Remodeling: ceramic tile/cement board removal


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Old 11-25-17, 01:38 PM
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Remodeling: ceramic tile/cement board removal

We're remodeling our master bathroom and changing the floor tile. I've started removing the 6x6 tile and most of it is not popping up easily (nor would I expect it to). The cement board is also popping out in the process. I'm using a hammer and masons chisel to (very very very) slowly remove the tile. I can't imangine professionals doing this, it's taking much to long.
Is there some other tool/technique I should be using to remove the old tile?

I also suppose that I glue the cement board to the sub floor orginally. Any hints on how to get the board up cleanly without damaging the subfloor beyond repair?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-25-17, 01:56 PM
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I use a straight hoe so I can work while standing up but it only works on tiles that pop reasonably easily. For harder tiles I use a broad flat chisel tool in a hammer drill set to hammer only.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:14 PM
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Demo hammer drill with a tile bit. You will damage the cement board to some extent and will have mortar trowel ridges to contend with. You then have to build up the cement board base to be sturdy enough to take another layer of tile. Sharing pics of what you are getting with your technique would be helpful.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:33 PM
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I would second what czizzi said. A rotary hammer set on chisel, with a wide sds chipping chisel.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:33 PM
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Remodeling: ceramic tile/cement board removal

The hoe idea is good assuming the tile would pop off but few have so far.
My technique is a framing hammer and mason chisel. I may go to harbor freight and get a chisel for my impact drill (assuming that's powerful enough to do something). If that's not good enough I may get a demo hammer. Most things ere are good enough for occasional use.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:36 PM
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You might have more success chipping in the same direction the thinset has been trowelled... rather than perpendicular to it.

An air chisel might also work, but they use a LOT of air.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:37 PM
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czizzi -- are you saying that cement board doesn't have to be pulled up? (That'd be great. ) Repairing divots would be done with what? Thinset or what? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:38 PM
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If the tile is that hard to pop off, you might want to hit it with a sledge first. Take a heavy sledge and just "tap" the tile heavily everywhere.
You will be picking up shards, but even a demo hammer doesn't work always, it takes brute force.

Tearing out tile is no fun, I do it about once a week. I have a Makita Rotary/Chipping Hammer but rarely use it, it's hard to get under the tile in some cases.
I don't think you will damage the subfloor beyond repair, drywall yes.

Once you get down to the thinset you can use a 4" or wider scraper (razor) to clean the floor.
 

Last edited by Handyone; 11-25-17 at 02:41 PM. Reason: I posted before seeing pictures and other reposnses. It will come out one way or the other :)
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Old 11-25-17, 02:42 PM
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handyone -- I'll try the brute force method with my 5lb. hammer -- not a sledge ,but... if that's not good enough I'll get my log splitter ax out.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 02:48 PM
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All depends on how damaged the cement board is after completion of the tile extraction. From the looks of your picture, there are mortar trowel ridges that say that most of the cement board is fine. Use one of the techniques discussed to get rid of the tile. We can access the state of the cement board after you have completed that phase. And, Yes we can preserve the cement base.
 
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Old 11-25-17, 03:02 PM
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Ok. Iíll update once the tile is removed. Thx
 
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Old 11-26-17, 10:25 AM
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Remodeling: ceramic tile/cement board removal -- Stage 2

Most of the tile is removed. There's some places that the cement board is damaged at various locations,
1. I assume the remaining mortar has to be removed. Is there a good method to do this besides pounding/chiseling the crap out of it?
2. Can the divots in the cement board be filled with mastic or should/must mortar be used?
3. Should the cement board be replaced completely? If so should something else be used instead?
Thanks for the help
 
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Old 11-26-17, 10:54 AM
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Happy Chiseling!....To get the rest of the mortar off, use a 3" stiff putty knife and a hammer. Chip perpendicular to the trowel lines an it should pop off. Slow work, yes, but will save some prep in the end. For repair, use a self leveling primer over the whole floor and then Self leveling cement and trowel to a smooth flat finish. Leave all mesh in place and add some where it has been lost. Do not use mastic or anything else that sits premixed in a bucket for years. Use self leveling from a powder but be sure to prime it first. If you don't want to chip away, you could float the whole floor with SLC. You will need to chip any residual tile away as these would be high spots on the floor that would create issues when you go to lay new tile.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 11:37 AM
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yeah -- lots of chiseling ---I'm glad I have some time before the plumber is coming. Looks like I have a project for awhile. What's SLC?
thx
 
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Old 11-26-17, 12:00 PM
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Self Leveling Compound - SLC. Found in the tile section with the other mortars.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 12:04 PM
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SLC is the self leveling cement Czizzi referred to, it will fill and level the floor.
For me I would just remove the cement board, I think it would be less work and give you a new surface to work with.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 04:26 PM
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And the god of Mortarimus and princess of groutii smiled down upon the small bathroom and said, "let it be so", and it was.
Once I determined that I didn't secure the cement board to the subfloor with adhesive there really wasn't a question of what I'd do.
I feel much better now.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 04:44 PM
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To correct you, the tile gods had you covered. It is not always this easy
 
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Old 11-26-17, 04:56 PM
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Ah, a pristine floor... ready for new cement board. 1/4 Hardie set in a mortar bed screwed down will make an excellent bonding surface for your new tile. Make sure you tape and mud the seams. Let us know if additional information is needed.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 05:08 PM
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You might want to verify the thickness of that plywood subfloor before you proclaim it "ready"..
 
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Old 11-26-17, 05:30 PM
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-- Ahh -- yeah it's plywood :| I'll check the thickness tomorrow. I was lazy and bought premixed mastic --- I assume this shouldn't be used to bond the cement board to the subfloor. Maybe I need to take the mastic back and get mortar for everything since the tiles are 6x24.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 06:16 PM
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Premixed mastic is not good for anything.
 
 

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