Marble Treashold [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Rookie Tiler
01-06-2008, 09:51 PM
I am working with subway tiles (3 x 6) and need to cut a 2.5 inch hole in the middle of a tile to fit around a diverter value. I have tried to use an adjustable hole drill, carbide tip, but I keep breaking the tiles. The hole is such that there is only 1/4 inch of tile left on either side if it. I have tried a number of diff ways, starting on the front of tile and working through the glaze layer and then flipping over. Nothing has worked. I have been cutting on top of a piece of the old blue sheet styrofoam, which is stiff but gives just a little.

I have used this bit to cut one inch holes with success.

Is this hole even going to be possible?

Heres the bit I am using and a drawing is below of what I need to do.



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01-06-2008, 10:00 PM
Build a dam around the hole and keep it filled with water. Is there a scunsion? If it will be covered just cut it and use it.

01-06-2008, 10:01 PM
I doubt you'll be able to do it. I'd cut the tile in two pieces (blue line). The trim plate should cover all the cuts. :)

Rookie Tiler
01-06-2008, 10:04 PM

would you suggest leaving a gap for grout between those lines, or butting them tight together. My preference would be together as i think it would be less noticeable.

Unfortunately the trim plate will not cover the cuts...its only 1/8 larger than the hole on each side

01-06-2008, 10:08 PM
I cut holes like that all the time with a rotozip with a ceramic tile bit.

If you don't want to make the investment you can always do it the old fashion way by drilling a few pilot holes and then using an inexpensive carbide rod saw. Takes a bit of patience and gentle support as you cut around the hole but that's how I used to do it. Cut the thicker areas first and leave the thin areas as the last bit to cut.

You may also want to give the hole saw one last try supported by a scrap piece of plywood because that "little" give in the styrofoam is probably what's cracking the tile.

01-06-2008, 10:14 PM
Subway tile are usually soft bodied, if so, you could make the cut with a rotozip, or other rotary cutter and the wall tile carbide bit.

However, I doubt you'll want to spend almost $100 on a tool and bit, to cut one hole.

Other than that, you'll have to make the "safety" cuts that Mike described.


Oops, looks like Colin types faster than me. :gerg:

01-06-2008, 10:15 PM
if you had a 4" grinder with a diamond blade on it you could cut it like this.

first, cut the blue lines on the Back of the tile until they just break through the front,
then cut the red lines second through, then tap then from the back and they will fall off,
from there you need a pair of tile nippers and you could clean the edge the rest of the way to fit.

Rookie Tiler
01-06-2008, 10:28 PM
i dont have a rotozip or dremel. Just my nippers and $88 home depot wet saw (which is quite good for the price).

I could try again with it over plywood. I also have a cement bit that went thru this tile very easily. Perhaps I could use that and drill the entire perimeter of the circle? This would probably take forever.

If I go with Mike's "safety cuts" do I need to leave room for grout.


01-06-2008, 10:54 PM
A carbide rod saw is probably less than $10 and cuts through ceramic subway tiles quite easily. Just drill one or two holes, insert the rod through the hole, attach the rod back on the saw and cut away. The rod saw is like a coping saw with a carbide blade if you are unfamiliar with it. (if you don't know what a coping saw is, I'm afraid you'll have to look it up :) )

If you try the hole saw again, make sure you hold the tile very still while you are cutting. Tape the tile down if you don't have a helper. Movement is your enemy.

I would leave room for grout if you do it in two pieces because it will be noticeable regardless of what you do so at least it will look like a planned joint instead of a crack in the tile.

01-06-2008, 11:03 PM
You could also use a carbide saber saw blade also under $10 (assuming you have a saber saw) instead of the rod saw. That's what I use sometimes.

01-07-2008, 09:14 AM
Jeremy, with only 1/8" overlap will you be able to get a good seal between trim plate and tile?

Rookie Tiler
01-07-2008, 11:39 PM
thanks all. I ended up using a carbide rod saw blade in a hack saw ($6) and it worked out.

Mike, I was a little worried about the same thing (good seal) but this is the way american standard designed this thing, so hopefully its well tested. I don't know why they dont use a bigger plate on it. I'll have to watch it for leaks.

Thanks again to everyone. The impossible yesterday was completed today with your tips!

