How To Remove Floor Tiles From Concrete? [The Ultimate Guide]

How To Remove Floor Tiles From Concrete

When it comes to renovating your home or revamping the look of a room, one common task is removing old floor tiles. This process might seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and techniques, you can do it successfu  lly and prepare the surface for your new flooring. 

To remove floor tiles from concrete, clear the area, and chip away the grout. Use a chisel to break the first tile, then continue across the floor. Deal with stubborn tiles using a floor scraper, clean up debris and remove adhesive residue. Inspect the floor before installing new flooring.

In this guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process to instruct you about how to remove floor tiles from concrete. Let’s dive in and learn in detail. 

Best Way To Remove Tile Flooring From Concrete: 8 Step-By-Step Process:

It may initially seem difficult to tackle the task of removing tile floors from concrete, but this step-by-step guide will help you through it. Follow the process below.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Clear the room of any furniture or obstacles to create a spacious working environment. Cover nearby furniture and items with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect them from dust and debris before taking off concrete floor tiles.

Step 2: Wear Safety Gear

Put on your safety goggles, dust mask, and work gloves before you begin. Safety should always be a priority when undertaking any DIY project.

Step 3: Start Removing the Tiles

Using a chisel or pry bar, carefully chip away the grout surrounding the tiles. The grout holds the tiles together, and removing it first will make the tile removal process easier.

Step 4: Break the First Tile

Place the chisel or pry bar at the edge of a tile and gently tap it with a hammer until the tile loosens. Be cautious not to hit too hard, as you don’t want to damage the concrete underneath. Once the first tile is removed, you’ll have a starting point for the rest.

Step 5: Continue Removing Tiles

Work your way across the floor, tile by tile, using the same method as in Step 5. Take your time and be patient, as this process can be time-consuming. If you have access to a power drill with a tile scraper attachment, it can significantly speed up the process by loosening multiple tiles at once.

Step 6: Deal with Stubborn Tiles

Occasionally, some tiles might be more stubborn and refuse to come off easily. In such cases, use a floor scraper to gently pry them loose. Be cautious not to put too much pressure on the concrete to avoid any damage.

Step 7: Clean Up the Debris

As you remove the tiles, place them in a bucket or trash bag for easy disposal. Once all the tiles are gone, thoroughly clean the floor to remove any remaining grout or adhesive.

Step 8: Remove Adhesive Residue

After removing the tiles, you might find adhesive residue on the concrete floor. Use a floor scraper or a chemical adhesive remover to clean the surface thoroughly.

8 Tips About Using a Machine to Remove Tile From Concrete Floor: 

Using a machine can significantly speed up the process of concrete floor tile removal and make the task more efficient. However, operating these machines requires some know-how to ensure effective and safe tile removal. In this article, we’ll provide you with a few essential tips to keep in mind when using a machine for tile removal from concrete floors.

1. Choose the Right Machine:

Selecting the appropriate machine for the job is crucial. Consider the size of the project, the type of tiles, and the condition of the concrete surface. For smaller residential projects, a floor tile scraper machine or an electric tile removal machine may suffice. For larger and more demanding projects, like commercial spaces or extensive renovations, a ride-on tile removal machine is more suitable. Choose the machine that matches the scale and complexity of your tile removal task.

2. Check the Blades or Attachments:

Before starting the tile removal process, inspect the machine’s blades or attachments. Ensure they are sharp, in good condition, and suitable for the type of tiles and adhesive you’re dealing with. Dull or inappropriate blades can slow down the process and lead to unsatisfactory results.

3. Wear Safety Gear:

Using a tile removal machine generates a lot of dust and debris, so don’t forget to wear appropriate safety gear. Safety goggles, dust masks, and work gloves are essential to protect your eyes, respiratory system, and hands during the operation.

4. Start Slowly:

When using the machine for the first time or working on delicate areas, start at a slower speed to get a feel for its operation. Gradually increase the speed as you gain confidence and become more comfortable with the machine.

5. Be Mindful of Surroundings:

Keep an eye on the surrounding walls, baseboards, and other structures while operating the machine. The powerful vibrations and movements of the machine could accidentally damage nearby surfaces if you’re not careful.

6. Work in Sections:

Divide the floor into manageable sections and work on one area at a time. This approach allows you to focus on each section, ensuring thorough tile removal and reducing the chances of missing spots.

7. Use Proper Dust Containment:

Tile removal can produce a substantial amount of dust, which can be hazardous and messy. Consider using a machine with an integrated dust containment system or connect it to an external vacuum or dust extractor. Proper dust containment will make the cleanup process easier and help maintain a cleaner work environment.

8. Periodic Inspections and Maintenance:

Regularly inspect the machine during the tile removal process. Check for any signs of wear and tear on the blades or attachments, and promptly replace them if necessary. Also, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance to keep the machine in optimal working condition.

Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Old Floor Tiles from Concrete: Don’ts to Note

Removing old floor tiles from a concrete surface can be a challenging task, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. However, avoiding common mistakes can save you time, effort, and potential damage to the concrete floor. In this article, we’ll highlight some crucial mistakes to steer clear of when undertaking this project.

