Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Chipping out a little ceramic tile
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ed21
Chipping out a little ceramic tile

I made a not paying enough attention mistake when I was tiling around an electrical outlet and covered the the top screw hole of the box. I was proud of cutting the tile with a half inch leg on one side the first time without breaking it.
I need to chip away about a quarter inch to be able to use the screw hole. I've been working on it with a Dremel with a small toothed wheel and another with a ribbed ball, but the tile is too hard or the metal too soft.
Any idea what I can grind away a little tile with? Not going to remove the tile set in thin set mortar.
I'll keep trying what I have, but I'm guessing a trip to the hardware store may be in order.

dj1
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Luckily ed, you have choices:

1. Tile pliers - they are made for chipping.
2. abrasive tile blade that goes on your hacksaw.

Do not use a hammer, a chisel or a brother in law, they will break the tile.

I'm in the middle of tiling a shower this week and I had to do some precision cutting around the drain. A lot of fun.

A. Spruce
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Get some cut off wheels for your dremel, you'll be able to slice in a "V" to access the screw hole, or make a series of kerf cuts until you get a wide enough slot over the hole.

Another option would be a masonry blade in an angle grinder, again, nibble what you need to access the hole, you don't need to remove a section of tile, only what you need to access the hole.

ed21
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

The tile is already set, so no nippers or hack saw blades can get in there. I think I need to check out what other abrasive cutters can fit into a drill. My Dremel is old and battery powered and not very powerful. Luckily this is in my kitchen so I can take my time sort of. Worse comes to worse, I could chip out the tile and redo it.
Ps. I tried some cutoff wheels in the Dremel and it mostly smoked. After using a tile saw, you forget how hard tile is. I don't have an angle grinder, but maybe a grinding wheel I can fit into a drill will work.
Brother in law only good for woodworking, so no issues there. :)

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Maybe they make a diamond-coated grinding burr of the right size, that will abrade the ceramic or even porcelain/stone away quickly, with a surprising plume of dust. Aha: http://www.amazon.com/Large-Diamond-Grinding-Burr-Dremel/dp/B003ZRO9LQ
Casey

ed21
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Diamond coated may be the ticket.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Make sure you keep the speed as low as you can without smoking your motor.
Casey

Jeanne
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

This may be a very stupid idea coming from a non-pro. Could you drill into the tile to chip it off? This TOH article has how to drill into tile.
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/skill-builder/0,,203839,00.html

dj1
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

What will work for you then is what Spruce said about using a masonry bit.

I've found that in drilling into tile, I like to start with a small bit and then go to a larger bit.

MLB Construction
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

this may not be what you want to hear but it sounds like some of these ideas are going to take a lot of time, going out to buy specialty stuff and spending a half hour or more getting the job done if it even works. replacing a tile takes less than a half hour and it's a relatively simple process. that's what i'd do. if you decide to replace it, cut the hole so that the ears/tabs of the outlet sit on top of the tile.......and i'm assuming that you have a few extra tiles for replacement.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Chipping out a little ceramic tile

Roto Zip has a drill bite made for what you want to do, it may even fit the Dremel.

Jack

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