I have some small porcelain tiles, hexagonal, each approximately the same size as a tennis ball. The tiles have already been hung on the wall, cement board using a tile glue.

I am installing a wall sconce, but the mounting plate for the light has some small bumps on the back. My tiler made the hole slightly to small, so I need to remove an extra 1/4 inch of tile so the mounting plate sits flush.

Looking for recommendation on the best way to enlarge a hole on a tile already mounted on the wall. Pic for reference. Thanks!

Picture of electrical junction box in tiled wall

  • The sconce base should cover the plate even if it is sitting atop the tile.
    – Kris
    Oct 22, 2018 at 3:27
  • Kris you're right, but the design on the mounting plate in this case is such that the rear of the bolt to affix the sconce base projects behind the mounting plate. Unless I remove some tile, the plate will be bent/askew, and the bolts won't align. I tried it already!
    – Levi
    Oct 24, 2018 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


A rotary bit designed to cut tile, which are made for "cutout tools" (essentially a rough and lightweight router) - they will have a diamond pattern on the SIDES of the bit, as they are made to cut sideways more than to drill, and a drill bit is not what you want.

Tile saw bit from Lowes - not a purchase recommendation, just an example You can use one in a drill you probably already own for a small cut like this, if you are patient and wear appropriate safety gear (eye protection and dust protection. Ear protection as well would be wise.) If you happen to have a cutout tool already, you'd probably have thought of this already, but perhaps not if you think of it only as a drywall tool. For a job this small I doubt it's worth purchasing the power tool specifically, but the fact that the bits are made for it will allow you to get the job done with what you have - or you could rent/borrow one.

I would NOT put one in my router, simply because the tile dust is prone to damaging tools/motors, and a cheap cutout tool is far better to abuse than an expensive router.

  • 1
    Have a helper hold the hose of a shop vacuum right up next to the bit as you are working the tile, this will minimize the amount of dust everywhere. You may not need to make the entire hole bigger, you only need to remove tile where the "bumps" (screw heads?) will sit on the wall ( and maybe only a small divot to accommodate the "bumps"
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 22, 2018 at 18:34

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