Recently my wife and I decided to replace the outdated ceramic tile in our house. The first part of the project was to actually take up the tile. So with hammer and chisel we started chipping away. We knew that most of the tile had not been laid properly and for the most part it would just pop up. This took us about 2 days. The thin set that it was laid with was a different story though.
We tried scraping the thin set up with a hand scraper. That was a back breaking job that took forever with poor results. Next I found an attachment made by Milwaukee tools that attaches to a sawzall. They make a 1 ½” and a 3” scraper blade. This is mostly meant to take up paint and lightweight glues, however, I thought I would see how well it worked on thin set. Where the thin set and tile had been laid incorrectly, the scraper blade did a good job, just popping the thin set right up. But where the thin set had actually been set correctly the blade and saw just didn’t have enough strength to get the job done.
Finally, I went to our local home improvement store and rented a small demolition tool, with a scraper blade. Within 3 hours, I had chipped up all of the thin set.
So, the moral of the story is to always use the right tools, and don’t try to use your tools for things they are not meant to do.