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?
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.
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens
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.
Just as McDonald\'s is where you go when you\'re hungry but don\'t really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
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.
Very expensive alternative. Besides, she's right (but don't tell her I said
that -- I got a rep to maintain).
To be replaced with more oddball tiles, just of a different color. If I can't
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.
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
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
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.
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+
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. ;-)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.