Tile Flooring: Better To Rip Up Or Just Replace?

Tile Flooring: Better To Rip Up Or Just Replace?

Tile floorings are a great option as a flooring material for many homeowners. Let us take a look at whether you need to rip up or just replace them when the time comes. Tiles are one of the most popular flooring options available out there. They are versatile and they come in a wide variety of styles and different features. If you maintain them properly, tile flooring can last you decades. This is a type of flooring material that is a particularly great choice for bathrooms, kitchens and even mudrooms. These are cool to the touch and they are also relatively easy to clean. Tile floorings offer a number of benefits which wood or laminate flooring simply cannot provide. This is due to natural resistance to moisture that they have. Another thing that has to be mentioned is the fact that this type of flooring material is very often much cheaper than other flooring options and when you consider the wide variety and the wide array of price points that they are available at, they can fit any homeowner’s budget for their flooring needs. 

There are a lot of professionals who say that when the time does come for replacing tiles, you can simply tile over what has already been laid down. The question that has to be asked here, though, is whether that saves the homeowner money in the long run or not. 

The Laydown

Getting rid of tiles which have already been installed is not a small undertaking. What you will need to do is to start off by prying up tiles at one corner of the room and then slowly work your way across the room. 

If you have plans to make some alternative use of the tiles you are taking off, then you must be extra careful so as to not damage any of the tiles. This is something that really is easier said than done and it is especially true if the tile that you are taking off was set properly, is stuck and is grouted. 

If you happen to have not installed the original tiling and you do not particularly care what happens to these tiles after removal, you can just grab a hammer and start swinging while being careful so as to not damage any of the subfloor. 
Just make sure to use an appropriate hammer for the job as this is how hammers are made for-to break up various types of materials. However, lighter hammers are preferable to use for gentle precision.
If you decide to do it on your own, be prepared to invest anywhere from several hours to a full day on the job. The time it will take you will depend on the size of the room. If you cannot be bothered about doing it by yourself and you decide to hire someone to do it for you, you should expect to pay anywhere from a thousand dollars to three thousand dollars.

There are a lot of advantages of completely ripping up the tile flooring instead of getting a cover-up job done. One of the main advantages is that you can take a closer look at the condition of the subfloor and therefore, you can make any changes that are required. If the panels of the floor are loose or are rotten, you will get the chance to replace them instead of just covering them up with even more tiles. 

Furthermore, and it is especially true for bathrooms, you will get the very important advantage of getting to see if there is any damage from water. If water has found a way to enter underneath the existing tiles, you will probably have to do a lot more than just replace the tiles. You will probably have to deal with mold. 

Simply put, when you rip out old tiles in order to make way for newer ones, you will get to see everything that there is to see underneath but you have to remember that it is a lot more work. 

Keeping it covered

If you do decide to leave the old tiles in their place, then you can save a whole lot of time. If you happen to have installed the original tiles by yourself or by a professional do it for you, there may quite possibly be no need to uncover the floor because there are most likely no problems to be found there. If you make sure that the existing tiles are prepared properly, you can quite easily attach another layer and call it a day. It is important to point out here that you will be raising the level of the floor though, even if it is by only a small amount. 

In order to prep old tile for the purposes of retiling, you should start by tapping all of the existing tiles with a mallet made out of wood or just with a small piece of actual wood. If the sound you hear is hollow, it probably means that the tile is loose. In this scenario, remove the tile and then reattach it using a thin-set which is available at any old hardware store. 

After the above has been done, you should get a four-foot level and then proceed to working your way around the room. The purpose of this particular step is to identify any high spots. Make use of a grinder that is a right-angle or you can even use a masonry wheel in order to level out any potential problem areas. After this, sand the floor so that it roughens up the tiles. This will make sure that there is proper adhesion for the new layer. 

You should also clean out grout that is old. Then you should vacuum and sweep the whole area and then proceed to rinsing the floor in order to remove any coatings. After all of this has been done, bring in your new tiles and proceed to attaching them in batches that are small. This will make sure that the thin-set does not dry out completely. If you do all of the above correctly, you will get a brand-new floor without any complications. 

Finally, to answer the question of whether to rip or replace, we have to say that both are proper options. It depends on the individual preference of the homeowner, their budget and also what lies underneath.
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