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Tool Talk Discussion Board

Re: Removing Ceramic Tile

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Posted by Pops1532 on December 10, 2012 at 16:56:53 from (

In Reply to: Removing Ceramic Tile posted by Dick J on December 10, 2012 at 10:37:09:

Use a 2" wide wood chisel to remove the tile. Don't pound on the tile. Drive the chisel under the tile. When it's set on plywood usually pops right off. Plywood is generally a bad underlayment for ceramic.

If you need to remove the plywood it won't be too hard. It may pull a little veneer off the sheathing. No big deal. If it pulls a lot of it off just patch it with something like Durham's Rock Hard water putty (paint dept. at Lowes).

Use 1/4 or 1/2 cement board underlayment. It's sold under names like Hardi-Backer.

The instructions actually say to set the underlayment in thinset. Who follows the directions? I use construction adhesive and screws. You want to eliminate as much movement as possible. With 1/2" underlayment I'll put screws every 4" around the perimeter of each sheet, and 8" both directions in the field. 1/4" will get 2 1/2" around the perimeter and 6" in the field. (UD, I know you think that's overkill but I know guys that do 4" in the field).

My concern is not for the guy that tears out my work. My concern is that what my customer pays me to do lasts a very long time.

UD, getting a little OT here.....what gets me riled is when I tear out a floor that has vinyl on 1/4" lauan over vinyl on lauan, over vinyl on lauan. Each layer with staples or nails every 4".


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