01-08-2008, 06:53 PM

Rookie Tiler
01-18-2008, 05:49 PM
I am tiling with traditional subway tile brick pattern (3" X 6"). I have border tiles that are 2" x 6" that I am planning on using on the vertical outside edge of the shower area. My question involved the layout of the vertical border tiles. I can't decide if I space them so they line up with the grout lines in the horizontal wall tiles, or if I offset the lines on the vertical tiles.

I guess this is just a matter of preference. I have taped a few up on the wall with both options but can't decide. Is there a standard way...offset or lined up with the wall field tile lines.



01-18-2008, 05:52 PM

My $.02

01-18-2008, 06:11 PM
ditto on the offset.

since the tile is set in an offset pattern it would look good that way.

Rookie Tiler
01-18-2008, 06:58 PM
thanks. I was leaning toward the offset because lining up all the lines might end up causing problems. ..i.e. big spaces or something

Rookie Tiler
01-21-2008, 04:58 PM

I want to install the marble threshold pictured below in this doorway. My issue is that the wood flooring where it will go has a little movement to it when you step hard on it. I am thinking of adding some screws thru the hard wood to hopefully make it more solid. And then using thinset to set the threshold. I don't want to bother removing the wood flooring and fixing with plywood right where the threshold would be ( I know this is the right way). However, its too much work at this point. If the threshold breaks I will be out $10 and I will go get an oak threshold instead. My main question is am I better using thinset, or setting this in something that will allow flexing, like a thick layer of silicon, given the floor beneath. I don't want to go on top of the hardwood with ditra or hardi, because that will make it too high. Does anyone out there every install marble thresholds right on top of hardwood. If this is really a bad idea and chances are high the marble will crack I might just go with wood in the first place.



01-21-2008, 05:23 PM
IMHO, either go with wood or do it right. I don't think since you can notice deflection now (loose planks or whatever) that the marble will last very long unless you shore up that. If you cut the oak out, you'd have enough room to secure a piece of ply well and get the marble installed. I'd prefer a membrane or some cbu down there as well, but you migth get buy with some highly modified thinset. Problem with that is it would be expensive to buy a bag for just that. I guess you could buy the add-in stuff instead of using water, but I'd be worried about compatibility depending on what you're starting with. I think using silicon is asking for problems, which might also stain the stone (depends on the type of silicon you used).

01-21-2008, 06:03 PM

what did you set your sheet floor tile over ?

Rd Tile
01-21-2008, 06:03 PM
Think you already know the answer.:)

And no one here has ever installed a marble saddle over hardwood as you want done, if they have, they shouldn't be here giving out advice.:)

01-21-2008, 06:07 PM
You can pull the wood out of there and install the threshold. Having said that....and I'm sure I'll be castigated for saying this.....I HAVE just "roughed up" the wood (assuming it's WELL-Bonded) and mortered the marble in the doorway. Never had a "callback" on it and you are probably "Good To Go" with this.

01-21-2008, 06:08 PM
(Sorry, Ritchie......worked for me.)

Rd Tile
01-21-2008, 06:12 PM
Not saying it won't work in some cases, I just wouldn't advise anyone to do it.:)

Rookie Tiler
01-21-2008, 06:13 PM
hi all. the floor tile was done correctly. 2 layers of ply, ditra, etc. not sure I have the right tools to get the wood out in a precise manner. All I have is a skill saw & a chisel.

01-21-2008, 06:15 PM
I agree, Ritchie~~ I'LL DO IT.....but I wouldn' tell a HO to do it either.. (Unless I was standing over him)

01-21-2008, 07:45 PM
I would use an oak threshold so that the transition matches the wood floor, why add another element like a marble threshold. You could also make the oak a little thinner to reduce the height difference that the marble would give

Rookie Tiler
01-21-2008, 08:48 PM
The wife likes the marble! There are some other bits of marble in the bathroom, vanity top, tub curb, corner shelves, so this would match with the rest of the room.

Rd Tile
01-21-2008, 09:45 PM
That bath sounds like one I did a few years ago, oh it has a MARBLE saddle, in the doorway and on the tub shelf at the head of the tub.:)

Rookie Tiler
01-21-2008, 10:22 PM
very similar richie. I have the white subway tiles also. Will post pics when done.