How to Remove Saltillo Tile

Saltillo tile was developed in Mexico and is commonly used in Southwest architecture and design. It is a durable and relatively affordable material, compared to other flooring options, and can be installed quickly by just about anyone. Like most tile flooring, saltillo tile is installed using a mortar base and can usually withstand most foot traffic conditions. While mortar and saltillo tile are strong and durable materials, the removal of both is a generally straightforward and simple process that can be done using basic construction tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Masonry hammer

  • Masonry chisel (2-inch flat)

  • Electric hammer-drill with masonry chisel

Step 1

Firmly hold the masonry chisel at an angle to the grout joint between the saltillo tiles.

Step 2

Tap the head of the chisel with the masonry hammer to chip away the grout.

Step 3

Set the electric hammer-drill to hammer or chisel mode (this is a switch that is located near the trigger, in most cases) and angle its chisel to the mortar joint between the floor and the tile.

Step 4

Engage the hammer-drill motor and begin chipping away the mortar joint. Continue this until the tile is free; tiles may crack and break during this process, as they are usually fragile. Work your way throughout the rest of the tiles on the floor until all are removed.

Step 5

Remove any leftover mortar, using the masonry hammer and chisel.

References & Resources