General Purpose Tools

Spyder Scraper


Tile remover

Last year I removed some old vinyl tile from our dining room. Even with the help of a friend and a a heavy duty floor scraper, it took all afternoon. Some tiles popped up fine, but most stuck tenaciously and had to be pried up with a thin blade. Miserable.

The kitchen had the same tiles, and yesterday I cleared them all out by myself in about 30 minutes without breaking a sweat. The difference? A Spyder Scraper, which fits into any brand reciprocating saw.

It’s not a complete solution alone, because it’s hard to get the saw itself underneath the tiles as they peel up. Use the Spyder to loosen the edges, and then a long handled manual scraper to scoop up the tiles. When the manual scraper hits another tough edge, hit it with the Spyder again. Two people working together in this fashion should be able to clear 300 sq-ft in well under an hour.

I used the 4″ blade; they also come in 2″ and 6″ for different purposes including removing tiles adhered with thinset. I wish I’d had one a couple of years ago whenI redid the bathroom!

-- Scott Noyes 10/13/11


The Spyder Scraper attaches to any brand reciprocating saw.

(Note: Whatever tool you use, do what we used to do: buy a block of dry ice and put it briefly on each tile before removal (put it on the next tile while you work on the current one). The tiles shatter easily, the glue is rendered brittle, and removal is fast. --John Jorsett — editors)