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Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 4:42 PM

I need to remove a ceramic tile ring from a tile wall so I can get a new vanity installed. I don't have any replacement tiles. How can I remove it with as little damage as possible?

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#1

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 4:55 PM

Do you know what it's held on with?

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#2

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 4:56 PM

What is the holder held on with? If it's epoxy grout you can use an epoxy stripper to soften the grout and probably get a sturdy scraper behind the fixture tapping with a hammer....the grout shouldn't be too firmly attached to the finished portion of the tile....

http://www.miller-stephenson.com/epoxy_stripping_agent_ms-111/

...Are you sure the tile isn't cut out behind the fixture???

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#3

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 4:57 PM

Never mind. There's a terrible echo in here.

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#4

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:04 PM

Extreme caution is advised!!!!

This could turn into another cast iron bathtub thread. The OP just wants to remove the ceramic fixture, and not rebuild his entire house.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:25 PM
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#6

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:34 PM

Patience is the most important tool you can use.

Two options. Chemical strippers, applied and allowed to soak for hours or heat, and lots of it.

It looks like it is bonded to the surface of the tile. That's good.

If you are really a gambler and in a hurry, you can just whack it smartly with hammer on the arm that sticks out.

A thin piece of piano wired might be used to "saw" it off.

Putty knife and hammer may also work.

Good luck.

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#7

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:49 PM

Possibly an angle grinder with a masonry cut-off disk.

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#8
In reply to #1

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:53 PM

I don't know what it is held on with. Everything I saw online was for replacing. I don't want to replace, I just want it gone! I can't cut it out, because I have nothing to replace the hole!

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 5:58 PM

I don't know what it is held on with. Maybe a close up will help?

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#10
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Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 6:07 PM

If you poke a pin into the squeezed out adhesive does it penetrate at all or just seem like more tile.

It's on top of the tile, so that's good.

I'd try the putty knife and hammer, gently.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 6:07 PM

I would gently tap all the way around it with a hammer and screwdriver along the grouted seam....it might pop off just doing that....

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#12

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 6:14 PM

Will the vanity not cover the "scar"?

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#13

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 6:46 PM

OH NO!!

I recognize the adhesive from the video. Its the unobtanium adhesive shown on TV. It is 40 times more sticky than the muscle attached to the trawler in that Bering Sea TV show where they catch crabs. Nothing short of a complete bathroom tear down and rebuild will possibly reach the necessary WAF for domestic repairs.

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#14
In reply to #10

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 9:48 PM

I got all the caulk off, and can tap the putty knife in about a half inch all the way around, and then it hits solid 'something'. I'm nervous about tapping too hard and cracking the tile. I just replaced my bathroom tile (first tile attempt!) and I cracked the door saddle just by hammering the floor tile!

Any suggestions on the next step?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 10:08 PM

Take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back and take a break.

If you partake, have a glass of wine. Or if not, tea.

If you have room for the putty knife, that's good.

I'm not sure what to suggest next.

Guess I'd try a solvent/stripper since you have time. It will take a long time for it to penetrate, if it ever does. Put a drop in at the top. Don't put any more in than will stay. If it runs down the wall stop.

It's not time for brute force, yet.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 10:35 PM

If the tile is cut out behind the towel ring holder, it won't matter anyway....You're going to have a hole.....If, on the other hand it's epoxy grout, it won't have a very strong grip on the finished surface of the tile, so it can be tapped loose....I would use a mallet and strike the fixture soundly until it yielded....using any expletive deletive language as you may deem necessary...

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#17

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 10:54 PM

If you can't get it off without breaking a tile then consider adding a special splash back on the vanity (as a design feature) that just so happens to cover up the damage.

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#18

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 11:00 PM

Try turning it. Maybe it will come unscrewed.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 11:05 PM

Good idea, except the towel ring is on the wall to the right of where the vanity will go. That is why I have to get it out to fit the vanity in! Deep breath........

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#20
In reply to #15

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/06/2015 11:05 PM

Wine it is! Damn.....

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#21

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 11:32 PM

Success! But bad news... At least the towel ring was not damaged, so I can put it back once the vanity is in.

Thank you all for your help.

You guys rock! :-)

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#22

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 11:42 PM


Way to go!!!!!!

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#23
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/06/2015 11:44 PM

Interesting. I don't think we understood that this fixture just needed to be removed temporarily to enable the new vanity to be slid into place, and then could be reinstalled. In any event, you seem to have succeeded.

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#24
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 12:28 AM

I didn't want to reinstall it, I wanted it gone. I have been wanting to remove it for a long time, but it seems to have other ideas. Unless I can find something else to cover the hole, back it goes. :-(

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#25
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 12:36 AM

You could always put a GFCI-protected outlet there to power shavers, hair dryers, and the like.

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#26

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 2:19 AM

Stick a mirror over the hole with the added advantage that you can watch your back when using the utility.

