You might remember that we are in the beginning stages of a remodel of our master bathroom and closet. This weekend we decided to tackle removing the tile floor from the bathroom. I had every intention of hiring the contactor to do this, but the feedback I was getting for the costs were more than I was willing to spend on demo. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you… this is a sucky, messy job, but totally a DIY one if you’re willing…
Again, this is what the bathroom looked like just before we moved in. We had already started some updates like wallpaper removal you can checkout here.
After removing my vanity we discovered that the floor tile was set in a bed of concrete and lath and it was roughly 1.5” thick… that’s a LOT of concrete and mainly why we didn’t want to tackle this ourselves.
This is what the layers looked like. Starting with the base there is OSB, tar paper, metal lath, concrete, mortar then tile. Looks fun right?
We used our hammer drill with the spade bit attached for the entire job, I would HIGHLY recommend this tool as it made removing all of these layers a ton easier. Also, you MUST wear eye protection and a face mask, I would also recommend earplugs and something to cover your hair as well… did I mention how dirty this job was?
We found that removing the floor in layers was the easiest and fastest way to go:
Using the hammer drill (with the spade bit attached) we removed all of the tile (which I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to remove), then we separated the concrete from the lath by inserting the spade bit between the two layers, then we pulled up the lath which was held in place with staples (instead of screws which you would most likely see in older homes), then pulled up the tar paper which was also stapled down.
I did most of the removal while my Hubby had the backbreaking chore of lugging all of the debris down to the garage. After 5 hours of work we ended up with this. A nice clean sub floor that was still in good shape thanks to the tar paper and lack of screws holding down the lath.
We’re not 100% done though as we still need to remove the flooring from the water closet / shower area. We originally thought we would still use this area, but decided against it at the last minute. We will need to remove the toilet prior to removing the floor, but that shouldn’t be a problem. BTW all of that dust you see is not from my lack of cleaning, it’s the concrete dust from the demo… trust me you do not want this stuff in your nose or throat so please wear protection.
We still have quite a bit more demo work to do in here, a couple of walls to remove, my Hubby’s vanity, the toilet and shower not to mention the baseboards and door trim, but we feel pretty good about saving money by doing much of the demo work ourselves. Yes, I took some Aleve before I went to bed and when I woke up this morning, but this job could’ve been MUCH worse than it was.
I hope this post helps anyone looking at tackling this particular type of tile and concrete removal. I personally am hoping to never have to do it again…
Have a great week everyone! And as always thanks for stopping by!
Holy cow that was a ton of work! I have learned the hard way by not taking a pain reliever BEFORE I go to bed after some back breaking work.
I can’t wait to see the results!
Yes, it was a lot of work, my hands are still feeling it… I keep reminding myself how much we’re saving by doing the work though and that helps 😉
I’m facing the same situation in my bathroom, so thank you for this tutorial! Can’t wait to see your finished project!
Thanks Mariah! I hope my tutorial helps some, it’s still going to be a dusty mess but it’s totally a DIY project, good luck!