Removing Ceramic Tile From Terazzo


Old 07-12-03, 10:14 AM
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Question Removing Ceramic Tile From Terazzo

My wife has decided (and already purchased) Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) to put down where we currently have some 20 year old ceramic tile. The ceramic tile is over terazzo. I think the terazzo is a couple of inches thick and has concrete under it. We have somewhere in the neighboorhood of 400 or 500 square feet to do.

So we have to remove the ceramic tile from the terazzo and then smooth out the terazzo enough to put the VCT down. Hopefully I can use some sort of self levelling stuff.

The VCT is somewhat flexible and will therefor show a bump wherever a piece of debris is under it. So the floor will have to be fairly level and very clean of debris.

So I'm looking for advice on taking the tile up as fast and clean as possible (water to keep the dust down?) and advice on levelling the remaining terazzo floor in order to put down the VCT.

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Old 07-12-03, 10:20 AM
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blood sweat and tears come to mind what you'll need to do is get a small hilti or bosch jackhammer and and remove the tile that way.Try not to dig into the terrazzo with the blade,hopefully it will come up easily without too much damage to the terrazzo,what you use to fix the terrazzo will be determined by how the tile comes up ,get back to us and let us know how bad it is
Old 07-12-03, 10:37 AM
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How bad the work is, or how bad the terazzo looks? LOL
OK, I know I'm in for trouble. I took next week off work to do this job. I hope it's enough time!
Old 07-12-03, 02:00 PM
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how bad the terrazzo is after removal of the tile it may come up easy it may not
Old 07-14-03, 08:41 PM
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Well, the tile is up. It went very well after I got some decent equipment.
Started the day off with a hitachi demo hammer and 5" bit. Not sure of the model. The 5" bit was very dull, but that wasn't the only problem. What I call the head of the hammer is held on by 4 bolts. I don't know if two were missing or vibrated out, but 15 minutes into the job, the final two came loose. It looks like they were stripped by the force of the hammer. So the whole head piece came off the body of the thing. Took it back, got another. About an hour of use later, this one's lower handle broke. Looks like one of the two bolts holding it on had vibrated out without me realizing it. Took it back and the rental shop was out of demo hammers! They were either renting garbage, not tightening their bolts after mantainance or both. The demo was going fairly slowly with this equipment anyway. Since I had put as much time in driving back and forth to the rental store as actually trying to use their tool, I was not about to pay them the "minimum rental fee of $24" that they told me they had to charge me. That is still unresolved although they will not get any money out of me for this fiasco. These hammers are supposed to be built to demo concrete slabs, and my ceramic tile is not that tough. (Sorry if you disagree, but the way I see it, its their job to make sure their equip is going out the door ready to use)

So that was my attempt to support the local small guy. On to Home Depot. Rented a HILTI 905 and let me tell you that is a beautiful demo hammer. It made the job so easy I couldn't believe it. I'd like to have one of those if I had an extra $1400 laying around!

The tile was not well bonded to the terazzo. The hammer was able to take the tile and just about all of the thinset right off. We will go over it with a hand scraper to take off the remaining thinset. The terazzo was hardly scratched. So it is going well. Even got the HILTI back to HD in time for the 4 hour rental fee rather than the whole day...
Old 07-16-03, 05:51 PM
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those are wonderful tools are'nt they?sometimes the tile is just kinda laying there an just needs a little nudge to break it loose ,glad it came ok for ya after the rental deal,afraid i'd have to agree with ya on the tools falling a part they need to get a new maintainance man sounds like.Finish scaoing what ever is lft on there and then go over the floor and fill in any holes or divits in the terrazzo with floor patch,scrape flat ,sweep and glue
Old 07-18-03, 03:17 PM
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Wife changed her mind, now we're going to do ceramic tile. LOL
Guess I have some reading to do...

Any good step by step links for laying ceramic floor tile would be appreciated. Have about 550 sf to put down.


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