If you are interested in remodeling a bathroom in your home, one of the most common places to start is with the tiling. Tile is an effective material for bathrooms because it's easy to clean, hygienic and resistant to humidity and moisture. However, even the best tiles will eventually need to be replaced. A new bathroom floor can breathe new life into the space, and it even has the potential to raise the overall value of the home. Here is a DIY guide to removing bathroom ceramic tile on your own.
The first step has little to do with the tiles, but it ensures that you will be comfortable while you work. You will want to take out anything that can be removed, and that includes toilets and even freestanding cabinetry. It is also important to turn off the water mains so that there is no chance of flooding as you remove the bathroom tiles. Once the area is ready, then you can begin with the steps below.
The first tile is generally the hardest to remove. Pick a tile in the center of the room to start with, and use a utility knife to scrape the grout out from around a tile. Using a putty knife or a solid trowel, try to gain some traction underneath the tile and pry it off. Take it slow, and don't be surprised if it takes a few minutes. It is important to start off on the right foot with this single tile.
From the first tile that was removed, you will want to work your way out by removing one tile at a time. Again, the best tools for the job will be a simple putty knife. You will want to wiggle it underneath a tile, lift up to get leverage and wait for it to crack, break or come off in a single piece. Don't try to salvage whole tiles, which is nearly impossible for this kind of project. Expect many of the tiles to break, and keep a bucket on hand to deposit the tiles and avoid an injury from the sharp edges.
You can remove ceramic tiles from the bathroom floor with just a putty knife, but other tools can make the job easier. A mounted scraper on a pole, for example, lets you lift up the tiles while standing, which is easier on the body if you are tackling this project on your own. Similarly, an electric demolition chipping hammer can be useful if you have a larger bathroom or if you are doing several rooms at once.