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Old 11-02-2013, 10:37 AM
450 posts, read 4,211,458 times
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For those who have done tile removal and installation of new tile, how dusty and smelly is it? We would like to remove the ceramic tile floor in our basement bathroom and install a new tile floor. However, since the tile floor is on top of the concrete, it will have to be jackhammered out in places (or entirely) I assume, and this could be a dusty mess.

Then, there is the adhesive for laying down new tile with possible fumes.

I am pregnant and wondering if this is a good idea or not given dust and fumes.

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Old 11-02-2013, 10:52 AM
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First I REALLY REALLY REALLY doubt you need a "jack hammer" as 99% of all tile is NOT set into the concrete but instead relies on adhesives like "thin set". Even if someone used a "mortar base" on top of the concrete in your basement odds are that mortar base will EASILY be popped off the MUCH harder concrete. Typically a long handled "floor scraper" will make quick work of these kind of installation - I have personally cleared off very large areas in an hour or two.

Second there is really no "fumes" to worry about -- the tile is DRY and so will be the adhesive / mortar. Unless something is SERIOUSLY wrong with the plumbing that should not present any issues with fumes either. Heck even fresh new "thin set" type adhesives are made with very few "volatile organic compounds" and typically have no real warnings about required "breathing protection" or ventilation. Tile is not flexible for the adhesive is more like "cement" and not like "glue". Even "epoxy modified tile adhesive" is not really all that stinky...

Ceramic tile typically breaks up like dinner plates and leaves shards of busted fragment to scoop up. The dust is often gritty but will not leave clouds floating in the air like super fine drywall sanding. Frankly this is easy work and not nearly as messy as some DIY projects.

Of course without knowing what your physician would say about your overall health or stage of your pregnancy I must suggest that you check with an health professional but from an "air borne hazard" angle this would likely be low risk.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:29 PM
Location: Cold Springs, NV
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Silica dust can be considered a problem. See here:

I usually demo tile with a 6' bar, chipping hammer, and a bushing bit to remove all the thinset. I would not consider this acceptable work for a pregnant women, but I'm kinda biased towards my girls.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:26 PM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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An electric "demo hammer" and a scaling chisel will knockout tile removal very efficiently and timely, with little physical force/ability.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:45 PM
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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If this work is being carried out , get out of the house as much as possible, as everything that goes into you goes into you baby...
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:58 PM
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Plastic off the area being worked on. You can double plastic so you go through two plastic curtains. You can simply get a floor scraper and they should just pop off fairly easy. Have a hammer handy too. It can get dusty
Tile is stuck to concrete using what is called thin set. Its a mortar like paste. It comes in powder form in a bag. Its micxed in a bucket to the consistency of something like mud. Its spread out using a trowel.
It has no fumes to speak of. It has a smell but. You have to stick your face in the bucket to smell it.
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