Removing kitchen tile floor for laminate....

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Old 10-26-13, 07:40 PM
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Removing kitchen tile floor for laminate....

Putting in high quality laminate flooring thru most of the house during a remodel; kitchen included. The kitchen currently has 12x12 ceramic tile; fully understand that this will be a considerable undertaking, but looking for any recommendations for removing the thinset. I have two air hammers (small, hand drill size), but I'm thinking that I'll need to go to a rental center for something bigger...? Lastly, we got a recommendation for putting a compound called Dead Level...pour it over and it just makes a new level surface; the problem with that is that now we'd be at least 1/4" higher than the rest of the concrete floor. Any help is most welcomed.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 12:09 AM
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Are you sure about this? Laminates going to do nothing to increase the value of the home.
I'd never suggest using laminate in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.
I've had to remove several in kitchens, all from moisture damage.
Even laminate on a slab can have moisture issues. Make sure you use a vapor barrier and glue the seams if you do use laminate.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 05:19 AM
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Is the tile in the kitchen "that" bad? I'll have to concur with Joe regarding laminate in a potentially wet area. Not a good idea. Laminate, in and of itself, is not a great idea, anyway, as it is only MDF with a picture of wood on top and an aluminum oxide finish. Very susceptible to moisture. Engineered flooring would be a better choice, if you really want to add to the house's value.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 07:03 AM
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Thank you both for your substantial replies. We shared your concerns as we looked into this. At this point, all I can say is that the laminate is from a high end manufacturer, sold and installed by a local business that has been here for some 35 years and has sold this particular laminate into some of the finest local homes. We spent alot of time reviewing, consulting, and even visiting homes with same. I do appreciate your words of caution. I was asking about the tile removal; I see many grinder tools on youtube that grind off and vacuum up the thinset, but can't find where to buy or rent same. Was just wanting any recommendations on what works to get thinset up; I suspect aLOT of physical work.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 07:16 AM
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How old is the house and what is the approx. age of the tile install? I gather it is on a concrete slab? Does it look professionally installed or do you think it was a DIY install? You can usually tell based on if there is uneven grout lines and minor lippage where the tiles do not set level with the adjacent tile. Can you tell what color the mortar used to hold the tile down is?

The reason for all the questions is that it may come up easier than you think. If the wrong type of thinset or mastic was used, it may very well just pop off the concrete relatively cleanly. It is also possible that someone installed it over vinyl and that would be an even bigger plus for you as you would only need hand tools to remove. If you are dead set on removing the tile, then take a couple of whacks at it with a cold chisel and a hammer. Crack the first tile in the middle with your hammer and work out toward the edges. Subsequent tiles can be attacked by trying to get the chisel under the edge to pry up as you hammer away.

If all releases well, then no need to waste money on a rental. If its a bear, check back and we will scratch heads together.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 07:29 AM
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I'm sure you're aware of this, but I'll add it for possible future readers...

If you're going to try the hammer and cold chisel route, don't trust the safety squint! Wear safety glasses.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 08:11 AM
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Wildbill....yes SIR...as a 50 yr old aviator, I've taken to wearing safety glasses w/ readers in them just to see the gauges....but I do wear them to work as well; thank you.

Czizzi..the home was built in 1995, tile was professionally done; clean even lines and nice cuts. It's an almond color that the household commander loathes. The tile is on nicely finished smooth concrete. I whacked an edge piece near mud room; at least on that edge, it didn't wanna come up easily; only half came up. The thinset below was significant. I intend to call tile stores in the next city over (larger) and ask if there any companies who do tile removal; I see some on internet, but they're all in the W and SW. Thank you for helping me.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 12:05 PM
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Was afraid of that..... I always say that I wouldn't want to be the one to have to tear out one of my installs. If done right, it should be a bear to remove.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 12:36 PM
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I'll get it done; somehow.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 01:41 PM
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There are lots of machines to remove thinset, a local rental store should have them. One of the most common is a "scrape away" head that fits on a floor buffer, but if your not doing a complete gut on your kitchen, you could easily damage cabinets and door jambs..they are dusty too. I use a electric demo hammer to remove tile, then float over the old thinset with a slurry of self leveling concrete. Could that work in your situation? With your laminate you should be at the same hieght as the original floor. As you mentioned, a reputable flooring store should know of or have thinset removal companies.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 05:52 PM
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Tile guy..PM sent your way.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 12:53 PM
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Tile removal

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I don't believe you will be able to rent a grinder similar to what we use and the tooling likely won't work well. Also the vacuums we use are very efficient to keep up with the dust.

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I don't say this to discourage you from looking, but it might save you some time. A chipping hammer may be your best option.

Jesse
 
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Old 11-05-13, 06:37 PM
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Update

I've removed the tile around the fireplace and half of the kitchen referenced in my post. I hit tile with a 7lb sledge and for the most part, the thinset is coming up with the tile. What remains are a few ridges of the thinset. I spray them with water at least three times (it's very absorbent) and it's coming up easily with an airhammer with a 2" chisel. Yeah, I'm still on my knees and it's a little time consuming, but it's coming up. The local HomeDepot has a hand grinder with a diamond disc that will get up the rest. THANK YOU all for the replies! We're thinking about keeping the 8' x 14' area tiled that is at the stove and food prep areas. My beloved HATES the almond color; I'm researching painting the tile. I'll post a thread to that subject here, now. --Bryant
 
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Old 11-10-13, 01:24 PM
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Update #2.

A summary of taking up professionally installed 12"x12" kitchen tile (interpreted as FULL thinset coverage): as earlier posted, a 7lb sledge did the trick for breaking it up; I think that the concussion from the sledge blow lifted most of the thinset. What was left, I "thought" I could get up with my airhammers and a 2" spade chisel; while that worked, it's size and required hand pressure made it seem to be quite dooming. Enter a rental from HD....a Makita electric, variable speed demolition hammer with a 6" spade chisel tip that was about 28" long...so I was nearly standing. WET even SOAK the thinset; I let it stand wet for about 15 minutes per section. Slow? Yes? But it was managable. The kitchen is 9' by nearly 14'....it took about 5 hours with frequent breaks. I hope to NEVER do this again, but share only to suggest that it can be done.
 
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