Cost to Remove Tile Floor


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

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Tile, a popular flooring choice among homeowners, is often considered for a renovation project.  The problem, however, is that tile flooring already exists, and, unfortunately, it will need to be removed in order to lay new flooring.

Cost to Remove Tile Floor
Slow Progress” (CC BY 2.0) by John Loo

How much does it cost to remove tile floor?

The cost to remove tile will depend on a few factors, including how the tile was laid, what kind of subfloor it is fastened to, the contractor you decide to hire and your geographical region.  Based on all of these factors, the average price, from the quotes we gathered online, tend to be in the $2 to $5 per square foot range.   Again, this is for the removal only and will not include any new tile installation.   With other factors available, which we will discuss in our “tile removal methods” subheading below, there are other ways to save.

While most jobs are fairly straightforward, some obstacles can exist, and for that reason, we recommend you gather as many quotes as you can from free quote comparison services such as HomeAdvisor.com.  Here, all you need to do is describe your job and licensed contractors in your area will contact you with a free, no-obligation quote.

What is included in this quote?

The estimates mentioned prior should include all of the labor costs, as well as the disposal of all project debris, including the cost to load and haul away the material from the job site.  A reputable and licensed contractor will always provide you with a written quote, detailing exactly what your payment will cover.  As always, if you have any questions, be sure to ask your contractor before the job begins and you decide to sign on the dotted line.

Tile removal methods

DIY method:  Removing tile isn’t a hard job — it’s just tedious and can be a slow back-aching process.  According to Uptownfloors.com, the average time spent to remove tile floors can average about 25 square feet per hour on a concrete subfloor, but this removal would not include the disposal as you will need to factor in this cost since most local garbage companies will not take it away for you, meaning you will have to pay local dump fees.  If you’re determined to do it on your own, you will need to rent a demo hammer from a local rental store and be sure to use as much protection as possible, including earplugs, long pants, long sleeves, gloves and anything else to protect any tile from flinging up and harming you.  In the end, a demo hammer can cost you $100 and the labor will essentially be free since you’re doing the job.

Day labor:  A risky choice, this can include hiring a few guys at a local day laboring office.  While some of these workers may have experience removing tile, many won’t, plus, they will not have the appropriate insurance while performing the work inside of your home.  Again, being risky, day laborers often cost $10 to $15 an hour, but you will have to provide all of the supplies, meaning the total price for this job will equate to $10 to $15 an hour plus the demo hammers for each worker.  If the workers work like you would, this means you should be prepared to spend about $30 an hour for two workers for every 25 square feet.

Specialty company:  Some specialty companies operate with heavy machinery which can remove hundreds of square feet of tile in less than a day in most cases.  These massive battery operated machines can fit through standard doorways and even up a few steps, destroying tile as it moves over it, similar to how a vacuum would.  These companies could charge more, but in the end, it could actually be cheaper since most companies do charge on an hourly basis.  From the companies we talked to online, the average rate seemed to be in the $3 to $4 per square foot range, but the job, most of the time, could be tackled in less than a day as long as your home was smaller than 1,500 square feet.

Retail store:  From our research, hiring a local retailer will actually be your costliest option since they will have to outsource the work to a locally screened candidate.  Averaging about $4 to $5 per square foot, most of the time, you will save money finding the contractor on your own.

Tips to know

Tile removal is going to create a lot of dust and will end up in kitchen cabinets, drapes and your furniture.  It will even find its ways into other areas that are not even part of the demo processing, so because of this, it’s so important to prep ahead of time by covering everything in sight with a plastic liner.  While a contractor can do this for you, it can lead to additional costs.


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