I have a plumbing leak under the slab in between my bathrooms. Both the hallway bathroom and master bathrooms back each other. Both have tile all the way around the wall up to about 4 feet. I would need to break up some tile to get inside the wall to run new piping for my lav, toilet and shower for both sides.

What's the best way to take out the tile so there is minimal damage and where I can repair the spots I opened up. I'm actually more interested in how I can get drywall back in the spots where I made a hole so I can put tile on top. Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


Don't waste your time trying to keep damage to a minimum. You are gonna have to patch the wall anyway. If you are installing new pieces of pipe, you will need plenty of working space, so cut a large hole (as oppossed to many little holes); You or the plumber are gonna end up doing that anyway. And patching a hole , say 8" x8" takes practically the same time as patching one twice that size. Cut you drywall along the edges of two studs, then nail 2 sections of 2x4s to each stud, in order to have a way to attach your new piece of drywall for the patch. Use drywall screws, not nails. Unless you are planning on using the existing tiles, just remove them with a moulding pry bar and a hammer. No matter how careful you are, Murphy's law says you will break a tile or 2 while trying to remove them in one piece. Are you sure there is sheetrock behind the tile, and not a substrate made of mortar and metallic mesh?


The best tool to remove the tile is to use an oscillating cutting tool like this Bosch one

cut around the tile and then pry them off.

To repair the drywall you will need to put nailers between the studs that will lay horizontal and toe nail or screw at an angle to attack the blocks to the studs and if you need something to nail to vertically you can add wood to the studs until you have reached your hole or use the same process as with the horizontal pieces. This will give you a rectangular "frame" to attach you drywall to. Don't forget if you are replacing this in a wet area like the shower the material behind the tile should be Durock not sheetrock

  • 1
    Is there a resource somewhere online that will explain what the different blade attachments are meant to be used for? Oct 22, 2013 at 21:00
  • I don't know of an online resource. I would advise you to go and actually look at the attachments in person. If you want to look online I would look at the multi-tool attachments on Lowes or Home Depot's sites and see if they have explanations for each one and what you can do with it. Oct 22, 2013 at 21:10
  • Thank nightmarcher. That is exactly what I needed. I will see if home Depot has nailers or if I can put a piece of wood horizontal to hold the durock.
    – Tom
    Oct 23, 2013 at 5:22
  • Hey Tom just to be a little clearer when I said nailer I basically meant anything that you will be able to screw in to when you need to attach the drywall/durock. A 2x4 would make a great nailer......good luck! Oct 27, 2013 at 19:18

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