I'm doing a little bit of kitchen remodeling, overflow from my home theater remodeling. I'm adding some RCA input ports to a pre-existing low voltage wall plate that previously hosted just Cat5 and RG6. Problem is, when this plate was first installed (before I was here), enough room was made only for the cat5 and RG6 aligned vertically.

Low voltage wall plate cutout: enter image description here

Current Wallplate: enter image description here

As you can see from the picture, I rather foolishly thought I could just chisel the tile along the edges and break more off.

My question is somewhat twofold I suppose:

How do I properly cut the pre-existing backsplash tile, and how do I fix the damage I've already caused?

  • 1
    I did something similar once (not on tile backsplash) and I can imagine the gasp you made was similar to mine once you saw what you have done. A wise man in the trades told me not to stress about silly stuff like this because there is nothing that can't be fixed with a little more time and money. – maple_shaft Dec 27 '12 at 13:21
  • Yeah, I'm planning on properly cutting the chipped piece, and gluing it back into place, but I need to know how to cut it properly, in part because there is another wallplate I'd like to install where there currently isn't one at all. – Paul Hazen Dec 27 '12 at 14:08

What would probably work best for cutting tile that has already been placed would be a quality oscillating tool with a diamond blade.

Diamond Blade


enter image description here

You probably wouldn't want to use a carbide blade for tile or grout as it will get chewed up and damaged very quickly.

NOTE: Unless you are purposely trying to destroy an entire piece, it is never a good idea to chisel any type of glass or ceramic as you have already found out.

| improve this answer | |
  • Not just saying this because of the photo you chose, but are you certain that tool is the best tool for cutting ceramic tile down the middle and NOT just for cutting along the grout seams? Would it be best to cut a tile out, then cut that tile to size, then re-affix it to the wall with tile grout or tile caulking of some sort? – Paul Hazen Dec 27 '12 at 15:20
  • 1
    @PaulHazen It can cut tile as well, but generally when cutting tile you want perfectly straight lines and you are cutting them before they are placed on the wall. Because of this it is much better to use a wet saw or a table saw with an appropriate blade. Your strategy is what I would do. I would remove the entire tile by removing the grout and then destroying the tile. It is cemented down so you will likely not be able to remove it cleanly. Repair any drywall damage with spackle, clean up the area and then replace the appropriately cut tile. – maple_shaft Dec 27 '12 at 15:25
  • excellent, thanks for the tips! Since I don't have that tool, but I do have an electric powered jig saw, could I use a masonry bit on a power drill to drill four holes in each corner of where the new wall plate will go, then use a masonry blade on the power jig saw to finish out the wall plate hole? – Paul Hazen Dec 27 '12 at 15:42
  • 1
    @PaulHazen I wouldn't use a jig saw and I will tell you why. They vibrate... a lot and that vibration could damage or unseat other tiles nearby. Plus it is very easy to miss because of that vibration and then you will have two broken tiles. Oscillating tools have come down in price drastically over the past decade and are now ultra affordable. Even if you don't want to buy one, you could probably rent one from a tool rental place for no more than $15/day. – maple_shaft Dec 27 '12 at 16:03
  • Great advice. Better to use the correct tool. – Paul Hazen Dec 27 '12 at 16:25

Tile setters use carbide tipped nibblers to trim tiles by small amounts. You would need to have access to the back of the edge you want to trim off so you can grab it with the trimmers. You take small bites, clip clip clip, until you have removed what you need to. There is still the possibility of cracking the tile, but this is your best bet for trimming small amounts off ceramic tile. enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Great advice! I have seen these tools before but have never known what they were used for. – maple_shaft Dec 27 '12 at 19:47

I would recommend neither in this case. I would use a small masonry bit and drill several holes outlining around the edges of where the new box will be and then simply use a screwdriver and tap between each hole to make a larger space. The same method works for making a large hole in a concrete block. Should be cheaper than buying or renting some tool too.

| improve this answer | |
  • Would this actually work for a ceramic tile? Seems like drilling multiple holes and chiselling is likely to crack the tile. – richardneish Jul 17 '18 at 8:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.