Home generalRemove floor tiles - without destroying old tiles

Remove floor tiles - without destroying old tiles

  • Determine number of tiles
  • Remove joints
  • Remove damaged tile
  • Remove floor tile intact
  • Prepare soil
  • Glue tiles
  • Neuverfugen

Tiles are not indestructible. Sometimes it is enough to drop a glass of water to damage the floor tile. Over time, several such damages or cracks can destroy individual tiles in the floor covering for quite different reasons. That's no reason to pry out the whole tile floor. We will show you how to exchange individual floor tiles.

Removing one or more floor tiles without damaging the other tiles next to them is a terrible thing for many do-it-yourselfers. So of course you like to express yourself as long as possible before an exchange. In the meantime, in addition to the obviously damaged panels, there are often a few tiles that are no longer properly bonded to the floor. Before these floor tiles are broken, you really should use our following tips and instructions to replace the loose and damaged panels.

You need this:

  • Mini circular saw
  • Multifunction Tool
  • drilling machine
  • Rotary Hammer
  • masonry drill
  • mixing paddle
  • Power Cut
  • Chisel different widths
  • hammer
  • spatula
  • notched trowel
  • rubber lip
  • sponge
  • Hand Brush
  • Dust mask
  • gloves
  • Eye protection
  • bucket
  • masking tape
  • foil
  • cutting discs
  • tile glue
  • grout
  • Abtönfarbe

Before you start working, you should check to see if you still have some copies of the floor tiles in the basement or attic. Even plates, under which the tile adhesive has dissolved, may be damaged during removal under certain circumstances. So you should stock a sufficient amount of the same floor tile before removing too many of the damaged tiles. It is more or less impossible to buy suitable tiles for the floor. Even if the same plate still exists, it comes from a different batch and will differ in color. Also flamed and marbled plates from different batches often do not fit together, because the marbling is expressed differently in each batch.

Determine number of tiles

Check which floor panels really need to be replaced. If you have enough stock, you should remove as many damaged copies as possible. Take the time to check all the panels on the floor, whether they are still firmly connected to the ground. To do this, use the handle of a large screwdriver and tap on the ceramic or stone tiles. All stuck plates make a bright bell-clear tone - the loose floor panels sound dull and hollow. Since they are no longer completely connected to the ground, they eventually break through over time, so they should be replaced as soon as possible on this occasion.

Remove joints

Before a tile can be removed, the grout must be removed all around. There are different methods for this. Unfortunately, for the safest and simplest version of tile and joint removal, you first have to dig deeper into your pocket and buy new tools. Both a mini-hand circular saw and an oscillating multi-saw are particularly helpful in this work. On a mini hand circular saw or mini diving saw you can easily adjust the cutting depth exactly. Use a good diamond blade to remove the grout.

Tip: Always wear safety goggles for such work. Floor tiles splinter very easily and could fly into your eyes. Partly gloves are also recommended, especially when removing the plates.

If present, use the dust extractor of the unit and connect it to a vacuum cleaner. Otherwise you have to remove the dust again and again with a hand brush, so you can see where you are cutting. However, these small circular saws run very straight and are therefore ideal to remove a tile joint. Similarly, an oscillating multi-tool saw works well with its trembling saw blade, which cuts out the joint without damaging the edges.

Carefully scrape out joints

It has many names, dither saw, multifunction tool and oscillating multitool but also multi-saw or vibration saw. The practical device is now available from as many manufacturers in every hardware store from as little as 35 euros. Depending on the number of included accessories but also prices of well over 100 € can be called for it. You should pay attention to the quality, if you want to buy the tool, because otherwise you may later get no more accessories or this is extremely expensive. The well-known manufacturers often have a larger selection of accessories. So there are more and more areas in which the do-it-yourselfers can use the multi-saw, thereby making them pay quickly.

Remove dust

With a steady hand, you can also use the grinder to remove the grout. You should equip it with a diamond wheel as it cuts very cleanly. A simple cheaper cut-off grinder is even available for less than 20 euros in the hardware store. But do not try to pry out the grout with the chisel. They would damage the floor tiles on either side of the seam on the edge and have more floor work than previously planned.

Remove damaged tile

Tiles that can not be rescued anyway, because they are damaged, you can use the chisel, starting from the damaged place. If the rotary hammer is adjustable, you should set it to the lowest level. If you have a good point of attack here, you can now use the oscillating saw. Here, the vibrating spatula on the vibration saw helps you to detach the rest of the plate. Of course you can continue working with a wide chisel. Be careful only at the edges, so you do not damage the surrounding panels.

