Author Topic: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?  (Read 5523 times)

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Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 140
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2021, 10:05 AM »
Will a magnet work through the tile to indicate where screws are? If so, on the screws you can’t reach from underneath, get a Diamond hole saw and drill through tile to reach screw heads?

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Offline afish

  • Posts: 1275
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2021, 12:09 PM »
@4nthony  I see you are in California.  I have never been or plan on it but aren't most of the homes there block/concrete construction?  If so I would think you would get plenty of use from dch273.  It is light years ahead of drilling with a drill driver in hammer mode.  That little DCH273 is nice tool.  I use for drilling concrete, driving concrete form stakes, and light tile demo.  Anyone who bad mouths it has probably never used it.  I stick by my original statement.  Are there more powerful units out there...YES and they have their place. I own those too, but not every job requires a TE1000 or TE75.  I own several different hammer/chipping hammers and if that countertop was at my house I would be grabbing the dch273 to remove it.  You can always buy it from HD and if you hate (which I dont think you will ) they will take it back.  Im not sure who some people think they are talking to, and while I dont claim to know everything. I have been a union carpenter for close to 30 years and done just about everything from building commercial buildings to building my last house mostly solo from pouring the footings to setting the ridge, including doing the electric and plumbing. That house was pushing 6k SF.  I subbed out the well, septic, pouring the basement floor and shingling that's it. Everything else I did, I had a buddy or two come out a few days for setting the big windows and such but mostly solo. 

If you are already invested in Dewalt platform its a no brainer to me. An air chisel will work and be cheaper but you will need a decent sized compressor to run it and have a hose to deal with.  The dch273 will do the same plus add the drilling and cordless benefits. I took a quick peak on you tube and found this just to prove Im not crazy.


Offline SDWW2019

  • Posts: 80
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2021, 02:38 PM »
Not many block or concrete homes in CA (earthquake would tear it up and would retain heat for too long).

Why is a power tool needed? I've always had success with a simple demo hammer, flat, and pry bar. Elbow grease and proper leverage will usually get the job done.

Offline 4nthony

  • Posts: 256
    • Slack for Recon Tools
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2021, 04:03 PM »

It appears that the countertop in this illustration is part of the sink.  John Boos (the butcher block manufacturer) makes these countertops and I think they also offer one-piece sink/countertop assemblies, but I am not seeing it in their website.


I built my drawers oversized so I can replicate the look of the cabinets with their vertical slats and horizontal pulls on taller drawer fronts.

As for the new countertop, I'm thinking I'll either:
1. Install butcher block counters (easiest)
2. Pour concrete (I've poured concrete outside -- steps, footings, small foundations -- but have not done countertops)
3. Have quartz counters installed (something I'd rather hire out than DIY)

Will a magnet work through the tile to indicate where screws are? If so, on the screws you can’t reach from underneath, get a Diamond hole saw and drill through tile to reach screw heads?

The magnets I have didn't seem to grab onto any screws. Maybe stronger magnets might.

@4nthony  I see you are in California.  I have never been or plan on it but aren't most of the homes there block/concrete construction? 

My previous house was timber and stucco construction (Spanish style) built in 1927. My current house is timber with cedar shingles (Cape Cod-ish style) built in 1949. I have a hammer drill that did the job when drilling into stucco and cinder blocks. I'm not averse to getting the DCH273 but I just want to make sure I'll have continued use for it after the counters.

I own several different hammer/chipping hammers and if that countertop was at my house I would be grabbing the dch273 to remove it.  You can always buy it from HD and if you hate (which I dont think you will ) they will take it back.

If you are already invested in Dewalt platform its a no brainer to me. An air chisel will work and be cheaper but you will need a decent sized compressor to run it and have a hose to deal with.  The dch273 will do the same plus add the drilling and cordless benefits. I took a quick peak on you tube and found this just to prove Im not crazy.

I'll swing by the local HD and have a look. As for air tools, my compressor is only 1 HP, 8 gallons. It's great for nailers and such, but not sure how well it'll work with other air tools that require more continuous flow.

I've always had success with a simple demo hammer, flat, and pry bar. Elbow grease and proper leverage will usually get the job done.

Valid point. I don't demo tile all that often. The last time was the kitchen in my previous house, around 2009. The countertops were little 5x5 tiles. Piece of cake to take out with a hammer and chisel. The floor was another story. I managed with a couple sledge hammers and a chisel but it took much longer than I liked. A power tool probably would've saved a couple days. I don't know if my current counter and backsplash will be easy like the last countertop or a pain like these terracotta floors were:

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1386
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2021, 06:25 PM »
One would hope that the counter would be easier to remove than floor tile, but since they used floor tile on the counter, I understand your trepidation at tackling it with a sledge and chisel.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1345
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2021, 09:18 PM »
As for the new countertop, I'm thinking I'll either:
1. Install butcher block counters (easiest)
2. Pour concrete (I've poured concrete outside -- steps, footings, small foundations -- but have not done countertops)
3. Have quartz counters installed (something I'd rather hire out than DIY)
4. Solid Surface, like Corian. Festool gets the job done. There are full tutorials available online on how to do coves etc.

I would try to lift the counter enough to get a reciprocating saw blade in to cut the screws. Then remove as a unit.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9676
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2021, 09:37 PM »
This really starts to border on analysis paralysis, if this were my project I'd first attack it with a wide chisel and a 2#/3# hammer. If that works, then go forth using those items unless it's a 300 sq ft area...because then you definitely need an alternative method even if you think you'll be fine. This type of demo gets old in a hurry and if you've removed all the tile, that doesn't mean you've removed all of the adhesive/tile/tile pieces/grout and have attained a relatively smooth surface which is what needs to be done.

If the going is slow with the hammer & chisel, then just implement the next aggressive demolition step. Rinse & repeat until you find the tools that work...bigger is still better for this application guys.

Offline SDWW2019

  • Posts: 80
Re: Tool for demo of tile countertop and backsplash?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2021, 10:01 PM »
I would go with simplest and cheapest option first. Do a little testing and see how it was built. Depending on the build it may be easier than you expect. For example, I have found that most of the big home developers in San Diego do not really focus on high quality finishes and try to save every penny on construction and finishes. Therefore, most of the stuff you would want to rip out is cheap, poor quality, and likely installed by laborers and not trades people vs. some old build where they needed to float a mortar bed before installing tile. It's actually really horrible and so sad to think how many of these homes would not likely last 50 years and the environmental issues with our throw away culture...and considering the cost of real estate in CA.

Over last week I just demo'ed out my kitchen (20x16), a family room (18x25), and master bath (16x16) down to studs (home built in 1998 and I purchased 3 years ago). Kitchen backsplash popped out easy with a pry bar and I got lucky with the builder grade floor tile ...since it was installed over sheet vinyl. I feared the worse with the floor tile and thought it was going to be a horrible job, but after a quick few minutes of exploring the floor install method I quickly noticed the vinyl under the tile and each popped up with little effort. I had the whole floor pulled up and in a dumpster in a few hours.  I can only wish you the same good luck.