Remove tile "line"?


Howdy, all!
I've got a tiled shower (mostly 4x4 while porcelain tiles) with a "line" of roughly 4"x1/2" colored tiles running about the 4' line. I changed out the vanity deck, but now the wife unit sez the tile line doesn't match the deck.
How likely would it be I could pop out the line tiles without trashing the surrounding tiles? Once I have the grout removed, is there a tool that can be used to pull the tile straight out, or would I be better off trying to fracture the tile and take it off in bitty pieces?
Thanks!
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I drill several holes in the tile with a masonry bit. Then fracture it with a hammer/chisel and remove the pieces. This reduces chances of damaging surrounding tiles.
-- Oren
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Andy Hill spake thus:

I'd say your best bet would be to sacrifice the trim tiles by breaking them in place (carefully), then removing the grout in the resulting space. Believe me, you're *not* going to get those tiles out intact, no way.
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To avoid chipping out the adjoining tile, I think I would first run a cut across the middle of the tiles with a diamond blade. If they are glazed ceramic tile, the blade will cut through very quickly. Then when you break or pry on the remaining pieces, there is somewhere for the stresses to go.
bill

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andy snipped-for-privacy@hp.com says...

Replace the wife?

Assuming you can do this and I have serious doubts (particularly with porcelain tiles) what are you going to put there in place of these oddball tiles?
--
Keith

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that -- I got a rep to maintain).

find some that will fit the space (before I start demolition), then I go to Plan B, which is cutting a piece of Arandis granite floor file (which should match the Arandis deck pretty well) into pieces that will fit the space. I'm not real crazy about that alternative -- I have my doubts I can keep a 1/2" wide, 3/8" thick piece of granite from cracking during the sawing process (I've used this method to make 2" square medallions, but 1/2" is pretty skinny). Plan C is to "reglaze" the tiles. I'd rather not do that -- I've yet to see a tile reglazing job I really liked.
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Andy Hill wrote:

You are right, reglazing looks cheap, particularly because they usually "paint" over some of the grout. I've never seen a good job, but have seen dozens of crappy one's.
I have my serious doubts also about cutting granite that thin and that long. And they may be too thick and stick out.
An easy alternative are the dozens of "border" or "liner" tiles that can be found at a tile dealership. 1/2" is a common size, and go up to 3" or so. They come in every color and even gold or pewter or silver, even glass colors. You could probably find a color/size/thickness that would make you happy.
Another alternative people have done when the border trim of a bathroom isn't to their liking is to change the changable things like towels, toilet seat and even the countertop to match or "tie-in" to the trim color. Remember than many of the old colors are now 'back-in' style, such as green, pink, and other retro art-deco style colors.
As for removing the tile, I save my old dry cut 4" diamond blades for such jobs. A worn blade will have very thin diamond left, just perfect for cutting out the grout joints in bathroom tile to isolate the tile pieces you want to remove. Anyway, you need to isolate those tiles or you'll chip the good one's. One idea posted already is to cut down the center line of the border pieces, then take a sharp wide chisel and chisel out the borders, chopping _away_ from the direction of the good tile. The border pieces will break away from the good tile- inward toward the gap you've cut out.
All and all this is not an easy job for a novice. It takes a professional steady hand to cut out this much and to chisel that much tile without mistake. See if your wife can't be happy redecorating around the border color. What is the color she doesn't like anyway? Just curious.
thetiler
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andy snipped-for-privacy@hp.com says...

Sometimes it's cheaper to cut one's losses. *She* gets one chance to opine, then shut up. She doesn't even get an opinion with paint (long story, but something to do with pepto-bismol pink). Anymore, SWMBO gets to pick the color if she does the work. After 35+ years...

If you can find oddball tiles in the same oddball size!

The edges won't match but if it works for you...

Not to mention the difference in thickness.

Kinda like tile paint? A new (perhaps colorblind) wife might just be cheaper. ;-)
--
Keith

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