Both of my showers have a valve that sends water either to the shower
head or to the tub nozzle, and both valves are frozen in the wall. The
plumber told me he would have to break the wall in each bathroom. My
question: how do I get the tiles off so that I can reinstall them
after the repair? I can't get any more of these colors and forsee
disaster unless I can somehow preserve every single one of the
existing tiles. One posting in this group, in answer to another
person's question, suggested breaking the tiles off the wall and be
sure to put a blanket below (presumably so the tiles won't shatter as
they fall). But, how do you get each tile off the wall in one piece
without cracking or chipping it? I would be willing to spend an
entire month with dental floss and solvent sawing away underneath the
tiles to break the seal. Has anyone done this or do you have any
suggestions for how to go about it? Is there any solvent you would
recommend to dissolve the glue that is holding the tile to the walls?
Also, how do I get the grout out? I'm a total novice, but am
absolutely determined to save these tiles somehow. Would like to hear
all suggestions, regardless of how time-consuming. Many thanks!
(Cindy - can't. The shower is on an outside wall. If it comes to it,
I suppose it is easier to break the wall from the inside rather than
saw through a clapboard exterior to get to the thing, yes? Also, don't
think I could convince anybody to put a ladder up to the second floor
and saw through the exterior wall, anyway. I'm just determined enough
to consider that alternative, however, even if only briefly.)
(Cindy - Well, is there anything that I wouldn't want to use but
could possibly succeed with if I were stubborn enough? For example,
something with toxic fumes, or devilishly messy? Will take all
suggestions, regardless of how far-fetched the chance of success might
Just take a saw and cut the whole wall out with the board and tile attached
once you cut a slot you should be able to cut the drywall the tile is
attached to if they did not use backer board if the did you could use one of
those wire " miracle saws to cu the nails off?
Wild ass idea I know since we don't have a picture I would try a product
call "Rust Buster"
We have used it at work on humidifiers that are all rusted over with good
article about it here
This site shows the product it is used by the HVAC industry quite a bit if
you look in the local phone book you should find a local place that has it!
Johnstone Supply carries it and they have quite a few stores around the
Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII
How old is the house and what color is the tile.
My house was built in 1960 before they used cement backer board. When
the plumber came to the house to change out the old faucets with the
seats in them to a single handle faucet. The wall board and tile fell
into the tub.
The plumber cut back the tile and the wallboard back to stud . took a
2x4 and toe nailed it in between the studs. Then put a new piece of
wallboard in and mudded it. My tile was plain white and I checked around
and found a place that had some old white tile. Fitted the tile in with
the adhesive and grouted with white like the original grout . Worked
great for the next 5 years. then we gutted the bathroom and redid the
Content-Type: Text/HTML; Charset=US-ASCII
your choice is going through the outside wall, or replacing all the tile
around the valve, possibly replacing the tile on the wall. it's up to you.
strong acids will dissolve the cement and are extremely dangerous to use if
you're not prepared for it. however, they will also discolor and possibly
dissolve the tile and/or glaze, so it may ruin the tiles and force you to
As stated before what is on the other side of the wall? Come in that way.
There are larger chrome plates made for this purpose.
As for saving the tile,,,,,,, no such luck in my history. If it comes off
easy it was not installed correctly. Then I would worry about leaks soon to
I guess you could get a roto zip and cut out each tile separately. Then try
to remove the adhesive from the backing. Then how do you replace the backing
on the wall so that you have a water proof seal from the plumbing?
I would follow the plumbing pros advice. Some valves can be fixed from the
front after they have been dissembled without making the hole any larger.
Figure on a close match or retile entire wall.
There is a large escohtion (sp)(cover plate) made to cover the holes left by
converting from a 3 handle to a single handle that may work for you.
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.