How To Remove Ceramic Tile Without Breaking It: The Ultimate Guide

Not going to lie; removing ceramic tile after it has been installed is a difficult job. The slightest mistakes can break the tile and make it unusable. To remove a tile without breaking it, you’ll need to be careful and have the right tools. You’ll also need patience and practice to do the job perfectly. Here are some of the best guides on how to remove ceramic tile without breaking it.

How to Remove Ceramic Tile Without Breaking It

how to remove ceramic tile without breaking it

Maintaining Safety

Firstly, it is important to maintain your safety. Removing tiles is not a clean job and can be dangerous. If you are removing old floor tiles, be aware that they may break easily the new one. So make sure you do not get hurt while removing the tiles. For that, what you need is one pair of hardy gloves, one safety goggles, and one mask to protect your eyes, hands and save you from the dust.

If you have dust allergies or asthma, consider not doing it by yourself as you might get seriously sick because of the dust. Not only the dust, but there will also be small particles flying here and there while you work. So be really careful and strictly use all of the things mentioned above. 

Protect Your Surrounding

Just like yourself, your surrounding needs the protection also while removing ceramic tile. If you are working in the bathroom, there are so many fragile items like a mirror, bathtubs, etc. cover them with a thick cloth. You can also use cardboard to cover them up.

If not, those items can be brake at any time. Other than that, you need to cover the drain and ventilators too. The drains can be blocked with the dust that will produce. In the case of ventilators, it is used to circulate the air in the house. If the dust particle gets stuck in it, those dust will also circulate in the hour with the air. It can make the house dusty for a long period.

Scraping the Grout

Scraping the grout is a difficult part while removing porcelain tiles or even ceramic tile. It becomes even more difficult when the plan is to remove a few tiles from the wall. You need to be extra careful because a slight inattention can cause the breakage of other tiles surrounding the targeted one.

For scraping, you can use either the utility knife or the rotary grinder. But if you want to remove the tile without breaking it, using the utility knife is the best option. On the other hand, you can break the tile with a rotary grinder if you are not a professional.

A utility knife will take more time to finish the work, but the risk of breaking the tile will be lower. Set the knife on the grout and run it repeatedly around the tiles you plan to remove. You do not have to remove all the grouts but remove them until you can see the metal spacer lugs.

Removing the Tile

After you have scraped the grout, remove it with a screwdriver. Then try to locate a loose tile by softly hitting it with the back of the chisel. If you can find one, it will get much easier to remove the first tile.

Set the chisel between the wall and tile and keep it as close as possible to the wall. Tap it with a hammer but do not put any extra pressure. You may have to try it in two or three places until the tile gets separated from the wall. Here, you have almost learned how to remove ceramic tile without breaking it.

Removing the Sticky Parts with Leftovers

If you think the removed tile is the end of the work, you are wrong. You have to remove the tile adhesive or the leftovers on the wall after removing the tile.

You can use a putty knife to scrape the setting material on the wall. Or you can also use a cold chisel to scrape it out. Do your work until the wall is exposed.

At this point, we can hope you have learned how to remove tile without breaking it. It is a lot of work, but this is an easy way to remove ceramic tile.

Cost To Remove Ceramic Tile Flooring

Knowing the cost of tile remodeling is essential for you for many reasons. Or you may get surprised by the amount at the end as there are many things to consider while removing the tile. Those include who is removing the tile, from where it is to be removed, the tools you prefer to use, the disposal of the tiles, etc.

If you choose to do the job yourself, it may cost $1.50 per square foot. But if the job is done by professionals, the average cost will be around $4.15 square feet. Of course, the finishing will differ as to the cost.

Additional Things To Keep In Mind

  • Use masking tape to avoid cracking as they absorb the vibration.
  • Be careful of the broken tile; it is as sharp as broken glass.
  • Vacuum the dust after removing every tile; it will help you to see the grout well.
  • Start from a corner tile as it has free ages. It will make your work easier. 


Removing tile from concrete floor without breaking is a tough job. Doing it yourself is even more difficult if you have zero experience. But hopefully, you now have a clear idea about how to remove ceramic tile without breaking it.

How To Remove Ceramic Tile Without Breaking It

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