Remove floor tile

An undamaged tile that you do not want to salvage, you can cut in the middle with the cut-off saw or a mini-hand circular saw to have access to the chisel. Always work from the center so that the edges of the other floor tiles are not damaged. But you should not work complete plates just like that with the hammer. The vibrations may cause adjacent plates to peel off or flake off.

Remove floor tile intact

It is considerably more difficult to remove an intact plate completely. In this case, apply the vibrating spatula very carefully to the edge of the tile, then try to push it under the plate with light pressure. Work around the stone slab. Most of the time the plate almost triggers itself by the trembling of the multitool saw.

However, if it is still firmly connected to the ground in the middle, a narrow thin piece of sheet metal will help you move it around like a sword under the tile. You may be able to steal a plate from the kitchen, also known as a pastry knife. Mind you this effort you only have to operate if you necessarily have to get the plate or want.

Remove floor tile intact

Some do-it-yourselfers have had much success in this work with a wire saw. Actually, this is intended for the garden or camping or trekking. But what else ensures survival in the wild can be used in the household great purpose. You should use as fine a saw as possible and push it carefully under the floor tile. Then pull on the loops on each end and slowly pull the wire saw back and forth. Be careful not to use the wire saw to destroy the edges of the plate. Keep the loops flat above the ground.

Similarly, work is done with a single longer saw blade, which you slide under the handle on a tip of the plate. You can also use a spatula to grasp under the base plate and lightly hit the spatula with the hammer. If the plate is to be preserved, take no chisel for this work, it would damage the edge. In addition, most chisels are so wide that even surrounding plates are damaged.

Prepare soil

Before you can glue a floor tile to the gap again, you have to remove the old tile adhesive. Also suitable for this is the multi-saw tool or also the cut-off grinder. With a wide spatula, however, the old tile adhesive usually also scratch off easily. However, you should be careful at the edges of the gap so you do not remove the glue under one of the adjacent tiles. Then clean the gap with a hand brush of dust and glue residue. First clean all gaps before starting to glue the tiles.

Even floor slabs, which are to be used again, must be completely freed from the old tile adhesive on the underside. Then the plates should be watered well, so they better absorb the tile adhesive. Granite or porcelain stoneware, however, absorbs no water, but should therefore be thoroughly cleaned of old adhesive residues.

Glue tiles

Stir the tile adhesive according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the toothed spatula to apply a thin layer to the gap on the floor. Be careful not to spill tile adhesive on the other boards. At the same time, however, the entire gap has to be coated well with tile adhesive.

Tip: If you only need a small amount of tile adhesive, you can buy a finished product in the bucket. So not so much left, because the tile adhesive in powder form becomes a solid lump after a few months, which you can no longer use.

Press the plate well into the tile adhesive and check with a straight board or spirit level if the plate is at the same level as its neighbors. Otherwise, gently tap the tile down with your hand. If the plate is still up, you need to lift it again and use less tile adhesive.

Tile glue that swells out at the edges should be removed immediately. The easiest way to do this is with the sponge, which you will later use when grouting. Allow the new floor tiles to dry for a sufficient time before grouting and never run around. After all, you do not want to have to do it again.


At the bottom, gray grout has been used in most homes. However, so that the individual reworked joints do not look completely different, they must be artificially aged. In a gray joint this is achieved with a little black tinting color, which is stirred into the grout. However, if the room is flooded with light, the grout may fade. Then add a little white tinting color. Colored joints that may have faded over time can also be aged with white tinting paint or the addition of normal gray grout.

Tip: When mixing and trying out, you should bear in mind that the grout after drying naturally much lighter. Grease a little of the grout on a white piece of cardboard and blow dry with a hair dryer. If you now hold the piece of cardboard next to the old joints, you can see quite well whether you succeeded in mixing the color.

With a wide rubber lip you work the grout into the spaces. Swipe around until the joint is well filled. Then remove the remaining mass with a tile sponge. Wipe with the sponge and rinse repeatedly until all streaks are removed. But you should not cross the fugue, but always work across the fugue. Then your grout only needs to dry, so you should not step on the floor for about 24 hours.

Tips for quick readers

  • Remaining stock check tiles
  • Determine damaged floor tiles
  • Remove the grout around the panels
  • Release bottom plate
  • Take out the plate
  • clean the hot plates
  • Sand the gap at the bottom
  • Glue floor tile fresh
  • Reinstall grout
  • Let the soil dry thoroughly
Sew Smoken - Ruched Smoke Seam | Instructions for beginners
Knit Hangmats: Learn Basics | Drop stitch pattern