How to Remove Floor Tile – Tile Removal Tools & Cost

Cost to Remove a Tile Floor

Professional tile removal costs between $3 to $5.50 per square foot

Many homeowners become very interested in how to remove floor tile themselves once they get estimates for the job from flooring contractors. The cost to remove floor tile is $3 to $5.50 per square foot based on the job’s specifics.

It’s dusty, laborious work, but when you know how to remove tile floor, you might find the demolition enjoyable! Let’s talk about how to remove tile flooring and keep some money in your pocket.

Last Updated: July 10, 2023, by: Rob Parsell

In this Home Flooring Pros “How-To” post we’re going to take a look at tile removal tools, how to prep your room for tile removal, and a step by step guide on how to remove tile.

Further Reading: Cost to Install Tile Floors

broken tiles on floor


The list of tools for tile floor removal is short:

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pry bar
  • Scraper
  • Heavy-duty 5-gallon pals
  • Shop vacuum


These tips for how to remove tile from floor will be more effective once the room is prepped:

  • Empty the room of furniture and fixtures
  • Seal HVAC vents with plastic and tape to keep the dust you’re about to make from being circulated throughout your home
  • Remove baseboard trim, and number it for re-installation if you plan to reuse it
  • Gear up with a dust mask, protective eyewear, work gloves and hearing protection against the loud banging


These steps cover how to remove ceramic floor tile and most other types including porcelain, glass and stone tile.

Step 1: Find or create a start point

Look for a spot where the underlying floor is exposed, perhaps where a fixture or vanity has been removed. If there isn’t one, create one in a corner, a threshold or where the tile flooring meets other flooring. Use the hammer and chisel to break a tile or two, so that you can get your pry bar into the opening. If this is a two-person job, either create two starting point or create one and go in two different directions from it.

Note: Take care not to gouge the tile underlayment beneath the tile with the chisel. This can be done by working as parallel to the floor as possible. You’ll want it in good condition to receive the new flooring to be installed. Any minor nicks and gouges can be filled with wood filler and sanded smooth.

Step 2: Use the hammer and pry bar or chisel to continue to remove tiles, depositing the waste into the pals to be carried to a larger receptacle or dumpster outside.

Step 3: Once you’ve cleared a few square feet of space, a pole scraper might allow you to do the work with less bending. Be cautious about using excess force that can lead to a jammed or sprained wrist.

Caution: Broken tile is sharp, so the less you handle it, the better. A stiff broom and a flat spade, heavy dust pan or snow shovel work well for picking up the tile and depositing it in the pals.

Step 4: When the floor is clear of tile, inspect the underlayment for gouges to fill, protruding nails to remove or pound in and other issues to address before new flooring is installed

Step 5: Use a shop vacuum to get rid of remaining dust and debris

This video from an experienced handyman shows how to remove a tile floor from concrete using these tips:

Now that you know how to remove tile from floor, you’ll want to consider your disposal options.

  • Your waste removal company: Give them a call to see how the tile should be contained
  • A local recycling center: While not a common practice, some centers do take various kinds of tile to be reused, re-purposed or recycled.


If you’re replacing your tile floor with more of the same, our Tile & Natural Stone Flooring Buyers Guide offers a wealth of advice. Or, browse our guides to other popular materials including how to install vinyl sheet flooring, solid hardwood, engineered flooring and laminate.

Related Reading: How to Remove Vinyl Plank Flooring | How to Remove Laminate Flooring | How to Remove Asbestos Tile

About the Author:

Rob Parsell

Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems (read more).

“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”

One thought on “How to Remove Floor Tile – Tile Removal Tools & Cost

  • April 24, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    A lot of local land fills will recycle tile. It is common here is Texas. You just cant have wood or trash mixed into it.


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