Remove the grout around the tile with a grout saw. Grout saws resemble utility knives and are used to remove grout surrounding tiles. Hold your grout saw firmly in your dominant hand and work around the tile you want to remove. Use long strokes as you apply firm pressure to cut into the grout so the tile comes up easier. Grout saws can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store.
Hit the tile with a hammer to loosen it. Set the hammerhead directly in the center of the tile. Lift the hammer up and bring it back down in the middle of the tile with a firm amount of pressure. This helps loosen the tile more and break apart some of the adhesive on the bottom. For larger tiles, use a 3–5 lb (1.4–2.3 kg) sledgehammer.
If your tile is smaller than 3 in × 3 in (7.6 cm × 7.6 cm) and you don’t want to damage the ones surrounding it, drill 5 holes in an X-shape through the tile with a carbide masonry drill bit. Use a hammer and a chisel on the holes to chip the tile out.
Pry up the edge of the tile with a chisel. Slide the end blade of your chisel underneath the tile and pull up on the handle to lift it. If the tile is still stuck, hit the end of the chisel’s handle with your hammer to break apart your tile. Work slowly so you don’t accidentally chip any of the tiles next to the one you’re trying to remove. If you don’t have a chisel, use the back of a claw hammer to lift and pry the tile off of the surface.
Use your chisel to scrape off the mortar. Set the chisel blade on the surface next to the adhesive mortar. Apply a firm amount of pressure to the chisel, working in short back and forth motions to scrape the mortar off. Once you’ve removed it all, use a vacuum to get rid of the residue. Make sure the surface is completely smooth or else you won’t be able to lay another tile in flat.