1. Lack of Safety Precautions:

One of the most significant mistakes is neglecting safety precautions. Always wear appropriate safety gear, including safety goggles, dust masks, and work gloves, to protect yourself from flying debris and dust inhalation. Failing to prioritize safety can result in injuries and health hazards.

2. Insufficient Preparation:

Inadequate preparation can lead to a messy and disorganized tile removal process. Clear the room of furniture and obstacles, and cover nearby items with protective materials. Having a clutter-free work area allows for easier movement and minimizes the risk of damaging surrounding objects.

3. Not Testing the Tiles:

Before diving into tile removal, it’s essential to test a small section of tiles. Some old tiles might contain asbestos, a harmful material found in older construction materials. If you suspect asbestos, stop the removal process immediately and seek professional help to handle the situation safely.

4. Using the Wrong Tools:

Using inappropriate tools for tile removal can slow down the process and lead to frustration. Ensure you have the right tools for the job, such as a chisel, pry bar, hammer, and floor scraper. Consider using a power drill with a tile scraper attachment for a more efficient approach.

5. Skipping Grout Removal:

Attempting to remove tiles without first chipping away the grout is a common mistake. Grout holds the tiles in place, and skipping this step makes tile removal much more difficult. Take the time to loosen the grout before attempting to remove the tiles.

6. Rushing the Process:

Removing floor tiles from concrete requires patience and precision. Rushing through the process can result in damaged tiles, concrete, or even personal injuries. Take your time and work systematically, tile by tile, to ensure a smooth and successful removal.

7. Applying Too Much Force:

While it’s essential to be persistent, applying excessive force during tile removal can cause unintended damage to the concrete surface. Use controlled and measured force to avoid harming the underlying concrete.

8. Overlooking Adhesive Residue:

After removing the tiles, you might find adhesive residue remaining on the concrete. Neglecting to remove this residue can interfere with the installation of new flooring. Use a floor scraper or adhesive remover to clean the surface thoroughly.

9. Not Checking for Levelness:

After tile removal, inspect the concrete floor for any uneven or damaged areas. Level out the surface and address any imperfections before installing new flooring. A level and smooth base are essential for a successful flooring installation.


How Difficult Is It To Remove Floor Tiles From Concrete?

The difficulty of removing floor tiles from concrete can vary depending on several factors. Generally, it can be a moderately challenging task, especially if you’re dealing with old, firmly adhered tiles or large areas to cover. 

The process involves chipping away grout, breaking the tiles, and removing adhesive residue, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding. However, with the right tools, safety precautions, and patience, it’s a manageable DIY project. Using specialized machines or seeking professional help can make the process easier for larger or more complex projects.

Do I Need To Remove Vinyl Tile From Concrete Floor?

You don’t need to remove vinyl tiles from a concrete floor if they are in good condition. You can install new flooring directly over them. However, if they are damaged or you prefer a different type of flooring, removing them is an option using tools like a floor scraper or power tools.

Can I Use Any Tools For Tile Removal From Concrete?

Using the right tools is essential for a successful tile removal project. Tools like a chisel, pry bar, hammer, and floor scraper are suitable for this task. Consider using a power drill with a tile scraper attachment for faster and more efficient tile removal.

How Do I Deal With Adhesive Residue On The Concrete Floor After Tile Removal?

After removing the tiles, use a floor scraper or adhesive remover to clean the surface thoroughly and remove any adhesive residue. Cleaning the concrete ensures a smooth and even base for the installation of new flooring.

How Much To Remove Tile From Concrete Floor?

The cost to remove tiles from a concrete floor varies depending on factors like the area size, tile type, and labor rates in your location. On average, prices can range from $3 to $5 per square foot. However, this is an estimate, and it’s recommended to get quotes from local contractors to determine the precise cost for your specific project.

How Can I Prevent Damaging The Concrete During Tile Removal?

To prevent damaging the concrete, avoid applying excessive force during tile removal. Use controlled and measured force to prevent unintentional harm to the concrete surface. Additionally, consider using a power drill with a tile scraper attachment for a more controlled and efficient approach.

Can I Remove Tiles Without Professional Help If I Suspect Asbestos?

If you suspect the tiles contain asbestos, it’s essential to seek professional help immediately. Asbestos exposure is hazardous to health, and attempting to remove such tiles without proper training and equipment can lead to serious health risks.

Do I Need To Level The Concrete Floor After Tile Removal?

Yes, it’s essential to inspect the concrete floor for any uneven or damaged areas after tile removal. Leveling the surface and addressing any imperfections ensures a smooth and stable base for the installation of new flooring.


Removing floor tiles from concrete might be a labor-intensive task, but it’s a manageable project as you know how to remove floor tiles from concrete. Remember always to prioritize safety. 

Take your time, be patient, and you’ll have a clean, tile-free concrete floor ready for your new flooring material. So roll up your sleeves, follow the step-by-step process, and give your room the upgrade it deserves. Happy renovating!

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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