Know Your Way Around Construction Equipment

Using A Jackhammer To Demolish Tile Floors

If you have a tile floor, it obviously needs to be demolished before a new flooring product can be installed. For example, if you want to change tile to hardwood, you need to remove the tile and mortar to expose the subfloor. This basically requires some heavy duty demolition work. Not only do you need to get the tile off of the subfloor, you also need to remove the mortar underneath it to expose the wood or concrete base. Of all the common flooring materials, tile can be the most difficult to remove because it is permanently stuck to the subfloor and it is very heavy.

But, it does depend on the tile material you have, and how well the mortar has bonded with the subfloor. Ultimately, it is impossible to determine how difficult your job is going to be until you start to do the work. The most important thing you need for the demolition of a tile floor is a jackhammer system. Pneumatic and electric jackhammers both do the work and can be rented for a daily rate.

Using a Jackhammer

You need a spade attachment to remove tile. Start by placing the tip into the grout line and turning on the jackhammer. In some cases, this will actually pop the tile off of the subfloor with a clean break. But, the tile will probably crack and break into smaller pieces. Some people prefer leaving the pieces bigger so there are fewer individual pieces to carry out of the house. On the other hand, if you break it into smaller pieces, the debris can be loaded into small buckets or trash cans so they can be carried out of the room.

The tile will probably only make up a small percentage of the actual debris from the demolition. The mortar underneath it is often two or three times thicker than the tile. Since it is basically a concrete aggregate, it is also going to be very heavy. Often, the tile actually stays attached to the mortar. This is usually helpful because you want the mortar to come cleanly off of the subfloor.

Using a jackhammer is not brain surgery. It will use brute force to break your tile into small pieces. But, it is a very heavy machine. The vibrating can take a toll on your hands and your muscles. So, it is a job that you should only take on if you can handle the weight of a jackhammer.  

If you don't feel comfortable removing your own flooring, contact a demolition company like Kennah Construction.


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