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Old 12-02-2002, 11:22 PM   #1
CNUman
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Question Cutting a rectangular hole in ceramic tile

Hello. I'm installing a downdraft in a center island in my new house, and need to cut a hole through the cabinet bottom, tile, and subfloor for the ductwork. The hole needs to be approx. 4" X 10". I will probably cut the cabinet bottom, mark the 4 corners, and cut the flooring from the crawlspace underneath. What's the best way to cut through the subfloor, durock, and tile so I don't cause too much damage? Will a jigsaw work? Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2002, 03:19 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Welcome. Please give us a name. Make one up.


It's going to be very difficult to cut the opening from underneath. A jig saw won't do it. You need to get at the tile with a masonry blade. Is it possible to get the island cabinet out?
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Old 12-03-2002, 03:25 PM   #3
Scooter
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Use a Grinder with a Diamond Blade

Your down draft fan will have a 3/4 inch flange at least. I would start from the top of the cabinet and use a Grinder with a dry diamond blade and a plumb bob to mark the bottom of the cabinet. I'd drill out the bottom of the cabinet and use a sawzall for the wood and the subfloor.
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:24 PM   #4
John Bridge
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Scooter,

I think there's tile under the cabinet.
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Old 12-03-2002, 05:35 PM   #5
Bud Cline
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This is one of those near impossible tasks. How far is this hole from any cabinet edge? I'm assuming as John said there is tile under the cabinets.

I would consider (not seeing what is there) drilling all four corners of the proposed hole then also drill a seriesof holes the shape and size of the ductwork. Then simply break away the tile and go after the subfloor with a sawzall.

Since this demolition is all under a cabinet....who's going to know?


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Old 12-03-2002, 07:23 PM   #6
Scooter
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OK, Tile Under the Cabinet

Got it.

I'd take a friggin sawzall and whack out a nice large chunk of the bottom the cabinet, about 8" larger than the hole for the vent.

Next, I'd take my trusty Bosch grinder with a diamond blade and grind away the exact hole size plus about a quarter inch per side. Use the sawzall for the subfloor.

Install the vent.

Now, patch the cabinet bottom with 3-4 pieces of 1/2" melamine, glued right to the cabinet bottom and in some places bridging that huge hole you created in Step One. Use bisquits to edge join the pieces if you are real anal. Caulk around the vent hole in the quarter inch gap.

Its a cabinet bottom, and no one except the maid will ever see it. The melamine is a nice touch and is probably better than what you have there now.

Not pretty but who cares?
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Last edited by Scooter; 12-03-2002 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 12-03-2002, 09:47 PM   #7
CNUman
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Thanks for the advice, guys! I actually CAN move the island, I'd just need to unwire 2 electrical outlets. The edge of the vent will be approximately 5" from the outer edge of the cabinet. Do you think I could get a grinding wheel for my circular saw to cut the tile, then finish off with a jigsaw? (I really don't want to invest in any new power tools if I don't have to).

BTW - all of the ceramic tile in the house was installed before any cabinetry was installed, including vanities. This isn't standard?

Thanks again,
Jim
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Old 12-03-2002, 10:04 PM   #8
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Moving the island to cut the floor sounds like the best approach to me, Jim. I would cut the bottom of the cabinet first so I could mark the floor cut before moving the island.

Unless you've got some exceptionally hard floor tiles you should be able to use your circular saw. I favor the inexpensive (<$20 at HD) 7" dry diamond blades over the abrasive blades, but for a one-use item the abrasive should get you there. Or you could do as Bud suggested and just get a carbide drill bit and make holes in the corners and several more along the edges and break the tile out. Not as clean a hole and more danger of cracking something you don't want cracked, though. Whatever method you chose, wear safety glasses! Even if you're just hammering on the tiles.

The real problem I see here is your reluctance to buy additional tools. That, my son, is what DIY projects are all about. You just axe anybody around here.
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:42 AM   #9
tomtuttle
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Quote:
Originally posted by CNUman
I really don't want to invest in any new power tools if I don't have to
Good lord, man, you need help. And quick.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:56 AM   #10
JohnN
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Exclamation

Have any of you fellows used a Rotozip Tool? It is a small router and you can get carbide bits for it, both 1/8" and 1/4". I have used it successfully to cut any shape in ceramic tile. I plan to use it cut the holes for my shower valves and shower heads on my current job. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-04-2002, 07:01 AM   #11
tileguytodd
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Id like to see you cut any size or shape in a porcelain tile with that thar rotozip

Tiling uder cabinets has become standard in new construction yes.
I like cx's idea for what my opinions worth.I of couse am just a tile terrorist according to John
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:09 AM   #12
John Bridge
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Yes, by all means remove the island. Get someone in there to hold a shop vac nozzle in front of your saw blade when you cut the tile.

And yeah, Tom, it's hard to figure a guy who won't jump at any opportunity to run out and buy a new tool.


Come to think of it, there's probably no shop vac, either.
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Old 12-05-2002, 10:44 AM   #13
Todds
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Hey John,

Since you already got the rotozip you might want to invest in the zipmate attachment as well at the zipmate diamond blade. This will allow you to use your rotozip as a grinder to cut tile cbu's and other great hard stuff.
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