Author Topic: How to remove tile/cement board/subfloor in bathroom and an oak kitchen floor  (Read 29088 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RonMiller

  • Posts: 321
I need advice on how to best remove two types of flooring.

First - a bathroom where a many years-long toilet leak has ruined the subfloor and made the tile pop up.  This is standard 12" floor tile thinsetted to (what looks like) Hardibacker board on top of a 3/4" subfloor. I've laid plenty of tile but not demolition. So, is it best to take a concrete or diamond blade and run it in the groutlines through the cement board and then take a regular blade and cut through the subfloor? Will it be easier to cut out the tile and pull it up and then go after the rest of it? This bath will be completely gutted and redone so messy is ok. Also this bath is over the garage so only minimal concern about what's underneath it.

Second - an old "do-it-yourself" oak kitchen floor that the owners want pulled up and replaced. This is a room with lots of nooks and I'm wondering if there is a saw that will let me cut vertically right next to the wall and/or under the toekick so I can pull up the floor, fix the subfloor where it needs it and then lay new.



Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

Offline erock

  • Posts: 1254
For your first question.  I would use a small Hilti jack hammer to pop up the tile.  And a 10lb hammer.  It's demo, so put on some gloves, glasses and hearing protection and go crazy!    [big grin]

As for the second question.  A Fein Multi tool sounds like the tool for that job.

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7384
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
For your first question.  I would use a small Hilti jack hammer to pop up the tile.  And a 10lb hammer.  It's demo, so put on some gloves, glasses and hearing protection and go crazy!    [big grin]

As for the second question.  A Fein Multi tool sounds like the tool for that job.

I assume you mean a demo hammer and not a jack hammer.  Before you rent anything try flat bar or better yet one of those big metal floor scrapers.  Sometimes tile will pop right up.  Unfortunately, getting the tile off is usually the easy part.  What I've done in the past is cut the cement board and subfloor with a cheap throw-away blade(s) on the circular saw into manageable sized pieces.  If everything is only nailed down, it shouldn't be too difficult.  If it's glued and screwed, you're in for more of fight.       
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 961
Demo hammer with a spade chisel either hand or electric. I have both a large and small Bosch demo hammer. For bathrooms the small one (11224vsr) works fine. It's a drill and demo hammer combo tool; same thing with the big one. If the subfloor is a rotted as you think you could also do it by hand but the demo hammer is a bit quicker. Pop the tile then worry about cutting up the hardie and plywood. I would also pull up and break the hardie instead of cutting it, too dusty to cut.
Obviously you'll need a new layer of 3/4" ply. I recommend durock. I don't like, use or recommend any Hardie products. I think their stuff is garbage and prone to failure, especially the backer board.
As far as the Oak floor, cut into manageable section and rip out. The Fein multi works good in corners or along the toe kick. I would remove the toe kick either way. If its 1/4" junk it won't cost much to replace. If this 3/4" nice toe kick you don't want to damage it so pull it. Also takes away the worry of trying to get a clean cut or seam along the toe.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline wooden

  • Posts: 319
IME, demo is hard to recommend without actually being there.

If the hardiebacker was thinsetted to the plywood subfloor in addtion to being screwed down,  you are better off removing the subfloor - Remove the tile with a electric hammer - there are tile removal bits for SDS-plus hammers.

Then saw through the hardiboard and plywood with a cement fiber saw blade.

If the house is being lived-in, set up plastic barrier walls.  Tile demo creates a lot of dust.

If the hardieboard was only nailed/screwed to the plywood subfloor, you can leave the existing subfloor alone.

Vertical cuts - Fein multimaster (or clone) or Fein Supercut.  Not many other choices for doing flush plunge cuts.

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Bosch makes a flush cut saw, that's just a reciprocating saw....or a toe kick saw/jamb saw

Offline wooden

  • Posts: 319
Bosch does indeed.

But it doesn't like to do a plunge cuts.

Offline Scott1733

  • Posts: 9
Check a rental company for a craine toe kick saw, it cuts to a depth of 3/4".

Offline RonMiller

  • Posts: 321
Thanks, Scott. I remembered the Crain saw over the weekend and my local rental guys carry it. I've never used it but it looks ideal for the purpose. I appreciate your help on this.

Offline Steve R

  • Posts: 919
Most bathrooms are small so hand tools work well. Most tile with a 2-3" cold chisel and 4-5 lbs hammer will make short work of it.  If you know what is below you and know placement of the studs. I have used a saws all to cut on the grout lines, through the backer board and sub floor one cut between each joist and also cut at the walls.... but not into the joist (or very little in them). I do this between all the joists then you can pry bar the piece out.

A  good idea is to use your CT as an air scrubber just set it in the tub (if that is not going away) or somewhere in the room with no hose and let it run with the bathroom door closed and you will not get much if any dust in the house at it will be cleaning 137 CFM so in an 8' x 8' x 8' room in 3.75 mins you will clean the air once.

"A Festool is a tool, Marian; much better than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A Festool is still only as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” ~ Ode to Shane (the movie)