How To Remove Ceramic Tile Adhesive From A Concrete Floor? Things You Need To Know!

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Ceramic tiles are one of the most popular tiles used in many houses. This is the most affordable flooring, with high durability and easy installation.

Maintenance is easy when it comes to ceramic tiles. If you plan to redesign the house by removing the old ceramic tile from the concrete floor, you’ve found the right article.

This blog will offer some suggestions for reducing labor-intensive tasks.

Several DIY hacks will help to dampen the hard tile adhesive on the concrete. Hence, you can easily remove the softened glue from the floor using a scraper or putty knife.

What Is The Best Tile Adhesive For Bonding Ceramic Tiles

What Is The Best Tile Adhesive For Bonding Ceramic Tiles
What Is The Best Tile Adhesive For Bonding Ceramic Tiles

To bond ceramic tile, you can use a variety of ceramic tile adhesives.

Following are a few suitable tile adhesives for ceramic tiles.

Mastic Adhesive

The type 1 mastic adhesive will be excellent for bonding 8 x 8 ceramic tile to the floor.

This adhesive will work well on dry or damp surfaces. Mastic tile adhesive is a water-soluble organic product.

Thin-Set Mortar

This cement-based tile adhesive is technically a modified version of mortar.

The thin-set mortar is thinner and more suitable for bonding tiles than mortar.

This tile adhesive takes a long time to cure but is an affordable and widely available product.

Asbestos Adhesive

Although this tile adhesive has not been used recently, it was used before the 1980s when bonding ceramic tiles.

Newly, manufacturers have mixed some asbestos with other types of tile adhesives.

If you reconstruct a house constructed before 1984, the tile will contain asbestos adhesive.

Vinyl Flooring Adhesive

A vinyl flooring adhesive is also an excellent option for tiling concrete floors. You can easily install tiles using this adhesive.

Since this adhesive will adhere to the surface over time, it might be challenging to remove this adhesive.

How To Remove Ceramic Tile From A Concrete Floor

How To Remove Ceramic Tile From A Concrete Floor 2
How To Remove Ceramic Tile From A Concrete Floor 2

Before removing the ceramic tile adhesive from the concrete floor, you must first remove the tile.

First, prepare the place as you will be handling ceramic tiles.

  • Clean and vacate the place.
  • Cover the countertop or any other areas. 
  • Seal the vent to prevent it from getting clogged.
  • Shut down the HVAC system and cover it well.
  • Remove all baseboard trim using a hammer, pry bar, and screwdriver.

Safety Precautions:

Safety Precautions 3
Safety Precautions 3

Wear safety gear, as you will be dealing with dust and sharp tools.

The following are some essentials to improving safety:

Ceramic Tile Removal

After prepping, you can start to remove the ceramic tiles. You can remove the ceramic tiles by using the chisel with the hammer and pry bar.

The best place to start is with cracked ceramic tile or areas with loose grout.

Note: If you are doing this for the first time, it is better to get the help of a professional.

How To Remove Ceramic Tile Adhesives From A Concrete Floor

How To Remove Ceramic Tile Adhesives From A Concrete Floor
How To Remove Ceramic Tile Adhesives From A Concrete Floor

Once you have completed removing the tiles, the next step is to remove the tile adhesive.

You can use several hacks to remove the tile adhesive from the subfloor. Here you will learn about removing the four main types of ceramic adhesive from a concrete floor.

How To Remove Mastic Adhesive

As already mentioned, the mastic adhesive is water-soluble.

Hence, you can lay a wet cloth or towel on this adhesive. Let it stay for some time so that the moisture softens the glue.

Then, using the scraper, you can scrape off the glue from the subfloor.

How To Remove Thinset Mortar

Pour a bucket of boiling water on the concrete floor. After a while, cracks will start forming. Now, using the chisel at 45 degrees, you can chip away the tile adhesive from the base.

Although this floor glue is not water-soluble, pouring boiling water on the crack on the surface makes the task easier.

Note: You can use the driller or angle grinder when removing the thin set. It is necessary to know the DIY method before using such tools.

How To Remove Asbestos Adhesive

Imagine you are trying to remove old tile adhesive like asbestos.

It is best to get a professional’s help. Handling asbestos adhesive is risky, as it will become airborne and is dangerous to inhale.

Therefore, it is better to avoid DIYing when removing asbestos adhesive.

How To Remove Vinyl Flooring Adhesive

Since vinyl flooring adhesive hardens over time, removing such glues may appear difficult.

In contrast, this adhesive will soften when you supply heat, so you can use this tip when removing vinyl flooring adhesives.

Cover the glue with a soft cloth or paper sheets when heating this adhesive, and then supply heat with a hair dryer or steamer. Next, scrape off the softened adhesive using a chisel.

How To Remove Stubborn Ceramic Adhesive

How To Remove Stubborn Ceramic Adhesive
How To Remove Stubborn Ceramic Adhesive

After removing the ceramic floor glue, if you still notice a bit of stubborn adhesive, remove it using a mild solvent.

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent choice for dampening and skimming stubborn adhesive. Some people use strong solvents like methylene chloride or acetone when removing floor glue.

Important: Test a small portion of the concrete floor to ensure the mild or strong solvent doesn’t damage the floor.

After removing the ceramic tile glue, clean the concrete surface using soap and water. To protect the floor, apply sealant at the end of the process. Sealing the floor will also make it easier to clean.

Bottom Line

You can now use the above hack to remove the ceramic tile adhesive from the concrete. These simple tips will help obtain an adhesive-free surface.

You can select the appropriate removal strategy according to the ceramic adhesive type. If your ceramic tiles are bonded using asbestos-based glue, get a professional’s help when removing the adhesive.

Wear safety gear when handling chemicals. Good Luck!


Can I Use Goo Gone To Remove Tile Adhesive On The Concrete Floor?

Yes, using Goo Gone, you can remove floor glue from concrete.

To remove the water-based adhesive, use the Water and Goo Gone solution. Using Goo Gone at full strength is better when dealing with solvent-based adhesives.

How Should Mastic Adhesive Be Removed?

You can use hot or boiling water to remove mastic adhesive.

This water-soluble glue will dampen due to moisture.

Can I Use Nail Polish To Remove Stubborn Ceramic Adhesive?

Yes, you can use nail polish. The acetone in nail polish will help to soften the stubborn adhesive.

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About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.