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Old 03-07-2018, 10:09 PM   #1
miamicuse
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Tiling after plumbing repair - advice needed

I needed to make some plumbing and electrical repairs right underneath a kitchen island.

I moved the island and countertop out of the way, which was a project by itself.

Then I made a 20"X16" rectangular cut through the porcelain tiles and concrete slab. After that I made my plumbing and electrical changes.

Backfill with soil, compact, termicide treatment, vapor barrier and new concrete was poured.

The blue masking tape on the floor shows the outline of the sink cabinet base. So the cut hole was entirely within that footprint. Next to the sink cabinet would be the dishwasher and there is a cabinet around that.

Now that I have the concrete put back, I am trying to decide if how best to tile the rectangular cut area. I do have a few tiles that match very closely.

These are the options I am considering.

(1) Since the entire cutout area is under a cabinet and can't be seen, just add another 3/8" of mortar until flushed with the finished tiles and be done with it.
(2) Cut the new tiles to match the size of the cutout and lay them in.
(3) On the right side of the picture, remove the two "L" shaped tiles, then you can lay two new full tiles.

If I try option (3), how likely is it that I will be able to remove the two L shaped tiles without damaging any adjacent tiles? Is it worth the time, effort and risks to lay in two full tiles in an area that is not even visible?

Thank you.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:54 PM   #2
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As long as it's covered by the cabinet, I'd fill it with concrete and leave it. The risk of damaging adjacent tile would keep me from doing anything else.

You can fill them in the area with tile pieces if it makes you feel better. Or you can just say you did, and nobody would know the difference.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:04 PM   #3
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What are you trying to accomplish here? Heck, you could put them in upside down and nobody would know. Put the island back and walk away.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:00 PM   #4
miamicuse
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I guess it's just my OCD

However, I have another spot where there was a decorative base that was removed to expose the concrete slab. Now I have a "U" shaped tile which I would like to remove because I want to put in a full tile there.

Is there a way to remove this tile without risking damage to adjacent tiles?
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:11 PM   #5
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I seldom tile under cabinets unless it is spec'd or if the customer thinks they redesign their kitchen. as for your "U" shaped tile, you could just get under it with a pry bar and/or first cut out the adjacent grout then clean up the area and set yourself a full one or you could hit it dead center again I would cut the grout out of the adjacent. this is how I would approach this
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:17 AM   #6
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If I were removing the U-shaped tile, I’d also carefully grind away the surrounding grout. Then use an angle grinder to at least grind an “X” across the tile to as close to the tile’s depth before trying to pry the tile out. Work from the center-outward, so as to “hinge” the broken tile pieces along the grout joints, thereby reducing the chance for accidental damage to adjacent tiles.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:04 AM   #7
miamicuse
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OK so basically remove the grout on the perimeter of the tile, possibly score an X across the middle to help.

I have used an angle grinder with a diamond blade before to remove grout and I must say due to the dust flying it is difficult to be 100% I am scoring on the grout line. I have once slipped a 1/16" and one second later I have overshot into the next tile.

I have a multi tool which I use for flush cutting baseboards or pipes. I know they have grout removing carbide blades. Do these work better - safer in that it will be less aggressive takes longer but less likely to score the next tile? I can use the angle grinder to score the big X.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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I’d use a high-speed grinder and spinning diamond blade to cut an “X” at a minimum (extra cuts are likely to make extraction a little easier).

But I’d avoid the high-speed grinder and spinning diamond blade for any grout removal you need to do precisely....unless you’ve given yourself ample time to practice. Using an oscillating tool with grout removal blade is the best choice. Yes, it takes longer. But you can control the blade much easier.


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