Removing Ceramic Tile

When we first moved into our house, the kitchen floor was covered in dingy, gray ceramic tiles that weren’t laid very level, and had different-sized/badly-stained (because they were never sealed) grout lines running between them…

So right after we moved in, we quickly covered it up with an inexpensive, dark-colored, laminate flooring we purchased on eBay…

It only cost about $250 to cover the whole room, and it’s been great for the past three years, but now that we’ve finally finished re-doing the original hardwood flooring in the rest of the house, we’re ready to rock the kitchen floor with something that matches it. (PS- Our neighbors re-used the laminate we ripped out in a building they recently built in their backyard.)

At one point, I thought it might be cool to have a brick kitchen floor, but Kev was never 100% sold on the idea aesthetically, and I was never sure about it comfort-wise, so we decided to just go ahead and match the hardwood in the rest of our house. We invited a couple of folks from Carol’s Carpetย to come out and take a look at our existing floors to see if they could match it, and sure enough, they found the right stuff (2-1/4″ oak)ย and they’re coming over to install a kitchen full of it next week! (We’re going to seal it and trim it out ourselves to save some dough.)

Kevin has been dying to get the tile out of there for quite a while now…

…especially since we’ve had to walk over a row of broken-up concrete for, like, the last six months (don’t ask)…

…but he’s just getting over a bad case of pleurisy, so we hired a friend of his (Jason) to come over today and help him chip it all out before the hardwood folks get here next week.

He’s a hard worker, that Jason…

I’m not sure if he knew anything about removing ceramic tile before, but sure is a pro at it now!

Here’s a short video of the two of them talkin’ tile removal:

So, breaking up the edges of the tile with a hammer first seems to be the way to go.

I’ll post pics of the new kitchen floor when we’re done sealing it next week, and in the meantime, I’m going to call around and get some estimates on the next big redo we’d like to save up for and tackle-ย a wall of windows! Sort of like this…

Here’s a virtual drawing I created in Photoshop a while back to kind of show you what that might look like…

Right now we’ve just got the one teeny-tiny little window in there (above the sink), so we’re anxious to bring in a little more natural light, and take better advantage of the view of the woods behind our house.

Of course we’ll have to move our dishes to the other side of the kitchen when we install windows across that wall, but that’s okay. I’ve got big plans for that side of the room, too…

PS- For more info about our kitchen, visit the OUR HOUSE tab in the menu bar at the top of our blog!


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Removing Ceramic Tile (Part 2)
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  1. says

    Wow! Kevin and Jason deserve a cold brew and steak dinner after that job! We have the original hard wood floors in our kitchen but it was pretty beat up after all those years and we stained it as a temporary fix. Not sure if we are going to refinish or replace with something else. I loved the wall of windows the first time you shared it. Always look forward to TLC progress reports! {You always make the honor roll!}
    Your Friend,

  2. says

    I love your house and your kitchen is going to be so amazing with the new floors and a wall of windows! Excited to see it all happen :) xo K

  3. says

    Oh WOW. That will be absolutely incredible. It makes your home feel even MORE happy! Can’t wait to see the new wood too. Yay!!

  4. Kar in Colorado says

    It’s going to look so beautiful when the hardwood flows through the whole space! My hubby and I spent the summer ripping out builder-grade carpet/vinyl/tile and laying hardwood in our entire main floor. There was a 5’x5′ area of tile inside the front door that hubby knocked out by hand with a hammer and a ‘sonofab!tch’ (what we call a pry bar). It didn’t take too long….but the hammer did slip out of his hand once and he quite literally threw the hammer at the wall. Ouch. Now we get to patch the drywall. There’s always somethin’ with DIY, right?!?! :-) Loooove your blog – soooo inspiring!

  5. says

    So, will you re-use the cabinets and hang them on the other side of the room. If memory serves, you just have a lower cabinet and counter over there? Don’t be a tease : ) Tell us your plans for the other side, pleeeeease.

    • Layla says

      I’m a Photoshopper, not a teaser. :-)
      I’ll whip up a fresh batch of “what-I’m-thinkin'” drawings, soon!

  6. sarita says

    i hope that kevin’s all better now – no fun having pleurisy..and i think (for what it’s worth!) that the windows will look terrif and bring in tons of light! i really enjoy your blog – and all of the things that you post..especially your videos…
    thanks for sharing

  7. Sherry Ann says

    Augh ! Busting out tile is a BIG, MESSY job ! We did it 5 years ago in our total house makeover and our back are still aching & I think I am still cleaning up dust from that very same project ! Fine, awful dust that would never go away. So worth every ache, pain and dust particle. Have fun, can’t wait to see pictures of the new floor. Are you going to paint the black harlequins on it like your virtual picture? Love that idea.

  8. Claire says

    I read your blog a lot. I hate tile. Alway have. The wood will be lovely.

  9. says

    Hi Layla,

    Thanks for mentioning “sealing the grout”….something they don’t seem to do here in Israel.

    Now a favor, could you point the camera from the kitchen to the livingroom so we can get a glimpse? :)



  10. Stephanie says

    UGH! We are in the middle of a kitchen floor project right now, too. We ran into awful 100 year old pine floors that I thought we could salvage and have decided to paint it all white. My huge three story house is FULL of dust. So stressful…..

  11. Lisa D. says

    So glad to see this as I am getting ready to take out the tile in my bathroom. I do love some demolition!!!

    I would love to know where you got the baskets that are hanging on the wall to the left of your cabinets in your kitchen! I love them!

  12. Jennifer Stanley says

    I have been wanting to remove our tile floor forEVER now and my husband has resisted because of all the mess (ie dust, dirt, debris) it makes. So, tell the truth….is it really, really bad, like unbearable? We have three kids under 7 and I really want to tackle this project but don’t even know where to start. Thanks for posting this. I will be watching. :)

  13. says

    Hi Layla

    Found your blog while I was searching for glass apothecary jars! Glad I stumbled upon it ~ it’s full of lovely decorating ideas and useful information. Will be visiting again!

    Best wishes from Montreal, Canada

    ~ Marie

  14. Lise Landry says

    When I saw your home for the first time featured for the decor you had for Christmas, I absolutely fell in love. I could see how you have a connection with your home and there is a calming simplicity to it but all while being completely thought out. I have decorated every home I have lived in like this. I get the feel of it, then I can decorate acoording to the house’s personality. Like you, I like the warmth and all the little details that come with it. Great job Layla!!

  15. Monica says

    I love it…I have almost the same exact tile and wood floor…and 5 kids. Debating weather to continue the wood floor or put in tile again. Kitchen is always a mess with all these kids:) Any suggestions? I also love the color of your cabinets. did you do that too?

  16. holly says

    Can you please source your inspiration picture with the diamond pattern on the floor? I HAVE to see more of that space!!

  17. Kristen L. says

    Do you know what the name of the tile demo machine you used is called? Is it something that can be rented? We just bought a home with tile flooring and can’t wait to tear it out! Thanks!!

  18. Kat says

    Layla, I love your style. Would you mind telling me the color gray that you used on the bottom cabinets? It looks great!