Go ahead…look it up. “Removing tile is easy,” youtube says. “All you need is xxxx,” says wonderwoman’s blog. “It took me 13 seconds,” says some lying sack of broken ceramic.
Removing tile is as easy as stealing statues from the bottom of the ocean without scuba gear.
First, a little background. My kitchen remodel is coming nicely.
Except for that ugly tile.
I call the rental place and they said they’ve got an air chisel. Air chisel, eh. What’s that?
I do a bit of searching and find this video…
As effortless as sleeping in a cloud while listening to angels strumming their harps, or so it seems.
I rent the Tool of Torture and start hammering away.
Nothing. Tile wouldn’t budge.
Ok….so maybe I just need to get it started.
I smack the tile with a sledge hammer. Just a light tap, is all.
Ok, so maybe a less light tap.
The tile yawns and goes back to sleep.
Fine. If it’s gonna be that way…
I lift the hammer and with the force of Thor, I slam 8,000 cubic tons of pure newtonian force on that dude.
The tile wasn’t happy. He decided to get even by sending shards of shrapnel at my legs, hands, toes, and armpits at Mach 19. I even heard the crack of the broken sound barrier.
After several hours, things looked like this
After hammering the atoms out of these tiles, I used the air chisel for the only thing it was actually useful for–removing the thinset mortar. Painless, simple, and clean, right?
The cloud of mortar was as thick as the mountains of Mordor (and just as evil). For the first time in ten years I had an asthma attack, a very uncomfortable asthma attack. The sort that makes you feel like you’re breathing through a bottle with a single hole the size of an ant’s antenna.
The attack was bad enough that I stopped mid-project, at midnight, to go to a drugstore.
And of course, all inhalers were out of stock.
Face blue, legs red, and clothes smokey white, I returned home, donned a respirator, and kept going.
I thought it’d take an hour, tops.
I rented the Devil’s Device at 5pm.
I finished at 2am.
And I woke up the following morning to an 18inch thick layer of mortar dust all over my house.
And I still can’t breathe.
But at least the tile is gone.