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    Thread: How to remove mortar from concrete?

    1. Member auburnjosh's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 04:37 PM #1
      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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      05-09-2011 05:48 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by auburnjosh View Post
      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.
      probably be better off using something like levelastic and smoothing what you already have. Why couldn't you just put the laminate over the tile?

    3. Member auburnjosh's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 07:13 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Egilbe View Post
      probably be better off using something like levelastic and smoothing what you already have. Why couldn't you just put the laminate over the tile?
      Because I am using a 12mm laminate and it would make the countertops lower, would have to shave doors, and cut casing. I figured removing the tile was easier. Removing the tile was easy but scraping the mortar is taking forever.
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    4. Member robr2's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 07:40 PM #4
      It might be quicker and easier to pull up and replace the subfloor.

    5. Member auburnjosh's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 07:46 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
      It might be quicker and easier to pull up and replace the subfloor.
      subfloor? I'm on a concrete slab
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    6. Member eluwak's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 08:03 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by auburnjosh View Post
      subfloor? I'm on a concrete slab
      exactly

      Probably the easiest way would be to chisel it off as best you can. You may still have to use some leveler if you can't get it smooth enough.
      <insert comment here>

    7. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 12:50 AM #7
      If you have a compressor try using a cheap air chisel with a 4" wide blade. You can get this stuff at harbor freight.

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      05-10-2011 04:14 AM #8

    9. Member auburnjosh's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 12:03 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      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 was thinking of picking up one. Looks like I'm having a mortar chiseling party this weekend
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      05-10-2011 01:01 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by auburnjosh View Post
      Because I am using a 12mm laminate and it would make the countertops lower, would have to shave doors, and cut casing. I figured removing the tile was easier. Removing the tile was easy but scraping the mortar is taking forever.
      ok, let us know how long it takes you to scrape all the mortar off the floors, vs shaving doors and trimming casings.

    11. Member VdubTX's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 01:25 PM #11
      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.
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    12. 05-13-2011 10:39 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Egilbe View Post
      ok, let us know how long it takes you to scrape all the mortar off the floors, vs shaving doors and trimming casings.



      + scrap bit of flooring make short work of door jambs.

    13. Member robr2's Avatar
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      05-13-2011 04:31 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by auburnjosh View Post
      subfloor? I'm on a concrete slab
      Sorry, I read that as tile on mudbed. Slabs aren't common around here.

    14. Member chrisyoon's Avatar
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      05-17-2011 09:14 AM #14
      It's not a fun job removing thinset. You'll need this:



      This:



      And 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.

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      05-20-2011 09:35 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by chrisyoon View Post
      It's not a fun job removing thinset. You'll need this:



      This:



      And 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.
      This is the correct answer.

      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.

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