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  1. #1

    Default removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    I am not sure if this is the correc tforum, but I need some tips on ways to remove some 12x12 porcelain tiles from a floor WITHOUT BREAKING THEM. I can't get any new tiles and need to fix a subfloor before resetting the tiles. Any help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Not happening.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
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    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    If they were set properly you won't get them out without breaking them. Time for new tile.
    Last edited by Mark G; 09-29-2008 at 11:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    315

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark G View Post
    If they were set properly you won't get them out without baking them. Time for new tile.

    If you bake them they will come up?LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Branford CT
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    306

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Have fun with that! I don't envy You if you try, not worth time or money.
    Jonathan70

    EPA Certified Firm NAT-25077-1
    RRP CERT#: R-I-18329-09-00419

    You are only as Valuable as You consider Yourself!

    You can pay me now or you can pay me more to fix what was done wrong by others later!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Jersey Shore
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    8

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    You will be the first to successfully do that. Maybe you could cut the whole floor out, including the plywood, then burn, or bake, the plywood off, then grind the remaining thinset from the back of the tile. Short of that, buy some new tile.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Meadow Vista, CA
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    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Bake, break, whatever :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    If those porcs were set proper, well ....good luck with that.
    If you are very lucky the guy who put them in was a hack and they may be salvageable.
    I have done it....wasn't trying to, but the tiles came up as the guy who layed them most likely let his mud skin over before setting them.
    You may be able to get a few by removing the whole subfloor even if they are bonded well.....but good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
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    1,202

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Glad to see that most here are in agreement with a properly-built porcelain floor. I am surprised that nobody mentioned that the task may actually be quite simple if the wrong adhesive was used. This would be especially true if there was no movement joint, and the tiles were shearing away from the setting bed.

    If the tiles are shearing off the setting bed undamaged, it may be because dryset thinset mortar was used to bond the tiles (accompanied by the lack of movement joints). If this is the case, dryset thinset mortar will not adhere to plywood either, and removal from the underlayment may not be so difficult either.

    By the way, are the subfloor repairs the result of not using a membrane under the existing tiles?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    South Central Virginia
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    4

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    THANKYOU! I have spent hours, days looking for a possible solution to a floor tile problem. You are the first to say that the removal and re-use of tile may be possible.
    My ceramic tile was improperly set (too much drama to explain.) I removed tile from 3/4" plywood floor with very little effort and nearly no loss of tile. I have removed all of the Thinset from the plywood (sealed with oil based floor paint.) I am determined to find a way to reuse as much of the tile as possible, or at least experiment in a small area. They are large 16x16 floor tiles and were buttered with Thinset on the back of the tile. The Thinset is still intact, didn't even squish most of the trowel marks.
    The opinion seems to be that the Thinset cannot be removed. I will agree, I tried the chisel method, even I am not that persistant (over 700 square feet of tile.) I read a recommendation on another forum to add Thinset to a floor where the adhesive could not be moved to give a smooth surface to adhere to. Can I do the same in reverse, rebuttering the tiles and let them dry, then reset by buttering both the tiles and the proper subfloor?
    I am certain, to most this sounds crazy and very labor intense. However the expense of purchasing new tile and the logistics for removal/waste of existing tile is just not in my ability. I can divide the space into small areas to make a test zone. Again I greatly respect the fact that you did not immediately tell "mickprue" that it is impossible. If you have any suggestions or opinions I will be truely grateful.
    Thank you,
    Kym

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    1,292

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Quote Originally Posted by kymmcc View Post
    THANKYOU! I have spent hours, days looking for a possible solution to a floor tile problem. You are the first to say that the removal and re-use of tile may be possible.
    My ceramic tile was improperly set (too much drama to explain.) I removed tile from 3/4" plywood floor with very little effort and nearly no loss of tile. I have removed all of the Thinset from the plywood (sealed with oil based floor paint.) I am determined to find a way to reuse as much of the tile as possible, or at least experiment in a small area. They are large 16x16 floor tiles and were buttered with Thinset on the back of the tile. The Thinset is still intact, didn't even squish most of the trowel marks.
    The opinion seems to be that the Thinset cannot be removed. I will agree, I tried the chisel method, even I am not that persistant (over 700 square feet of tile.) I read a recommendation on another forum to add Thinset to a floor where the adhesive could not be moved to give a smooth surface to adhere to. Can I do the same in reverse, rebuttering the tiles and let them dry, then reset by buttering both the tiles and the proper subfloor?
    I am certain, to most this sounds crazy and very labor intense. However the expense of purchasing new tile and the logistics for removal/waste of existing tile is just not in my ability. I can divide the space into small areas to make a test zone. Again I greatly respect the fact that you did not immediately tell "mickprue" that it is impossible. If you have any suggestions or opinions I will be truely grateful.
    Thank you,
    Kym
    I have successfully removed thinset from the backs of tile by using a 4" grinder with a diamond blade. Much quicker than chisel and no chance of breakage. Even if you had to buy a grinder and blade, you'd be under $100.

    Tom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,196

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    I can not believe that it will be less expensive to salvage the existing then to demo the existing and start with new, unless of course you charge 5 cents per hour.

    Restoration work (that’s what you are doing) is very costly because of labor.

    You could cut out each individual tile with a diamond cutter.

    You said the logistics of waste removal is not in your ability. Where is the job? On the moon?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    1,292

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Gary,

    I gathered from kyms post and profile that she is a ho who spent all her money doing the job wrong the first time and now needs to find an inexpensive way to get it done right. I think the amount of time she has to spend is irrelevant.

    Sounds like she has time but little money. No money for new tile, no money to pay for disposal.

    Tom

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    Unless there is something unique or special about this particular tile, new tile can be found at Home Depot and elsewhere for around $1/sq ft, sometimes less.

    I don't know what your time is worth but I think you'll spend more than a $1 worth of labor messing with the removed tiles.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
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    1,202

    Default Re: removing porcelain tiles for re-use

    I am less concerned about how or why a person might want to re-use tiles than I am about what they are going to do about the "sealed with oil-based floor paint". Why do you think the tiles were so easy to remove from the floor? Paint, especially the hard surface paint used for floors is a definite bond-breaker, and it should be removed before retiling.

    By the way, don't make things worse by using a paint stripper!!!! Remove the paint by sanding only.

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