How to Use a Hammer Drill to Remove Tile Floor

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Cut out the hammer and chisel and substitute a hammer drill for speedy tile removal.
Cut out the hammer and chisel and substitute a hammer drill for speedy tile removal. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Removing a tile floor is a labor-intensive process, no matter the method used. Cutting down on that labor whenever possible should be a priority as it often saves on removal time as well. One effective method of removing the tile as quickly as possible is with the assistance of a hammer drill. A hammer drill with a chisel tip attached works much like a jackhammer when applied to a tile floor. The drill delivers speedy blows through the chisel, breaking through grout and tile alike, reducing the floor to a pile of easily removed debris. It’s still laborious but far less so than removing each tile individually with hammer and chisel.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Drop cloth
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Face mask
  • Hammer drill with chisel tip
  • Push broom

Remove the baseboards surrounding the tile floor to access the entire tiled surface. Pry away the baseboard with a pry bar by pulling the board away from the wall at nailed points. Slip the tip of the bar between board and wall at these points and apply pressure to pull the board, with nails attached, slowly from the wall. Place the boards aside for later possible reuse.

Cover any surfaces in the room with a drop cloth to protect from shards of tile and dust. Cover room entrances and vents with a plastic sheet to prevent dust from leaving the area as well. Wear work gloves, safety goggles and a face mask to protect yourself from injury while removing the tiles.

Attach a chisel tip to the hammer drill. Hold the drill so that the tip sits on a grout line between tiles at a 45-degree angle. Flip the switch on the drill to hammer mode.

Trigger the drill and hold it steady as it begins chipping through the grout and then under the tile. Move the drill slowly forward, breaking the tile into pieces as you move along the floor surface beneath the tile. Continue along the floor, working from the center of the surface toward the edges, using the hammer drill to chip away at all the tile.

Remove the broken tile debris by sweeping it away with a broom.

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