Need some ceramic tile removal advice

I have to replace a towel rod that was fitted between two ceramic rod holders. Adjustable ones don't fit and they look like crap anyway. I wound up buying the exact match rod, and I have to remove one of the end caps. They kinda'sit a skoosh above the tiles (glossy American Olean) and I don't want to chip or damage the cap during removal.
I'm thinking of using a flex shaft with some sort of thin wheel to remove the grout, but maybe that's overkill? Any suggestions on removal and then cleanup of the paste and replacement?
Thanks... Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@hotpotato.com wrote:

DISCLAIMER: I'm not the tile expert.
But I think you may be in for more than you bargained. Those end caps are usually set in plaster of paris and the joint goes quite deep into the wall. IOW you can't simply saw the grout away that you can see.
If you must save the end cap, you will probably have to saw the tile out which surrounds it. <Ugh>
Jim
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I haven't done this myself either, but I sure wouldn't attempt it, unless I absolutely had to. There must be replacement rods that can be used. I'd look pretty hard for one of those, before I went looking for real trouble. That ceramic holder is typically held with thin set to the wall behind it. After cutting the grout, you still have to get it loose without destroying it, which doesn't seem like an easy thing to do. If you can find a matching one, then part of the problem is solved, but it's still a lot of work.
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You're not the first one that was in this situation so as noted, go looking for a replacement because I don't think that you'll get one of the holders out without making a major job for yourself--I've seen spring loaded ones that can be used--ala a toilet paper holder. Another thing to consider if you get desperate, wood or ceramic--cut the replacement, dowel it using something like a nail and then cement (epoxy) it together. I broke a soap dish diagonally in half, cemented the two pieces together (one still on the wall), reinforced it underneath with a couple of paper clips--about a year now and it's still holding together . Good luck. MLD
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Jim...
Thanks for that tip. I'll take a run down to the tile store to see if they have comparable pieces do I can see if they are in fact... much deeped than anticipated.
Could be a real bitch to get out. Maybe I need a rotozip?
Mike

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On Wed, 07 Jul 2004 12:06:28 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotpotato.com wrote:

Jim's post is right on...you won't get the tile out just by taking out the grout.
Here's a thought...and maybe not a GOOD thought...lol...
Take the grout out like you suggested...being careful not to damage the tile. Yes...a flex tool or a RotoZip would be a good choice. Even carefully using a wood chisel might do the trick. But, from my experience, it'll be extremely difficult to do all this without chipping the tile at least a little bit.
Then use a rotary cutting tool...I'd suggest the RotoZip...to completely cut that tile out...including the drywall (maybe lath?). Make sure you don't cut too deep...in case you have a stud behind that tile. If you have lath, be careful of the nails.
With a RotoZip, you might be able to do both processes with just one swoop.
Once you have the tile out, clean off the back...in preparation for reinstallation. Then glue a backer board into the hole you've created...similar to repairing a hole in drywall. Let it dry thoroughly for optimum strength.
Then mud the cleaned tile back into that hole...and regrout later.
Depending on the age of the tile, you may need to replace both ends...to get a nice look.
Good luck...let us know how ya did.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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