Removing tile adhered with thick mortar


New Member
Jan 26, 2017
Charlott, NC
Hi all! I'm a new homeowner and just bought my first house, a 1955 ranch in Charlotte, NC! One of my first order of things to do was to redo the gas fireplace. Also my iPad won't let me add photos so here are some links until I get to my work desktop:

The tile was very hard to remove with a hand chisel and hammer, so I borrowed a friend's electric hammer drill with chisel bit, which worked a charm. In fact, it helped me realize I was having touch a tough time before since I was trying to scrape the tiles from a layer of thick set mortar. As I used the hammer drill, the tile was coming off with about an inch of this thick mortar attached, leaving the fireplace masonry exposed (and even slitly dinging that). At this point I stopped since I didn't want to continue without advice from experts. I don't know the situation under the floor. Should I...

  1. Continue with the hammer drill and remove the thick set mortar all the way down to the cement brick?
  2. Try to be as careful as possible and remove the tiles without removing the mortar (almost impossible in parts, although just above the opening I managed this. (Picture 2)
  3. Stop ASAP and get a pro in before I do anything more stupid.

Thanks for the advice and I look forward to being a part of the forum!
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