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Thread: Thickset (mudset) tile removal

  1. #1

    Cool Thickset (mudset) tile removal

    Hello,

    I'm preparing to do my second bathroom remodel in my home (built in 1954). The thing that I learned from my first remodel is that removing mudset tile is a pain in the rear end. I did it the old fashioned way with a sledgehammer.

    Does anyone know of the best tool to use to remove this stuff "the easy way?" I'm thinking a reciprocating saw of some sort, but I'm not sure if the $100 kind from the home depot will be enough to cut through my mudset tile. The mudset is a combination of the tile, about an inch of concrete, and a wire mesh holding the cement onto the studs.

    I'd greatly appreciate hearing about any saws/blades that would work well for something like this.

    If anyone lives in the Washington, DC area and would like to come and remove my tile, please let me know that, too.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    My first thought is to use a demo saw for this job and cut it out all at once. They are very expensive, so take your hundred bucks and go rent one.

    I can't imagine that any reciprocating saw could go through that.
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    Last edited by Verdeboy; 04-08-2007 at 05:33 PM.

  3. #3
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Oops! I posted before seeing the above picture. Anyway ...

    Depending upon the size of the job, I can imagine blades could be a big expense!

    If can achieve sufficient ventilation, check with a rental place about a hand-held, gas-powered concrete saw -- or maybe there is an electric one -- and they should be able to tell you the best blade(s) to use. Like Eric just said, the rental should be far less than the cost of a comparable saw, and you might be able to use a rental diamond (or whatever) blade on a pro-rated (ending diameter and condition) basis. A place I used to work several years ago used to rent saw/blade combos that way.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 04-08-2007 at 05:41 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Never had to do that...the people over at www.johnbridge.com do it much more often...you might want to ask there. Seems like I remember them saying sledge hammer, but don't quote me on that. My guess is that if you get a chunk out, a good wrecking bar might get it loose from the wall, but the metal lath is vicious stuff.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    metal lath is vicious stuff.
    this is the stuff that needs to be snipped, after the concrete cracks when hit.

    david

  6. #6
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
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    If you're talking floor tile removal, I would reach for the SDS demolition hammer. Bosch and Dewalt make them, probably other brands too.

    If you're talking wall tile, it is probably more of a manual task. Sledgehammer, masonry chisels and possibly a masonry cutoff wheel for the circular saw. Don't think you need a diamond blade.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassis
    If you're talking wall tile ... possibly a masonry cutoff wheel for the circular saw. Don't think you need a diamond blade.
    Possibly not, but I believe a rented diamond wheel would cost less than a stack of masonry wheels and not wear out and need replacement.

  8. #8
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    A diamond blade for your circular saw would cost less than the rental of the chop saw...
    You could afford a good respirator and filters w;ith the ;difference....

  9. #9

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the help guys. I've done the manual sledgehammer approach - EASIER SAID THAN DONE. It's a pain in the rear end and doesn't come off easily at all. I'll give the rental store a call and see what they say.

    Is a "demo saw" different than a reciprocating saw?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by joefrank25
    Is a "demo saw" different than a reciprocating saw?
    As different as night and day.

    All the saws we have recommended have diamond (or masonry) wheels. A demo saw is like a circular saw on steroids. You may be able to get by with a good circular saw with a good diamond blade. But, then again, this kind of work might be too much for it.

    A reciprocating saw is like your hedge trimmer, in that the blade goes back and forth at a high rate of speed. It's okay for demoing wood and thin metal, but not tile or concrete. Other names for reciprocating saw are: Sawzall, Tiger Saw.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 04-09-2007 at 11:01 AM.

  11. #11
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdeboy
    You may be able to get by with a good circular saw with a good diamond blade. But, then again, this kind of work might be too much for it.
    Yes, if you have very much to do, I believe a rental would be much better. I have a tough worm-drive Skil framing saw that had served me well for many years until I trashed it cutting a couple of holes for egress windows.

  12. #12

    Default Specific Demo Saw?

    Looking at my local hardware rental place - I don't see anything labels "demolition saw." Even looking at lowes.com or *********.com and typing in demo saw, nothing really jumps out as the best tool to use. Do you have any specific saws in mind that I could use? Thanks again.

  13. #13

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    You need some sort of hand-held concrete saw with a diamond wheel. There's no specific model I can give you.

  14. #14
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joefrank25
    Looking at my local hardware rental place - I don't see anything labels "demolition saw." Even looking at lowes.com or *********.com and typing in demo saw, nothing really jumps out as the best tool to use. Do you have any specific saws in mind that I could use? Thanks again.
    Just ask the rental folks what they have for concrete saws, then pick a small one (with maybe a 15"-or-so blade) that looks like the picture Verdeboy posted above. A respirator mask and lots of ventilation would be a great idea, and be sure to be prepared for dealing with a lot of dust ... and all of that might just make the old sledge-hammer drill a little more appealing, eh?!

  15. #15
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    I haven't had the luxury of removing thickset from a wall (mine's in the hearth and very stubborn) but I've removed a section of thick plaster over mesh from my kitchen wall. Regardless of how you dig into the wall I found using my pry bar at the studs did a half decent job of pulling the staples out of the studs leaving the plaster and mesh more or less still intact. The thickset, being harder and possibly thicker, will probably hold together even better. Less bashing or cutting = less dust and little bits = happier DIYer.

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