Removing Ceramic Tile on Backerboard

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Old 12-19-10, 06:39 PM
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Removing Ceramic Tile on Backerboard

So, I am not happy with the way my kitchen floor came out. (my own fault)

I want to remove the tile and either put down new tile or put down a laminate floor.

Here's the problem, when I demo'd the kitchen, I morted the hardiBacker board and screwed it down to the subfloor. Then I tiled the kitchen floor and then installed the cabinets.

So, here in the lies the problem, the tile and the backerboard go underneath the cabinets.

Will I just be able to rip the ceramic tiles off and re-tile or will I need to rip the entire floor up and start from scratch?

The biggest challenge is what do I do when I reach the bottom of the cabinets?

Basically, I made a real mess of my DIY and I'm sick of looking at it and want to fix it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated it.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 07:07 PM
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It is highly likely you won't be able to remove the tile and leave a substrate that you can retile over. What did you do that is so horrible? Can you post pictures on a site such as photobucket.com and copy/paste the IMG code to your reply post? How long has the tile been down?
 
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Old 12-19-10, 07:19 PM
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Well it's not as bad as I have made it seems.. I have like three noticable high spots, but I brought a professional tiler in and see if he could fix just the high tiles and he said it will be a cascading effect. The problem is that I used 1/2" trowel and the tiles were 12" and I just put way to much thinset down.

I wish I had an easy fix.. I figured laminate flooring would be easy but then what do I do for the high spots and the transition to wood floor.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 06:13 AM
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I see. Yeah your trowel was too big. A 2' level is your best friend when laying tile to keep things in perspective. Laying a laminate over the tiles is not an option if that is what you planned. You will need to remove not only the tile, but the cbu as well in order to lay the laminate, since your surface won't be smooth enough to handle the laminate.
How big an area are we talking? Do you want to reinstall your tile? I believe you can do it if you remove the tile with a tile breaker. It is a long red handled scraper looking thing with a black blade about 9" wide on the bottom. With your 1/2" of thinset, you may have enough looseness in the thinset to accomplish it. Give it a try first. No first, send us some pictures.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 11:42 AM
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Chandler -

Thanks for the advice.. My only problem is what do I do when I reach the tiles that are under the 1/2 under cabinet and 1/2 out. For example, 13" tile, 6" under 6" out into the kitchen...

Also, do you think I will be able to take the tiles up and just relay tiles over the concrete board or no? Or do I have to cut out the entire CBU? (Which is thinset't and screwed as per MFG instructures.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 03:06 PM
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There is no easy way to undo what you have done. If you are going to remove the tile, you are going to have to remove the countertops and base cabinets. It is unlikely that you will be able to salvage the cement board underlayment, as chunks of it will be removed during demolition. You might wanna consider keeping what you have.

I have like three noticable high spots, but I brought a professional tiler in and see if he could fix just the high tiles and he said it will be a cascading effect. The problem is that I used 1/2" trowel and the tiles were 12" and I just put way to much thinset down.
Depending on the tile and the substrate, it's not all that uncommon that you might need to use a 1/2" notched trowel for 12" tile. If you have 3 highspots that need fixing, perhaps you could remove the offending tiles and reset them such that it might be less noticable. Make sure you remove all the grout around the tiles to be removed before you attempt to remove the tile. Remove all the thinset down to the cement board, trying to do as minimal a damage to the cement board as possible. Fill in any major divots in the cement board with thinset or medium bed mortar to try and get it flat. Reset the tiles with thinset taking care to make sure that they are on plane with the surrounding tiles as best as possible. Don't skimp on the thinset, make sure that the tiles are fully supported. You may not be able to get them perfect, but perhaps you can get them to be "more acceptable" to you. Pictures of what you have, including some close ups from side angles might be helpful.
 

Last edited by HeresJohnny; 12-20-10 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 12-20-10, 03:16 PM
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HJ -

As always thanks for the advice, I will not be ripping up the cabinets, the granite and the backsplash all because I don't like the way I put the floor down.. Believe me, I'm fuming about it, but I only have myself to blame.

I plan on taking pictures later today and posting them up there so you can see my frustration.

It's really just three tiles that are driving me crazy!

I wish I could hire an expert in NJ to fix this for me
 
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Old 12-20-10, 03:20 PM
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And, just to clarify, for Laminate, I was referring to Laminate floating floor.. I wouldn't be objected to putting down a floating floor overtop of my mess
 
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Old 12-20-10, 06:32 PM
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I would, especially if you have any boogers in the floor, which you said was the main reason for the R&R. Laminate must have a reasonably flat substrate or it will break.
Like Johnny said, remove the 3 tiles and reset them using a flat edge to keep them in line with the adjoining ones. It is done all the time. I have one I installed next to my dishwasher that is "up" a little on one edge. Drives me crazy when I run my bare foot across it. You can't see it generally, and even my wife doesn't see it, but I know it's there!! I'll fix it right after I split the cord of wood, clean up the barn, fix my Volvo, and a thousand other things.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 04:35 PM
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Sorry took so long

Hey Guys, sorry it took so long to get the pictures updated.



Below is finished floor


Highspot by fridge. sorry blurry


High Spot by stove3


Close up




As you can see the tiles are up a little... Wish I could do something..

If you need more pics let me know
 
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Old 01-05-11, 07:32 PM
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Leave it alone or just rip up the high ones and reset them

At least from the pictures, this looks pretty good to me
 
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Old 01-06-11, 05:53 AM
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I agree with Mitch, since it it only in front of the stove, leave it or replace it. Don't do a wholesale rip out, however. The job looks good.
PS, the one I mentioned in my earlier post is almost exactly the same. It's staying....I decided and I haven't been vetoed, yet.
 
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