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How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

Stuardo
Experienced Contributor

How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

I have started renovating my kitchen and a section where I pulled out cabinets did not have tiles underneath. This section of floor will be exposed when I'm finished so I need to insert 3 matching tiles, (which I can't buy anywhere). I am considering lifting some tiles from under the other cabinets to insert in the exposed area. Any suggestions on how to pry some tiles off the floor without breaking them so they can be re-used? The mix sticking them to the floor is quite sandy and not rock solid so I have hope. 

Kitchen D.jpg

Thanks in advance, Stuart.

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

Hi @Stuardo,

 

The first step would be to remove the grout around the tile. This can be achieved relatively easily with an Ozito 300W Multi-Function Tool as it includes an accessory for grout removal. Alternatively, you could use a DTA Tile Scriber And Grout Remover. Once the grout is removed, begin sliding a Poly 38mm Putty Knife under one edge of the tile. Hold the knife at a shallow angle and give a couple of firm and sharp taps with a hammer. Continue working around the tile on all sides in this fashion until the tile pops off. You do not want to continue trying to lift the tile on just one corner or side as it will crack.

 

It can be quite difficult to lift a tile which is surrounded by others. In this circumstance, it is likely you'll crack the first tile. Once one has been removed it will be much easier to get under the next tile at a shallow angle with the putty knife.

 

Let me mention a few helpful members @Brad, @JDE, @redracer01@Noyade and @Chaks_DIY to see if they could suggest some techniques.

 

Mitchell 

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

How did you go with lifting the tiles @Stuardo?

 

Jason

 

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Stuardo
Experienced Contributor

Re: How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

Hi @Jason @MitchellMc 

Lifting the tiles as Mitchell suggested was a success. Thank you.

Good excuse to buy a Multi Function Tool (Ryobi one+ to add to my collection) to cut around the grout.

I bought 2 good steel putty knives and very slowly tapped them under the tiles while holding my breath.

I got 3 good tiles and one cracked which was all I needed. Mitchell was spot on. Now the choice is do I 

dirty the new white grout or whiten all the dirty grout?

02 Kitchen A.jpg

02 Kitchen C.jpg

Thanks heaps guys.

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I lift floor tiles without breaking?

Hi @Stuardo,

 

I'm glad to hear removing the tiles worked out for you.

 

I'd recommend whitening the dirty grout. I've been using grout paint for years and it has been fantastic. I would suggest using the containers instead of the pens. The pens are really just for minor touchups.

 

The place I am in was built in the sixties and they used grey cement-based grout, even when clean it's still a dirty grey colour. Once every several years, we just re-apply the paint and the grout looks like new.

 

Mitchell

 

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