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Old 07-26-2020, 12:14 PM   #1
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Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Hi all,

I have a shower wall with a 1-1/2" square cut out for a hand-held spray fitting. Unfortunately the hose connector which attaches to this cannot fully seat because the fitting is not in the center of the cut-out. I need about 1/4" additional cut out (which as you can see would be trimming a bit of the TOP of the tile just below the fitting).

See photo. Please, what is the correct method and tool for trimming some of the tile while in place?

(Note: I can't move the fitting; it's hard-plumbed behind the wonderboard and rigidly in place. However if I get a 10mm Allen wrench I can at least remove the brass fitting, exposing the nipple and giving myself a little work space.)

Thanks for your help! I have ZERO experience cutting, trimming or even installing tile. This mistake was made by a bath contractor who has disappeared. I'm also posting in Bath Remodeling forum.
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Last edited by gregger; 07-26-2020 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


This is the third posting of this problem. Try keeping them all together.

https://www.diychatroom.com/f80/need...r-wall-695757/


https://www.diychatroom.com/f7/need-...r-wall-695759/
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Oscillating multi tool with a diamond tile cutting blade. A spiral cutting tool e.g. Rotozip with a diamond cutter could also be used. Run the tool in a semi circle under the plumbing fitting to avoid damaging the fitting. Or do a plunge cut under the fitting and angle cuts from both side of the fitting to complete the cut. Tile cuts pretty easily with diamond tipped tools.
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Thanks Gents. Sorry for the multi-post, wasn't sure where the best place to talk about tile would be.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:07 PM   #5
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


I would use a rotary tool and not an oscillating tool such as a Dremel. I tried to cut tile with an oscillating tool with a diamond blade without luck. The tool walked all over the tile and barley scratched the surface. Maybe others have had better luck, though I was trying to cut 3/8 porcelain tile. Another option you might consider is drilling a hole under the fixture, and then cutting from there.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:13 AM   #6
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Actually my method would be to use a diamond hole saw in a drill. You can get a set real cheap off Amazon. I got mine for <$15. I'd use an old tile and cut a hole in it, then use the tile with the hole as a guide around your fitting.

Example:
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


As huesman said, diamond hole saw is the clear choice. If you use the precut tile as a guide as he suggests, you'll need to tape the tile in place first.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by bail0081 View Post
I would use a rotary tool and not an oscillating tool such as a Dremel. I tried to cut tile with an oscillating tool with a diamond blade without luck. The tool walked all over the tile and barley scratched the surface. Maybe others have had better luck, though I was trying to cut 3/8 porcelain tile. Another option you might consider is drilling a hole under the fixture, and then cutting from there.
A guide board under the oscillating multi will help prevent it from jumping around. Double face tape to afix a straight edge to the tile that the oscillating tool blade will rest on.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:05 AM   #9
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Wow! Didn't even know they made diamond hole saws. I have to say I like the idea of cutting a spare tile as a guide.

My neighbor did produce a Dremel multi-speed tool with a brand new diamond wheel cutter. May give that a try first. Will report back.

Thanks all for the advice.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:12 AM   #10
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregger View Post
Wow! Didn't even know they made diamond hole saws. I have to say I like the idea of cutting a spare tile as a guide.

My neighbor did produce a Dremel multi-speed tool with a brand new diamond wheel cutter. May give that a try first. Will report back.

Thanks all for the advice.
If it's not too much trouble could you do a Youtube video?
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:34 PM   #11
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Soft wall tile can be fine tuned with a Dremel rotary tool and a tungsten carbide bit.
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:11 PM   #12
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregger View Post
Wow! Didn't even know they made diamond hole saws. I have to say I like the idea of cutting a spare tile as a guide.

My neighbor did produce a Dremel multi-speed tool with a brand new diamond wheel cutter. May give that a try first. Will report back.

Thanks all for the advice.

I guess if it's a free tool rental vs. a purchased tool, that can change things. You can get the Dremel to work with the diamond wheel, it's just a square peg in a round hole (kind of literally). It's like trying to cut a circle with a circular saw. But having said that, I still cut things like cutouts around a shower faucet with a 4" angle grinder with diamond wheel.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:49 AM   #13
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Re: Trim Back a Bath Tile In Place


Using rotary tools like that is fine when the tile isn't mounted on the wall, but in a situation like this you need to have really good physical control of the tool. If you lose control of the tool it can damage the fitting. That's why I like the hole saw with guide method. Also, the Dremel method, depending, may be hard to get a good angle with a small cutoff wheel if you have to hold the body of the Dremel close to the wall.
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