How to Remove Tile Countertops

Wondering how to remove tile countertops? The weight of a tile countertop makes it difficult to remove in one piece, so it's necessary to take the tiles off individually. Luckily, other than the physical effort, removing tiles from the counter surface is a straightforward task.

How To Remove Tile Countertops Easily

  • Cleaning house. Before you can remove tile countertops, you'll need to prepare the area. Disconnect and remove any appliances or sinks installed in the countertop. Next, remove all drawers and cabinet doors adjacent to the counter to be removed. Finally, cover the floor around your workspace with plastic tarp to catch the dust and newspaper to cushion the floor from falling tile debris.
  • Removing screws. First, remove any retaining screws underneath the counter. These screws are typically installed into triangular wooden blocks or metal supports at the corners of the countertop.
  • Stay safe. Broken ceramic tile has very sharp edges. Be sure to wear goggles and heavy gloves as you remove tile countertops. Also, consider wearing a mask if tiles are to be cut or your work starts to generate a lot of dust.
  • Off the wall. Score any caulk or mortar where the countertop meets the wall. Cutting through these areas will help protect the surrounding walls. Next, remove the grout around the row of tiles closest to the wall-use a knife, small chisel or rotary tool to get the grout out. Finally, remove the row of tiles by either prying them out with a chisel or breaking them up with a hammer and prying out the pieces with a stiff putty knife.
  • On edge. Remove the decorative edge tiles along the sides of the countertop to expose the underlying support and the edges of the first row of tiles. Removing the grout from between these tiles will make removing them easier.
  • Prying eyes. Once the edge of the countertop is clear, start removing countertop tiles by wedging a putty knife into the gap between the tile and the board. Use a twisting motion to pop the tiles loose from the board underneath. Remove the tiles one row at a time, working from front to back.
  • Lose the underlayment. Once the tiles are removed, ease a pry bar between the wood underlayment and the cabinet base. Pry the underlayment up and remove it from the cabinet base.
Related Life123 Articles

Dreaming of the look of marble countertops? You'll either need to stay out of the kitchen or put in a lot of work to keep them looking new.

Marble produces a beauty that lasts. Think about the ancient Roman statues that still stand today. This durable beauty does need a bit of help though; maintaining marble countertops will help them last a lifetime-or more.

Frequently Asked Questions on
More Related Life123 Articles

Granite is a durable stone that was once volcanic lava. Tough and beautiful, granite is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Caring for granite countertops is a simple chore that will keep your investment looking new for years to come.

Cultured marble countertops cost more than laminate, but are about half the cost of solid surface or granite. Cultured marble is an economical replacement for real marble and a great upgrade from laminate countertops.

If you are renovating or have moved into an older house, you may be wondering how to clean old, unfinished marble countertops.

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company