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Jakobud 09-30-2011 04:03 PM

How to remove outlet from tiled wall, then patch drywall and retile?
We are redoing the lighting for the kitchen and I'm going to removing a bank of lights. Rewiring the recessed lighting to do this will be simple.

But what I will be needing to do next, is remove the switch on the island that controls the lights. It will serve no purpose because it will no longer be hooked up to anything.

After removing the switch and box, I will need to figure out how to chip or cut out the old grout and the cut tiles, then I'll need to patch the drywall, then I'll need to retile the area.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to remove all the tiles. Only trying to take out the tiles that were cut for the outlet hole and replace them will full tiles. I will however take out as many tiles as I need to in order to be able to patch the drywall. Make sense?

How do I go about doing this?

My two biggest concerns moving forward:

1. How do I remove the grout and cut tiles without damaging the good tiles around them? I've read about using an angle grinder with a tile saw-type blade. Seems like that kind of tool I would end up nicking other good tiles around the area.

2. How do I patch the drywall for this? It's not going to be a very big hole. How will the patch be supported? Is there something I can put behind it that will be solid enough to hold it in place? I have plenty of spare tiles to use, but I don't want to remove more tiles than necessary.

I have all the spare original tiles and the original grout color to match.

On a related side-note, with regards to building codes, it's okay to leave unused electrical 14-2 wire in the structure of your house right? This wire isn't going to be hooked up to anything on either end. Just a dead wire. Removing it would be impossible without opening up the island wall and floor and ceiling of the kitchen.

Bud Cline 09-30-2011 05:45 PM

Wow! Seems like a lot of work and risk of mismatching grout for no good reason. Why wouldn't you just put a nice blank cover over the box and leave everything alone? If you lived with the switch there before why can't you live with a blank coverplate there now?:)

Jakobud 09-30-2011 05:48 PM

Yuck, really? I didn't have to "live" with the switch there before. It served a purpose.

gatorheel 09-30-2011 06:01 PM

I'm not super experienced with tile, I would probably use a hammer and nail (or countersink, but seems like overkill) to shatter the cut tiles, then pull out the pieces and use a dremel to carefully grind out most of the grout.

Repairing the drywall is the trickier problem. Since you're going to have a pretty big hole once you remove the cut tiles, I would assume you have enough space to install two small pieces of blocking horizontally in the stud cavity which would support your drywall patch.


Bud Cline 09-30-2011 06:07 PM

Okay...I tried!:)

oh'mike 09-30-2011 06:12 PM

You have four tiles to replace --plus any the are damaged if things go badly--

A grout saw will get the grout out of the way--a sharp painters tool or thin putty knife should pop the tiles off---cracking the tile with a pair of side cutters or a small hammer might be required if they are stuck and tearing the drywall.

Scrape out the old thinset-add a scrap of 1x2 into the hole and screws---add the new drywall

do not tape it---the thinset from the new tiles will do that well enough.

Ron6519 10-08-2011 07:51 AM

I'd just turn it into another outlet.

Blondesense 10-08-2011 08:06 AM

Not an expert, but everything I've read says to remove the grout first, then attack the tiles.

Msradell 10-15-2011 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by Ron6519 (Post 744277)
I'd just turn it into another outlet.

Exactly what I was thinking! Certainly simpler and it will provide some additional functionality for the area. It will need to be a GFCI that's not a major problem.

Bud Cline 10-15-2011 12:18 PM


I'd just turn it into another outlet.
Tried that in Post #2 Ron. The idea was poo-poohed by the OP.:(

Msradell 10-15-2011 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 749276)
Tried that in Post #2 Ron. The idea was poo-poohed by the OP.:(

Actually you suggested a blank cover plate which I wouldn't personally like either, putting in an additional plug is something quite different because it is functional.

Bud Cline 10-15-2011 12:29 PM

Okay then...just turn it into another outlet, that would be simple enough, nothing to that.:)

Ron6519 10-15-2011 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 749276)
Tried that in Post #2 Ron. The idea was poo-poohed by the OP.:(

Bud, you said a blank cover, not an outlet.

Clutchcargo 10-15-2011 01:17 PM

63 Attachment(s)
You cannot bury a live junction box. It's against code. I'd either coverplate it or do add an outlet.

Bud Cline 10-15-2011 01:27 PM


Bud, you said a blank cover, not an outlet.
That's correct! I said that because turning what was once a "switch leg" into and "outlet" wouldn't be all that easy to do for for a novice.

My thinking is...the wires used for the switch would have to be abandoned to make room for the arrival of new conductors for an outlet. How? Just shove them into the stud cavity?:eek: Then new conductors would have to be fished into the existing box. I see a very small wall area between two counter tops. This wall area is already tiled and could interfere with the fishing of additional conductors. I suppose it would be do-able if a person had the necessarily level of knowledge in the matter.

In the meantime, put a blank plate on it and move on.:)

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