I pulled up ceramic tile that was on a slab and it left the mortar behind. What is the best way to get this up? I am putting down laminate and need it as smooth as possible.
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If you have a compressor try using a cheap air chisel with a 4" wide blade. You can get this stuff at harbor freight.
I did something similar this past winter. Put new tile entry way. Broke out tile with hammer and chisel, then to get remaining adhesive/mortar out, used a long handled scraper with a thick razor blade on it. Worked great, was kind of skeptical about it, but worked fine. Change blades every couple of hours. Got the surface smooth so I could re lay tile on it.
Used the same scraper in our kitchen taking out vinyl laminate floors and worked great getting the slab ready for laying tile on it also.
It's not a fun job removing thinset. You'll need this:
Its a Demolition hammer with varying bits, using the first to break up the larger chunks, and the large flat one to smooth and remove. The large flat one is designed not to damage the slab, the the wide chisel will if you squat on the slab long enough. Then you'll want to float a leveler. Rent one at a tool rental place like home depot if you dont have one. Don't do it by hand.... you'll gouge the slab and it'll take forever.
You are in for a heck of a job, I hate to say it.
Also, when you're done, the slab will still not be smooth enough for laminate.
You have two options once you get the mortar off:
1) Spread leveler across the whole slab. It'll take a long time. You'll want a long level to check as you go along to make sure you don't have humps and dips.
2) Put down a thin plywood subfloor first, to glue the laminate to. You can do a floating subfloor, or anchor the plywood to the slab with tapcon screws.