Our “New” home – Part 3 – Carpet and tile demo – Prep and safety

Naptime Gnome Post #23

Preparation and safety… before you demo

So after getting quotes, we decided that it was not worth paying skilled labor prices for demolition. I knew the carpet would be fairly easy, but I’d never demoed tile and was a little nervous after hearing horror stories about what a grueling  job it can be.  After watching one of the contractors pull up a few tiles to see how difficult it would be, the little gnome on my shoulder said, “I can do that!” And guess what! SHE DID!

To get started you will want to make sure you have all the necessary tools, but also all the proper safety in place.

  1. You will need gloves, something to scoop like a flat shovel or dust pan, a broom and/or shop vac, a bucket or metal tub for moving broken tiles and other waste, a mask to protect your lungs and face, safety goggles or glasses, a hat (you would be shocked how many shards jump up and land in your hair), and various prying and scraping tools which we’ll talk about in greater details later. DSCN7358
  2. This is an EXTREMELY messy job. You will have dust literally coming out of your nose for days, even if using the proper protection. So do your best to reduce dust and the access it has to your respiratory mucosa. Choose a mask that will best suit your needs, but what ever you do don’t go without, if you are desperate to start and don’t have one on hand at least use a bandana (though this is definitely not preferred).


    BEST, good… last resort.

  3. Wear eye protection. Your ordinary glasses will not hack it. A flying tile shard will think nothing of enucleating you.


    Ok, this was just fun, probably a bit over kill though, the middle ones are good, the daily wear glasses… not so much!

  4. Use plastic to drape off the work area from the rest of the house. You will want to cover your cabinets and anywhere food is stored as well.DSCN7469DSCN7467
  5. Remove all furniture, rugs, wall hangings, curtains, electronics and any thing else you don’t want to be rescuing from the hazy cloud of debris.DSCN7466
  6. Turn off HVAC unit (heating and air conditioning). You don’t want to be pumping this stuff throughout the house if the intake is in your work space, and you also don’t want to be blowing it all over the place either.
  7. Tape off vents with plastic/packing tape. Even if the units are off, the cloud of dust will work its way up into your ducts and when you turn the unit back on, you’ll be sure to notice.

We’ll talk about using hand tools to demo tile next! Stay tuned!


-The Naptime Gnome

One thought on “Our “New” home – Part 3 – Carpet and tile demo – Prep and safety

  1. Pingback: Our “New” House – Part 5 – Tile Demo… WITH power tools! | Mommy Vegas & the Naptime Gnome

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