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Floor Tile Question

MChat

AzWebMan
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When my wife and I bought our current house we weren't too thrilled with the saltillo tile that was used, but we figured we could eventually replace it. After we moved in we were talking to our neighbor about doing just that and he informed us that the semi-custom builder that built our houses didn't use grout between the tiles, but concrete instead and thus would be a real PITA to remove the saltillo tile.

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I'm trying to come up with options to deal with this and still get the tile my wife and I actually want in the house. I'm a software developer and public speaker... I've done tilework before (backsplashes and such) but nothing like this. On some of the HGTV home flipping shows I've seen them use a "leveling" cement to make a floor level, could this be used on top of the saltillo tiles to give me a flat surface (I'd still have to do something with the transition from tile to carpet, as the new tile would be noticeably higher. Or could I remove the tiles and knock down as much of the "grout" as possible and then use the leveling cement?

I really don't like the tiles we have and they drive my wife nuts as even when they're clean the floor looks dirty.


Suggestions?
 

Provience

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concrete is grout but with more agg in it, concrete wouldn't look like grout.

buy or rent a chisel, even a 1/2" hammer/drill would probably be fine, chisel up everything that is there and try to get it flatish by removing the things on top of the slab, then put your skim coat or self leveler or just use the same mortar you'd use for tile depending on how fucked up the subfloor is after removing the tiles.
 

WaterH

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If the tiles are solid, I don't see why you couldn't tile and carpet over them. I have tile to carpet from an entrance way to the living room and the transition is no big deal.
 

Johann

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I'm not an expert but learned a bunch with a forced remodel after a pipe burst.

You can either demo it all down to the subfloor or you can build it up with with a new layer of essentially subfloor for whatever you put on top. The big problem with the second option is the height change with adjacent surfaces. You can use threshold molding to bridge that change but I generally prefer everything is close to the same level as possible.
 

Boss

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The grout/cement is the least of your issues. No difference to demo.
 

Johann

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The grout/cement is the least of your issues. No difference to demo.

No kidding, once you are swinging a ten pound sledgehammer it's all rubble. :laughing:

Unless construction adhesive is involved. That stuff is the devil.
 

MChat

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Ok. Looks like ripping up a tile or two in the laundry room closet is in order to figure out just how much work this is going to be. I figure I can at least get the old stuff out of the way, it should save on the labor cost. Doing 1000 sqft of floor is a bit more than a kitchen back-splash, and I'd rather it be a 10 day project than a 10 month project :D
 

Provience

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Ok. Looks like ripping up a tile or two in the laundry room closet is in order to figure out just how much work this is going to be. I figure I can at least get the old stuff out of the way, it should save on the labor cost. Doing 1000 sqft of floor is a bit more than a kitchen back-splash, and I'd rather it be a 10 day project than a 10 month project :D

srsly rent a demo hammer, then you just sit there and hang on and drive it through everything
 

BustedCrank

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^^What he said.

It'll come up pretty easily with a demo hammer.

Be sure and use plastic or some other means to block off the rest of the house, it's gonna get dusty!

My first tile floor I put in was about 700sqft worth. Took us about a week. Started Friday night ripping stuff up. Had it all put back together by the next weekend.
 

McCracken

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If it were me I'd get the demo chisel and get to laying hell to it. Depending on what you want to go back with will determine next steps. I prefer to have everything on the same level. Raising the floor level up is just another pain in the ass that results in more work IMO (base board moulding, transition strips, etc.). We decided to go with that wood looking tile that was about 2' long and 6" wide. That shit does not like unlevel ground. I ended up pouring a leveling compound out and trying my best to get it to level. Then I went over that with Ditra and laid the tile. If you're looking to go back with square tile (12" or less) I wouldn't sweat it that much. Most of that can be floated out with the mortar. They make these badass levelers that can help. You put them under the edges and lay all your tile down. Once the tiles are set, you go back and break them all off with a hammer and then spread your grout. Pretty trick for large areas.
 

4xfiend

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X whatever on a demo hammer with a flat chisel.

I've demoed more tile floors than I care to count (commercial construction) and every single one was done with them.

Wear a respirator or spray the area down with water for the dust. Silica dust is no bueno.
 

billdacat

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Does that saltillo tile look bad? I was considering satillo installed in my home, but the cost and yearly upkeep killed that idea in a New York moment. I actually went with a satillo knock off tile. IMHO: Back the truck up and see if the satillo is of more value then what you intend to replace it with.
 

infernozx

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I just did this. Rented a milfucky hammer drill thing. the bigger one. I think it was called SDS. Did about 110sqft, took about an hour to kock out all the tiles, and go back around to get any little thinset pieces left over.

Then I swept up, and started laying my new tiles.
 

Pony_Driver

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Demo hammer and a squirrel cage fan to suck the debris out of the room. I renovated a bathroom and it was a life saver to have that fan in the window sucking all of the dust and debris out as I was working. I still had to wear a respirator, but it kept everything else bearable.
 

pcorssmit

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I recently took out the old 16" square ceramic tiles in our kitchen & dining rooms. I bought one of these pneumatic scrapers from Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/42-in-...per-62687.html I used a coupon and got it for $100 + tax. It cost me about the same as it would have to rent the demo equipment from Home Depot. I figured if it worked, it'd have a new tool to keep, and if it sucked, I'd take it back and go rent from HD. The air scraper worked great for breaking up & removing the old tile. I had wonder board under the tile that was thinset and nailed to the plywood subfloor. The air scraper worked on the wonder board too, but in the end I found that a flat shovel worked best. By the end of the project, I was pulling up whole 3 x 5 sheets with the shovel.

And definitely plastic off the rest of the house, use a fan, get a good mask/respirator, and hearing protection.

Pete
 

Wess757

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A SDS rotary hammer is my first choice. If you want to save a few bucks one of those cheap air chisels from HF work alright. Getting the tile up is the easy part, the difficult part is getting all of the thinset off the subfloor. Like others have said fans and dust mask/respirator is needed. Silicosis is not something you want.
 

Void_of_Light

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I've removed lots of tile with a rented air chisel. The kind that you can stand up while using. My 60 gallon compressor was just barely big enough to run it. If you don't have a huge compressor, look into the electric hammer.
 

M92PV4U

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My brother in law used this from harbor freight to remove the tile in his house. He also bought the wider bit for it. He replaced the flooring with laminate.
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infernozx

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1120kg (appx 2500 bricks of butter for the americans) of tile. The truck wasn't happy, and the dump scale lady thought her scale was acting up.

2ft by 2ft tiles, a mix of thinset, adhesive, and pl premium holding it down, chipped up and dragged out of the house in 6 hours.

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