How to Remove a Terrazzo Floor

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheets

  • Hammer drill

  • Concrete chisel blade

  • Goggles/safety glasses

  • Gloves


You can rent or purchase a hammer drills at your nearest hardware store.

Removing a terrazzo floor is challenging, but eminently doable.

Terrazzo tile is comprised of a mixture of highly polished small stone pieces bonded together. These types of tiles are very durable and are often used in areas with heavy foot traffic. Removing a terrazzo floor is a bit trickier than other types of tile floors, because the tiles themselves are so heavy and thick. You will need to use a hammer drill, which functions as a mini jackhammer to remove most ot the terrazzo.

Step 1

Move anything on top of the terrazo floor to another location, such as furniture or appliances. This will give you more room to work and also help protect these items.

Step 2

Cover anything you cannot move out of the room with a dropcloth or plastic sheet.

Step 3

Insert a chisel blade into the end of the hammer drill and secure with the drill chuck. How this is done will depend on your hammer drill, either with a key or a keyless chuck. Put on safety equipment, including goggles and gloves.

Step 4

Hold the chisel at a shallow angle to the edge of the first tile and turn on the power. Slowly work the edge of the chisel so it reaches beneath the surface of the tile. The tile will be weakest where it meets the concrete slab below, so try to direct the chisel in this area.

Step 5

Break up as much tile as possible, continuing with the hammer drill. If you are lucky, the terrazzo floor tiles will come up in large chunks, making less work.

references & resources

Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.