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Unread 10-01-2022, 01:00 PM   #1
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Sort-of repair shower tile corner step

Had a shower corner step installed when we had our shower redone. Some years later the tile used for the step cracked (my bad).

Question - would it be possible for a tile noob to be able to essentially "smooth down" the broken edges so it'd be more or less flush with the wall tile? Not looking to make an invisible repair, simply dress it up so there's not jagged edges in the shower. Thinking using a Dremel tool with diamond cutting wheel followed by a tile file to smooth.

We got an estimate to repair & replace the corner step, but it's a bit more than we wanted to spend for this repair ($370, with tile supplied by us).

Another thought was to use a Kohler corner step (metal) that I could install just above the broken step, thus more or less hiding the broken step.

Thanks for the advice!
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Unread 10-02-2022, 12:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Bob.

The Dremel & diamond wheel will work. But because of the angle the wheel will be tilted at, you likely find it easier to work from the top and bottom of the tile to cut it out. It’ll leave a ‘V’ shaped channel. The tile file will likely do more to scratch up the neighboring tile than to smooth the offending piece. If you did this, you could grout over the shallow channel when done.

Or you could leave the broken tile as-is, and use a triangular piece of 2” KerdiBoard with a channel routed out to straddle the old tile. Use KerdiFix to adhere it to the surface of the very clean tile. Then tile over the top, front, & bottom of it.

Or you could get a triangle of Corian or something similar (check your local countertop shop for scraps) and fabricate a corner shelf with a couple of cleats under it. You’d have to remove the broken tile, but you’d have wiggle room to not be so super neat in removing the broken piece.

By the way, I can see that the corner shelf was natural stone. And such a skinny piece of natural stone was bound to break at some point. Most tilers will at least double up on the tile thickness if they’re going to use it for a corner shelf. And if it’s meant for a shaving toe ledge, even that is too wimpy for many stone types. Don’t feel bad about breaking that.

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Unread 10-02-2022, 10:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas TG! Especially the idea of cutting into the grout from top & bottom... seems like that should work. Though I can imagine it'll be something of a PIA to maneuver into a position to do the bottom angle cuts. Hate working on my back in tight quarters!

I had another idea of using both Dremel & file to leave a small bit of tile in the corner, smoothed out, to use for the same purpose, but in a much small size. My wife used the tiny edge next to the glass before we had the step, so smaller isn't a problem. Just need to try to make a decent looking cut & file out to the wall (removing the long skinny bits).
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Unread 10-02-2022, 10:45 AM   #4
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IMO, by the time you do all that work and buy what you need to buy, you will have spent more than $370 in time and energy.
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Unread 10-02-2022, 11:01 AM   #5
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All I needed was a $30 diamond wheel (useful for other stuff) and a $10 tile file, so not worried if I epic fail.
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Unread 10-02-2022, 07:26 PM   #6
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I agree. A diamond blade and small cold chisel and hammer would remove it. Take your time.

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