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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to pop a few tiles in my kitchen, remove the mortar underneath, and put them back in (correctly this time). A few of them weren't seated well, and now the grout is cracking and they wiggle when stepped on.

I've heard good things about using a rotoZip to get out the grout around the tile, and I've heard a sonicrafter does a good job on removing the mortar, but I haven't used (or own) either. I'm all for buying a tool when I need it, but I just want to know which tools will do this job the best.

The tiles are on hardibacker board screwed down to the subfloor.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

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old guy contractor
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Invest in a Multimaster and you will never be sorry.

With all the specialty blades available, it will get you thru this tile project and many other types of projects that you never thought of.

I don't know what I did before I had one.....

Yes I do......:wallbash:
 

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Tileguy
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did some reading here after the Fein recommendation. A search turned up a long thread with the up and downs of the Fein vs the Sonicrafter and Dremel.

For my needs (occasional use for home improvement), I think the Sonicrafter will fit the bill. I just hope it works well on the mortar! I can't find anyone saying they've done it and how it went.
 

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Afternoon, Ink, I'm Ray the Hammer and here's my two pennies. I work at The Home Depot in Atlanta, in the hardware dept. and I get to play with all the tools and read up on things like this all the time. There are several types of oscillating tools on the market now, and I've used most of them. Ridgid, Dremel,and Bosch are available at your local Home Depot, Ridgid and Bosch are cordless, while the Dremel is corded. The Ridgid and Bosch will take each others blades (adaptor included), but the Dremel only uses its own blades. All of these are a little more gentle on the wallet than the Fein. The Fein is an excellent tool but it is a bit pricey, so there are some more options for you to look at.
As an aside, in one of the consumer catalogues, sorry,I don't remember which one, they tested several of these tools, and the Dremel got great reviews. Now to the question at hand, there is a specific attachment to remove the mortar that is sold seperately for all of these tools, and you guessed it, the grout tool is also sold seperately. These will add to the price a good bit, but as Tcleve said, these tools are worth it.
I hope this doesn't muddy up the water too much, but this type of tool is definately what you need.
Keep me posted.
The Hammer
 

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Tileguy
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I need to pop a few tiles in my kitchen, remove the mortar underneath, and put them back in (correctly this time). A few of them weren't seated well, and now the grout is cracking and they wiggle when stepped on.
I use the Sonic Crafter for this purpose frequently with good luck. You don't have to spend that kind of money tho. You can buy a basic grout-saw for about seven bucks at any home improvement store that will do what you need to do.

Remove all the surrounding grout and lift the loose tiles out, clean them, clean the floor and use thinset to replace the tiles.

A few of them weren't seated well,
That really isn't the problem. My first guess is that there is no thinset under the Hardi board. All tile-backer boards are to be installed in a fresh bed of thinset.

My second guess is that the tiles did not receive 80% coverage with the thinset.

My third guess is that maybe thinset wasn't used, maybe mastic was used and that's a no-no on floor tiles.

There can be several reasons the tiles have come loose. Without more information it is hard to say what the cause is. You can expect more tiles to fail over time unfortunately.:)
 

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I bought a Fein MultiMaster 7 years ago for $500 with all the attachments and it is still going strong. Now that the patent is off, there certainly are cheaper versions available - but you should differentiate between rotary tool like the Dremel and the oscillating tools like the Fein and others...one is a lot harder to control viz. under narrow grout line conditions - and one produces far less dust.

I have both but the Fein is a master of all trades; the rotary is a capable second choice IMO.
 
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