How to Remove Cement Board


Have you ever wondered what it is that backs the tiles on your kitchen or bathroom floors? That’s the cement board – a durable base for your tiles. While it is usually not prone to any kind of decomposition, there might be scenarios when you want to remove them.

If your cement board wasn’t screwed on properly and is starting to stick out or move, it might be time for you to remove your cement board and replace them. If you are looking to change your tiles, taking out the board can be necessary, too.

If you want to know how to remove cement board, here are the steps that you’ll need:

Secure the area.

Before you start removing the cement board, you need to prepare the surrounding area and appliances first. Since you will be using relatively heavy equipment, they might get damaged if you don’t cover them first. They might also get dirt and debris if not kept away properly. To cover them, you can use plastic sheets.

Change to proper clothing.

While you might want to wear anything while you work on the cement boards, it will be better if you change your outfit. Prepare work gloves and goggles, as well as long sleeves and pants. Try to cover your eyes and skin, especially if they are particularly delicate.

Start unscrewing.

In the next step, you will start the removal process by removing screws. Use an extractor or any other method to take them out. Make sure that you unscrew everything affected – from the outlet covers to the registers.

Once you are done with unscrewing, you can remove the tiles on the top of the backer board safely. If you will still need them later, you can place them in a separate area. If not, you can put them in a box or a bag and discard them.

Proceed with the demolition process.

Using a hammer, you can start hammering and chipping away the cement board. Hammer until you break through the grout of the cement board. However, make sure that you aren’t placing too much force. The subfloor might get damaged if you use too much power.

Remove grouts and joints.

When you reach the grouts and the joints, start removing them. Remove the grouts first, followed by the joints of the affected boards. Make sure to discard these items immediately to prevent any safety hazard while you work. If you can’t throw them away, make sure that they are not in the way.

Start prying the board off.

The next step is going to need a pry bar. Inspect the cement board. Find any area underneath it where you can fit the tip of your pry bar. Once you find it, use the bar to get ahold of the board from below. When you get a stronghold, start pulling the board up. Continue this activity until you have fully lifted the cement board off the floor.

Repeat the process until you have removed every board.

If you need to remove other boards, repeat the same process. Start by unscrewing the outlets and registers. Follow it up by hammering until you can remove the grout and joints. Finally, pry it off with the bar. While you repeat the process, remember not to use too much force as you can harm the subfloor.

Clean up.

Once you are finished and have removed every board, start discarding any remaining debris. You can sweep the floors or use a vacuum. At this stage, you can also remove the covers on the furniture and near surfaces.

Whether you want to replace the tiles, reduce the bulk of your floor, or fix uneven surfaces, you can remove cement boards on your own. Just remember that this can be a strenuous activity. Make sure that you are fully prepared before you start.


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Jason D. Turner

Hi there! My name is Jason, a keen enthusiast in power tools and their mechanisms and the sole mastermind behind the Noisy Tools. Working in a multi-national construction firm in Brooklyn for over a decade, I have developed a fair flair for different construction devices, gadgets, and their diverse operational aspects. By the dint of this platform, I have researched and reviewed various tools with utmost details of even the most trivial matters that will provide valuable insights for any prospective user.

4,618 thoughts on “How to Remove Cement Board”

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