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Unread 10-22-2017, 11:54 PM   #1
Inapickle
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How to remove Raimondi leveling clips that have incompletely broken off ?

So I've just finished tiling an area using the Raimondi leveling system. When I came to break off the clip and wedge with a sharp kick of the foot the majority broke cleanly at the base, but some didn't and left one or both of the clip stems just protruding from the groutline - the culprit in most cases appeared to be a plug of hardened thin-set next to the clip that blocked a clean break. I'm sure I can't be the only person that's happened to. Any trick for getting these clip remnants out ?
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Unread 10-23-2017, 01:50 AM   #2
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I have a Dremmel oscillating saw with a grout removal attachment, but too risky I think. Maybe better off using a manual grout saw (don't have, but will buy tomorrow) to try and loosen the thin-set plug around the clip remnant. Is there anything I can apply sparingly to soften the thin-set a little ?

Anyhow, lessons learned. I'd cleaned the grout-lines as best with a wooden kebab stick after laying the tiles but you can't really get at the thin-set that comes up around the Raimondi clips and under the wedges when you clamp them down. In future, I won't leave it so long before I 'kick-off' the clips. These are 1/8" grout-lines BTW. I used the 1/16" (white) Raimondi clips for leveling together with 1/8" spacers.
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Unread 10-23-2017, 08:51 AM   #3
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Hi Bryan,

I don't know of anything that you can use to soften the thinset. The hand grout remover is the safest bet - or maybe a utility knife.
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Unread 10-23-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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Yep if possible remove clips the next day. The thinset will only get harder with time. Use a tooth brush and piece of a sponge to clean up thinset in joints,around clips, and off the face of the tiles.

Use a sharp utility knife to clean up joints. Push sometimes works better than pull. Do not wiggle or chips may happen. Plastic clips sticking up to high can be cut off with new sharp blade. cut off from both sides to get them as low as possible.
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Unread 10-24-2017, 08:35 AM   #5
Inapickle
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Thanks. Yes, it's going to be a tedious job getting these clip remnants out, particularly the ones fully embedded in a plug. Some clips had been there for more than a week. As an amateur I work pretty slow (although getting faster) and decided to tile the main part of two areas first before coming back to do the edges and finicky cuts. The clips on the edge tiles had been on for just 2 days and kicked off cleanly.
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Unread 10-24-2017, 10:13 AM   #6
tatumjonj
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I had several that broke off like that. I very thin bladed screwdriver on the side of the broken clip and a slight tap with a rubber mallet was usually more than enough to break it free.
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Unread 10-24-2017, 11:34 AM   #7
Inapickle
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Thanks also. Some were pretty well impacted where thin set had squeezed up under the wedge, but I've managed to get them all out, save a few that had broken off just below tile level. What worked best was to excavate the thin-set plug on one set of the offending stem as deep as possible - I used the sharp end of a stainless steel adjustable set square - then place one of the plastic wedges up against the other side of the protruding stem and give it a sharp kick. Most came out easily - there where just a few where I had to resort (gingerly) to a hammer. Of course that still leaves the remaining plugs which I'll have to go at with a knife and grout saw.
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Unread 10-24-2017, 12:57 PM   #8
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A multi-tool works nicely too
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Unread 10-25-2017, 07:40 AM   #9
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I have been using the multi tool with a 1/16 grout removal blade.
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Unread 10-25-2017, 01:47 PM   #10
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Multi- oscillating Tool / Fein usually works
A “ 5 in 1” painters Tool and some light hammer taps can also be effective .


JUST BE SURE THIS IS NOT A HEATED FLOOR SYSTEM!!!!
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Unread 10-28-2017, 10:07 AM   #11
Rustychrome
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Removing clips

I had this problem as I was breaking them
off in the wrong direction. I carefully used a utility knife at an angle to slice them off.
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Unread 10-30-2017, 09:29 AM   #12
Inapickle
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Oh my, that's sure to snap the clips off at/above tile level as well as risking chipping the tile.

Well, I eventually got all of the residual hardened thin-set plugs and impacted clip remnants out, or at least down to an adequate depth for grouting, using a hand grout saw/rake with 1/16" blade and utility knife, but it was a very tedious exercise. Maybe an oscillating tool with grout removal attachment would have been quicker but I didn't want to take the risk. I'm just glad I went with 1/8" spacers; it would have been impossible with the Raimondi clip 1/16" spacing.

Needless to say, moving on to tile the other areas I'm making sure to kick the clips off within 2 days so that any remaining plugs can be easily removed while they are still soft enough.
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Unread 10-30-2017, 02:48 PM   #13
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Heating up a utility blade makes short work of problem clips as well.
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Unread 10-31-2017, 07:59 AM   #14
Inapickle
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Didn't think of that. Shame the same can't be used to heat weld the clip stem back onto the base. A few of the clips I had inserted on unfinished edges when moving from one area to the next got snapped off by the dog - had a friend look after the dog while I was tiling, but, you know, he missed me. An alternative of course would be to leave a hole for the clips - fine if you are only leaving off the job for a short while, but once the thin-set has hardened it's difficult to get them back in properly.
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