Expert Q and A's: Tearing Out Tile Flooring

Replacing an old tile floor isn't as difficult as it seems. Armed with these tips for tearing out tile flooring and putting in wood flooring, you'll have a fresh, modern surface in no time.

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When looking at new homes, or planning a remodel of your existing space, flooring is an important consideration. Tile is a popular choice, but it's not for everyone. If you're looking to tear out tile floor and replace it with hardwood, you're in the right place. We're here to answer some basic questions about tile replacement, how to remove tile floor, and how to install hardware flooring. 

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How do I Replace Tile Flooring?

The first step is to remove the tile floor. This part of the job can be easy or difficult depending on how the tile was installed, but often homeowners can do the demolition work themselves. Start by determining whether the tile was set into mortar or simply glued down to the subfloor.

What if the Tile is Glued Down?

If the tile is simply glued down with an adhesive, you might be able to use a crowbar and hammer. Once you get a tile started, the rest come up easy. To determine whether the tile is set in a bed of mortar or is glued down, pull up the grate from a floor register and look around the rim below the floor level. If there is no floor register, you might have to pull up the threshold of an exterior door to see what's under the tile.

What if the Tile is Set in Mortar?

If the tile is set in mortar, the job will be much harder. Sometimes the mortar can be up to 4 inches thick. In that case, power tools such as a rotary hammer will be required to chip out the tile and mortar. Go to a home improvement center to rent tools and get tips on using them.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Wood Flooring?

A local flooring company can give you a price quote on installing solid-wood floors (and removing the tile if you wish). It generally costs $5-$15 per square foot to have hardwood flooring installed and finished professionally. This price varies depending on labor costs, where you live and the type of wood you choose. (You can save money if you finish the floor yourself.) You can also install prefinished hardwood flooring. The price may end up being higher, but the job will get done quicker and with less mess.

Install this Inexpensive Wood Flooring Yourself

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