how removing tile and clean grout and mortar on them

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Old 10-09-11, 09:54 AM
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how removing tile and clean grout and mortar on them

Hello everyone,

I have serious problem w/ my tile floor. There is a small area on a larger floor where about 12 tiles are "popping up". We can hear a hollow sound when we walk on them. What is causing this could be water coming from outside under the door next to the tile area.

The tiles are 10 years old thus I don't expect to find them at the store anymore. This forces me to carefully remove them, clean them up to put them back in place. They are part of a larger area thus breaking them will be a disaster as I would have re tile the entire area.

I am familiar w/ tiling floor but need some tips on how to remove the current tile w/o breaking them, clean up the old grout and mortar on them to reuse them. Are there tools or products you could recommend to make this task easier?

Many thanks
Jim
 
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Old 10-09-11, 10:41 AM
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1. Were the tiles placed with thinset mortar or adhesive?
2. Is there backer board or just wooden subfloor immediately beneath them?
3. Why do you suspect water? Are there signs of infiltration?

There is a number of ways to do a partial replacement that would be attractive. First, it is necessary to know where the tiles are coming loose relative to the location of the door.If it is happening right inside the door, I would remove enough tiles to create a centered (on the door) "landing area", then replace them with a contrasting color to make an accent. You could also put a border around this area using smaller tiles. It also wouldn't do harm to rotate the replacement tiles 45 degrees. Any of these methods will obscure the fact that folks are looking at a repair.

However, all of this will be wasted effort if the tiles weren't originally installed with backerboard because this installation will likely not last as long as the first.

Let us know what you're dealing with and maybe we can come up with more options.

Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 02:15 PM
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Thank you for you reply tldoug.

The lose tiles are right in from of the door. Since I am not the original owner, I do not know what was used (thinset or mortar). Since my last post, I managed to remove 1 tile w/ a "saw blade" handtool to cut off the grout. Once the grout is removed it wasn't hard to lift the tile as it is completely lose from the floor.

The tile are set directly on a concrete floor. That is good news since I don't have to worry about the backer board problem as you warned. Seeing the floor, I am still not certain what caused this. But dry thinset could very well be the case. The thinset is now a crispy layer that is neither connected to the tile nor to the floor. It makes it easy to clean the floor and the tile is reusable.

I did notice the number of lose tiles increased in the past few months which leads me to believe may be recent water leak into the floor. It's spreading toward inside. It could also be dry original thinset but I suspect it would probably happen all at once instead of spreading.

There is a black/dark color on one side of the thinset (the side facing the floor) while the other side is white. I hope this is not black mold.

I was thinking of using a dremel rotating or oscillation tool (which is better??). Using my had tool would take very long to remove them all. Any good method to clean the grout and thisset from the tile?

Many thanks
Jim

I am attaching few pictures for more visual details.

The thinset is loose on both sides:
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...373_resize.JPG
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...374_resize.JPG

This is how lift up (camber) it is:
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...376_resize.JPG

They are right in front of the door
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...377_resize.JPG
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...378_resize.JPG

The black color on the mortar/thiset facing the concrete floor
http://test-witty.no-ip.org/images/0...379_resize.JPG
 
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