Removing an existing ceramic tile

Anybody have any ideas how to remove an existing ceramic tile from under the refrigerator portion of the kitchen to salvage it and use in an area I removed a beam.

I’m doing some renovations on a rental house of mine and I cannot find a tile remotely close to the existing and I really don’t want to replace entire portions of the interior flooring if I can help it.

I chiseled the grout from four tiles under the refrigerator area but they are really stuck to the slab.

Was wondering if I poured some type of acid or something in the voids where the grout was it might penetrate under the tiles and loosen one.

Any ideas out there would be appreciated.

Dale, if it’s just under the fridge, can you remove the whole section of floor including the sub-floor and re-lay it as one piece?

Just a thought without seeing a picture.

Try a heat gun ( a real one not hair dryer) ,but not to much keep working the temp UP… try lifting …no give more heat…try again…more heat. Its a long process since you don’t want to crack the tile.

THERE is no acid that would work and not ruin your tile abandon that notion.

Hope it helps


Your success will largely be determined by:

  1. How large the tiles are
  2. Your level of patientce

I assume the tile is applied with a mastic backing.:wink:

There used to be a 16"x8’ wall from the ceiling going toward where a post was, I removed the 16" portion of the drop down wall from the ceiling and finished it so the rooms look more open.

This was an old style back in the 70’s I guess.

The tile is 12x12 and they are stuck to that slab like no tomorrow…I tried everything I can think of to get one loose from under the refrigerator area.

It won’t be a problem to remove this one, I want it to break…:smiley:

Chiseling sideways under it with a wide putty knife etc, to no avail.

Maybe I’ll try just pouring water in the voids where the grout was and hope the versabond/thinset or what ever they used to attach the tiles will come loose eventually.

Thanks for the ideas.

Houston, we have a problem.


All I can think of is getting a long hacksaw blade mounted in a sawzall under and edge and work it across. You’ll probably have to destroy a tile under the fridge to get it started. Practice the technique on the tile you want to remove.

When I had to rip up the tile from my entry way I got a 4-6 inch wide putty knife that had the threads on the end and attached it to a broom handle. That allowed me to have a few feet of leverage. Then I would slide the knife under the tile fast and hard. Once you finally get under a tile the first tile it goes much faster. I did notice that nearest the entry way where there was probably more moisture that the tiles came up easier. Maybe you can combine this with the heat gun/ chiseling the grout. Depending on how strong the tile is you might be able to tap it with a mallet as well to loosen it. I did that for awhile but cracked one tile hitting too hard and had to lighten up.

Hey Mike, I didn’t think of the sawzall…good idea…:wink:

I been adding water around the grout edge I removed…I bet it will loosen the thinset some by tomorrow…then have at it with the Sawzall as Mike explained…:wink:

Thanks also Dominic.

Dale, sorry mate just couldn’t resist :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :wink:


Gerry (the tennants friend) Beaumont


Milwaukee makes a masonry blade!

These folks probably have your solution if Mike’s suggeation doesn’t work for your situation.

helps if i paste the link

Can’t be a slumlord if you’re matching tiles :wink: what will people think?

Oh, yeah their opinion of us is none of our damn business :mrgreen:


Save the tiles under the fridge, leave them alone Brother!! You will most likely break all of them in attempting to remove them.

I suggest that you create a pattern around the damaged tile. For example take the entire row out wall to wall and replace with something that is the same size but a little darker [or lighter] in color or take four tiles out including damaged tile and replace with new.Just be creative in the design. Remember to use the same size tile it will make your job easier. You might consider changing the color of the grout for the new tiles.

People will think it was done by design! Not by necessity.

Another tile trick that works well is if you have a burn or Damage in kitchen counter .
Take a router and cut out the burn, diamond shape size of a tile .
In lay the tile flush with the counter.
People will think it is done on Purpose as a place to cut vegtables ,Works well looks good and you have saved a counter.

I agree with Mario. Just change the design a little bit and remove and lay some new tiles.


This is the only tool I know of that remarkably removes wall tile and floor tile grout where any attempt to salvage one tile might be possible.

Once one tile is out of the way,you might be able to slide a 12" sawsall blade and cut the grout with a sawsall. (demo-blade)

Ceramic has excellent compressive strength, but very poor tensile strength.
Good luck.


For the price of the tool above I also agree. ha. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I hired a tile guy to fix it…I’ll see if it’s done correctly tomorrow…:smiley: :smiley:

Not enough hours in the day for some things…:smiley:

But I sure received some great ideas in case I ever want to do something crazy in the future…:smiley: