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Had to knock out a single tile to repair a toilet supply line/valve. Luckily there’s a stud behind the knocked out tile. What’s the best way to repair the drywall and tile for just a single tile (with pipe obstruction)? My plan is:

  1. Chip away the rest of the damaged tile and drywall.

  2. Drill hole in drywall patch for pipe or cut semicircles in two pieces.

  3. Screw drywall piece(s) into single stud in center. Fill borders with joint compound. Prepare surface and affix tile later.

My principal concern is if attaching the drywall patch to a single stud will be stable enough. I can’t use mesh patch because the neighboring drywall has intact tile.

Alternatively I can knock out additional tiles to the left and the drywall patch over two studs for firmer attachment.

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I would cut out that square. Cut drywall to size and get 3-4 screws on that stud. Little thinset... might even use mastic here. Pop another tile over it (need to cut hole in tile and take the inlet valve off - TURN OFF WATER). There is no reason you should overdo the wall behind a toilet. No one will be pushing right at the edge of that tile... and if there is someone doing that they are the problem not your fix.

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  • As an alternative to drilling a hole in the tile and taking the valve off, you could cut the tile in 2 along the center of where the pipe goes, then cut a 1/2 circle on each piece. Install each half from the left/right (or above/below - your choice) with an additional, tight grout line between the two pieces. – FreeMan Feb 3 at 13:57
  • @FreeMan - yes. My crew does the same thing. I tell them to drill a hole, it cracks, then they install it really tight so I don't see crack. – DMoore Feb 3 at 17:44
  • LOL. I'm not sure if that's "smart" or "doin' it the hard way"... :) – FreeMan Feb 3 at 17:45
  • @FreeMan - not an easy task. We apply duct tape to the whole front. We then tape tile to ground so it doesnt vibrate as much. Then we hit it with a hole bit... not even a tile bit... The key is to add water and barely barely press... might take 2-3 mins. The hole bit should basically erode the circle by rubbing it with the edges of its teeth. Any pressure and you get a snap... and it might snap with no pressure. I would say we bat around .600 doing it this way. Hard part is cleaning off all of the tape residue. – DMoore Feb 3 at 18:00
  • I would have thought to drill the hole while the tile was flat on the floor/table, or even score/snap the tile, then using a round, carbide blade, cut the 1/2 rounds into each piece, then apply them to the wall. Guess we're wandering a bit OT, though... – FreeMan Feb 3 at 18:08
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In addition to the first response you could also cut some smaller sized wood like a couple 2x2s and screw them to the single stud. This would give you more support. You will probably have to screw these in at an angle because the space is so tight. You will also want to drill out screw holes into the small wood first so it doesn’t split apart.

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