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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    I made a not paying enough attention mistake when I was tiling around an electrical outlet and covered the the top screw hole of the box. I was proud of cutting the tile with a half inch leg on one side the first time without breaking it.
    I need to chip away about a quarter inch to be able to use the screw hole. I've been working on it with a Dremel with a small toothed wheel and another with a ribbed ball, but the tile is too hard or the metal too soft.
    Any idea what I can grind away a little tile with? Not going to remove the tile set in thin set mortar.
    I'll keep trying what I have, but I'm guessing a trip to the hardware store may be in order.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    Luckily ed, you have choices:

    1. Tile pliers - they are made for chipping.
    2. abrasive tile blade that goes on your hacksaw.

    Do not use a hammer, a chisel or a brother in law, they will break the tile.

    I'm in the middle of tiling a shower this week and I had to do some precision cutting around the drain. A lot of fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,243

    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    Get some cut off wheels for your dremel, you'll be able to slice in a "V" to access the screw hole, or make a series of kerf cuts until you get a wide enough slot over the hole.

    Another option would be a masonry blade in an angle grinder, again, nibble what you need to access the hole, you don't need to remove a section of tile, only what you need to access the hole.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    The tile is already set, so no nippers or hack saw blades can get in there. I think I need to check out what other abrasive cutters can fit into a drill. My Dremel is old and battery powered and not very powerful. Luckily this is in my kitchen so I can take my time sort of. Worse comes to worse, I could chip out the tile and redo it.
    Ps. I tried some cutoff wheels in the Dremel and it mostly smoked. After using a tile saw, you forget how hard tile is. I don't have an angle grinder, but maybe a grinding wheel I can fit into a drill will work.
    Brother in law only good for woodworking, so no issues there.
    Last edited by ed21; 08-20-2014 at 08:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,215

    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    Maybe they make a diamond-coated grinding burr of the right size, that will abrade the ceramic or even porcelain/stone away quickly, with a surprising plume of dust. Aha: http://www.amazon.com/Large-Diamond-.../dp/B003ZRO9LQ
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    Diamond coated may be the ticket.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    Make sure you keep the speed as low as you can without smoking your motor.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    This may be a very stupid idea coming from a non-pro. Could you drill into the tile to chip it off? This TOH article has how to drill into tile.
    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/skil...203839,00.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    What will work for you then is what Spruce said about using a masonry bit.

    I've found that in drilling into tile, I like to start with a small bit and then go to a larger bit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

    this may not be what you want to hear but it sounds like some of these ideas are going to take a lot of time, going out to buy specialty stuff and spending a half hour or more getting the job done if it even works. replacing a tile takes less than a half hour and it's a relatively simple process. that's what i'd do. if you decide to replace it, cut the hole so that the ears/tabs of the outlet sit on top of the tile.......and i'm assuming that you have a few extra tiles for replacement.

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