What's the best way to remove an old dining room and kitchen floor?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ June 16, 2010 ~ No Comments

In my dining room I have old tile flooring (about 12x12) that meets the oak wood living room floor, flushed. This was put down in 1961. Any suggestions on how to remove this old floor safely and easily?

Concord, Nebraska ~ Jo

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Jo, Taking up tile is a tough, dirty job, but it can be done. The first question is whether the 12 x 12 tile you need to remove is ceramic or vinyl? Either way you are going to need to close off the area where the tile is located to reduce dust and debris from carrying throughout your house, but if it's vinyl tile you may need to bring in an asbestos removal contractor.

First we'll discuss removing ceramic tile. If the ceramic is flush with the hardwood, then the bedding material isn't too thick unless the subfloor was dropped, which I doubt. After closing the other rooms off, and using eye and ear protection, I would use a small electric jackhammer with a flat blade. You can rent them at tool rental shops, I'm sure there would be some around Concord, Nebraska. Once you start removing tiles you may be able to switch over to a flat chisel such as a brick chisel and a hammer, or even a square edged shovel to remove the tiles. Those would be a little easier on your ears.

Removing the tiles is actually the easy part, removal of the adhesive is when it can get tough. Flooring and tile stores usually sell an adhesive solvent which can be used with a floor scraper to remove the glue. Depending on the solvent you may want to wear a respirator while doing this. Hopefully it is a fairly small area as this is a labor intensive job. I have tried using an angle grinder for this in the past, but the glue and solvent just gummed up the discs and I found that the scraper worked better.

Okay, now we'll discuss vinyl floor tiles. If your tile floor is flush with the hardwood floor, I doubt that you have vinyl tiles, but stranger things have happened in the construction business. It could be that you have a vinyl tile floor that has been installed over other vinyl tile floors. If you do have a vinyl tile floor, you should be aware that many of the old floors of that era contained asbestos. If the tiles are not crumbling, they may be able to be removed safely, but I would recommend having an asbestos removal contractor take a look at it before you do any removal. There is no sense in taking any chances, especially if you have young children.

If the vinyl flooring is not asbestos, or it is determined that you can safely remove it yourself, then I would use the same process as removing ceramic tile. The one difference might be to use a floor scraper to remove the tiles rather than the electric jackhammer.

No Responses to “What's the best way to remove an old dining room and kitchen floor?”