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How to Remove Slate Floor Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide

21 May 2024

How to Remove Slate Floor Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re considering renovating your home or changing your flooring, removing Slate Tiles can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry! With the right tools and knowledge, you can remove your tiles easily and efficiently. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of removing Slate floor tiles and offer tips on sustainable ways of disposing them of to ensure seamless project completion. With the right planning, you’ll be able to complete this task with minimal hassle and stress. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Ensure that you have the tools ready

People generally ask, “How to remove Slate tiles without breaking them?”. It is usually done by being fully prepared from the start. Hence, it is a must to have all necessary tools and protective gear to complete the job safely. This will help you avoid injury and ensure you get the best results possible.

Here’s a list of equipment that you will need:

  • Protective gear such as gloves, goggles and mask
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pry bar
  • Sledgehammer
  • Floor scraper
  • Bucket
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Heavy-duty garbage bags

Step 2: Prepare the area

Before beginning the process of Slate tile removal, ensure the work area is clear of furniture or any other stuff. Cover other immovables or fixtures with a sheet to protect them from dust and debris. Use painter’s tape to secure the edges of the sheet to the floor. Additionally, wear protective eye gear to protect any small particle from getting in the eyes.

Step 3: Remove grout

Using a hammer and chisel, carefully remove the grout around the perimeter of the tiles. This will help to loosen the tiles from the adhesive and make it easier to remove them.

Step 4: Loosen the tiles

Use a pry bar to carefully lift the edge of the tiles. Once you have lifted a tile, use a sledgehammer to gently tap it to loosen it from the adhesive. Work cautiously to avoid damaging the subfloor or breaking the tiles.

Step 5: Remove the tiles

Once you have loosened a tile, use a floor scraper to lift it off the subfloor. If the tile is immovable and won’t lift, use a chisel to carefully chip away the adhesive underneath the tile. It is the best way to remove Slate floor tiles. Repeat this process for each tile, working your way across the room until all tiles have been removed.

Step 6: Clean up

Once all tiles have been removed, use a dustpan and brush to clean up any debris left on the subfloor. Place the debris into sturdy garbage bags and dispose them of properly. We’ve covered this in another section of this blog, read on to know about eco-friendly ways to dispose of Slate Tiles.

Step 7: Inspect the subfloor

Inspect the subfloor for any damage or unevenness. If there is any remaining adhesive, use a floor scraper to remove it completely. Repair any damage before installing new flooring to ensure a smooth and level surface. And you’re done!

Removing Slate Tiles seems tricky at first but once you get the hang of it, it seems doable, right? It is why often people wonder if they should take on the task themselves or hire a professional. Well, it depends on a couple of factors, such as the right tools, knowledge and experience you have.

Let’s Look at the Pros and Cons of DIY Slate Tile Removal Versus Hiring a Pro

DIY Slate Tile Removal:

  1. Cost saving: DIY Slate Tile removal can be less expensive than hiring a professional. You’ll save money on labour costs and can potentially repurpose some of the tools used for other DIY projects.
  2. Sense of accomplishment: Successfully removing the Slate Tiles all by yourself can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride in your DIY skills.
  3. Flexibility: DIY projects allow you to work at your pace and on your schedule. You can take breaks as needed and work around to fit other commitments.
  1. Time-consuming: Removing Slate Tiles yourself can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have little to no experience. It may take longer than you anticipate and delay other aspects of your renovation project.
  2. Risk of injury: Removing tiles involves heavy lifting, using power tools, and exposure to dust and debris, which can increase the risk of injury if proper safety measures are not taken.
  3. Lack of experience: If you don’t have any prior experience in removing tiles, you may accidentally harm the subfloor, neighbouring tiles or yourself, leading to further costs and delays in the renovation process.

Hiring a Professional:

  1. Expertise: Professionals have the necessary experience and expertise to remove the tiles efficiently and effectively, minimising the risk of damage to the subfloor and neighbouring tiles.
  2. Time-saving: Hiring a professional can save you time, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the renovation project.
  3. Insurance coverage: Professional tile removal companies typically have insurance coverage, which can protect you from any accidental damage that may occur during the process.
  1. High cost: Hiring a professional for removing Slate floor tiles can be more expensive than DIY, as you’ll be paying for the labour, materials, and insurance coverage.
  2. Less flexibility: Working with a professional means you’ll have to work around their calendar and may not have complete control over the timeline of the project.
  3. Less control: You may have overall less control over the process and the outcome of the project if you hire a professional.

So, the decision to DIY or hire a professional for removing Slate floor tiles ultimately comes down to your experience, comfort level and budget. If you are experienced and comfortable taking on the task, DIY may be the best option. However, hiring a professional may be the way to go if you’re not confident or want to ensure the job is done efficiently.

Now Let’s Look at Some Ways to Dispose of Slate Floor Tiles

Another factor to think through, which many people don’t consider until the end of the tile removal process is how and where to dispose them of. Traditional disposal methods often involve sending the tiles to a landfill, which can harm the environment. Thankfully, there are eco-friendly options available for disposing of old Slate Tiles. By choosing natural ways, you can help make a positive impact on the environment while still ensuring that your tiles are disposed of safely and responsibly.

  • Reuse
    One of the most eco-friendly options is to reuse old Slate Floor Tiles. Depending on the condition of the tiles, you may be able to use them for other DIY projects, such as creating a mosaic for your garden or using them as borders.
  • Repurpose
    If your Slate Tiles are too damaged to reuse, don’t worry! Consider repurposing them for a variety of uses. Use them as drainage for potted plants or as beautiful decorative elements in landscaping. If you’re feeling creative, you can even use the tiles to create a fire pit or an outdoor seating area. Unleash your creativity and bring life to your outdoor space!
  • Recycle
    If you cannot reuse or repurpose the tiles, you can consider recycling them. Check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept Slate Tiles. If they do, be sure to clean the tiles thoroughly and remove any grout or adhesive residue before recycling.
  • Donate your tiles
    If recycling isn’t an option, consider donating your old tiles to a local non-profit organisation or community centre instead of throwing away your old tiles. Many cities are turning to recycled materials, to form a base layer for their roads. By donating your tiles, you can help support the effort to create more sustainable and eco-friendly roads. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to help protect our environment!
  • Upcycling
    Upcycling is an innovative way to breathe new life into old materials. Instead of throwing out your old Slate Tiles, why not use them to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture or decor for your home? Give your old Slate a second chance and get creative with upcycling.

As seen above, many eco-friendly options exist for disposing of old floor tiles. By choosing any of these, you can reduce the carbon footprint and help protect the ecosystem.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Slate Tiles Flooring?

When it comes to Slate floor tile removal, the typical cost is between $40 to $80 per landing. Please only utilise this as a broad reference as these prices may fluctuate based on a wide range of circumstances. You can contact a local landscaper for the same.


This brings us to the end of the Slate Tile removal process. If you enjoyed reading this, share it with your friends and family. We hope this guide has been helpful in giving you the information you need to successfully remove your Old Slate Tiles. If you still have some questions or need any clarifications, we’re just a call away. Don’t hesitate to contact our stone experts and get all your worries resolved.

*Disclaimer: All information and advice given above in the blog are to the best of our knowledge. Please reconfirm at your end before execution.

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