Enlarging hole in ceramic tile - valve stem complication

Whoever tiled around the bathtub in my house tiled right up nice and close to the valve stems, so now I'm trying to figure out how to enlarge the holes so I can get a valve stem wrench in there (leaky faucet, dontcha know). I don't have extra tiles, so I'd like to avoid cracking the ones that are there. Any creative suggestions, or does anyone know of a tool made for this purpose? Thanks.
-Tom
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Tom Young
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Tom Young wrote:

Been there, done it.
Before removing the excutcheon plate, draw a line around it. Stay close to the valve and away from the line as much as possible.
Quickest and easiest way Tom would be to use a 4" angle grinder with a diamond disc. Have someone else with a shopvac nozzle right up next to the work to pull the dust/debris as you make a few cuts into the tile. Then carefully chip the tile peices away from the substrate. Rotozip, Dremel bits or ceramic drill bits w/ electric drill are possible but time consuming..
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Tom Young wrote:

i had teh same problem with mine in house built in 1972. i found out that i did not need a wrench, but the plumber did not put the faucets out enough to get any wrench onto the end of the stem... i had to go in from the back(the bed room wall and remove a part of sheetrock and then chisel some wood out of the 2 X 4 's that were holding the plumbing in.. i cut some wood off and then forced the pipes forware and held them in place with the metal pieces that were there originaly but set farther back... i then got out the Dremel tool and grinded out the ceramic tile a little and also the grout that was back in there... these guys dont care if you have to service the units later as long as they get their job done and well 20 yrs. from now who will find them anyway......
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Maybe a Dremel tool will work there...
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ROBMURR wrote:

look at part of my post:::: i then got out the Dremel tool and grinded out the ceramic tile a little and also the grout that was back in there...
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 18:55:56 GMT, "Tom Young"

I enlarged mine with a RotoZip (Worth the money for that particular job) but had the faucet out for replacement. A grinder on a rotary tool (Dremel) should work well. Work in tiny bits and you won't crack anything.
Jeff
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