doing jobs like this. The headphones can be a bit pricey, but they are worth it to not have to deal with hearing problems later on in life.








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