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#27
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 4:00 AM

Are you able to match the tile on that wall? If so, there are carbide grout scrapers that will allow you to clean out the grout to a depth as deep as the tile. At that time you can CAREFULLY chip away the partial tile, and replace it with a new tile. The relatively new vibrating saw devices can be used with a carbide blade to clean out the grout to allow that procedure. If that same tile is not available, you may be able to find a tile design that will please you. A cup holder, a decorative tile, a towel holder, whatever. Or, you could mount a light switch there, and let everyone guess what it does.

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#28
In reply to #21

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 4:54 AM

But you didn't tell us how you managed the trick! Go on, spill the beans ....

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#29

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 9:04 AM

Take a tile out from behind the vanity and use it as a replacement.

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#30
In reply to #14

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/07/2015 9:51 AM

I got all the caulk off, and can tap the putty knife in about a half inch all the way around,...

Can you rotate it now, or are there 2 attachment bolts? If only 1 bolt you should be able to "unscrew" it.

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#31

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 10:29 AM

I would purchase a high speed vibratory cutting tool from the local hardware store that has specialty attachments for cutting and removing tile, wood, and metal.

I am in the middle of a 5 year remodeling project and buying this tool was the best decision I ever made. Not only will it save you a lot of time but it prevents most unrecoverable mistakes from occurring if used properly. It is an amazing tool regardless of which company manufactured it.

http://www.sears.com/porter-cable-factory-reconditioned-pce606kr-3.0-amp-oscillating/p-SPM7660460128?prdNo=45&blockNo=45&blockType=G45

Also; Even if you damage/destroy the tile ring you could install a new piece of tile with a pattern such as a flower or geometric pattern that will not take away from the aesthetic appeal.

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#32
In reply to #21

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 10:31 AM

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#33
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 12:57 PM

I used a caulk scraper to scrape out as much caulk as I could, then used a utility knife to *carefully* remove the rest. I used a putty knife and a hammer to gently tap all around. I could get the putty knife in about 1/2" and then hit something solid. I could feel just a slight bit of movement, so I tried to see if I could pry it out. It took patience, but it popped out! Wahoo!

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 1:10 PM

Two very important tools for any delicate job.

A little patience and a little vino.

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#35
In reply to #21

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 1:30 PM

Good!.

Now,remove a full tile from the area where the vanity will go,and replace the one where

the towel holder was.

A Multi-tool or Dremel tool can be used to cut the grout.

You should have a perfect match when finished.

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#36

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/07/2015 1:57 PM

jodijnj,

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You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave.

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#37
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/08/2015 9:28 AM

Excellent idea! GA from ME!

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#38
In reply to #14

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/08/2015 3:27 PM

I've dealt with similar (soap holder, ends of towel bar), and they have a smaller dimension "extension" out the back so that they will adhere flush with the rest of the tiles, but the outer edge is on top of the tiles. Then the "seam is filled with grout or caulk. I think you are going to find a rectangular hole behind it, going back to the backer that the tile is mounted on.

Not much you can do if you have to remove it, but cut a "patch" of a tile with as close in color as possible, and grout it in place to fill the space after you bust it out.

Sorry for bad news, but I think you are out of luck.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/09/2015 9:32 PM

I see that! :-) But Hotel California has no wine!!!

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Removing a ceramic towel ring from a tile wall.

09/09/2015 9:40 PM

PeterT, you were 100% correct. But check out what I found - It is just a bit smaller than the back of the ceramic fixture. I plan on putting backerboard in the fill the rectangle, priming it, attaching the 3M hook, and piping a bit of caulk around the edge. Hoping it looks good! And pretty much matches my nickel fixtures and has half the profile of the ceramic ring. I am hopeful!!!

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#41

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/13/2015 5:41 PM

I'm back!!! (My mother was in the hospital for a week, so my project got delayed. Thank goodness she is home now and doing well.

So I installed my vanity. I placed the sink top onto it, and low and behold, the ceramic soap dish and toothbrush holder are in the way! Guess I was just excited to be back at it, so I did not check. Any suggestions?

The second picture shows the line where the sink comes to. There is a 1/2" gap. Can I just caulk it and be done?????

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#42

Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/13/2015 9:20 PM

I would think of cutting off the bottom of the soap dish flange just enough to let the vanity slide beneath, and then caulk the remaining gap, which could be quite small. An angle grinder with cutoff disk should work for this. The result will look better than a wide caulk gap, even if filled in by some sort of molding.

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#43
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/13/2015 9:57 PM

That was what I was thinking of doing, but wasn't sure if I could easily cut off the bottom. What is an angle grinder and a cutoff disk. Yes, I am very green!

Would this work?

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#44
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/13/2015 11:56 PM

That is exactly what an angle grinder and cutoff disk are. There are disks that are specialized for ceramics, but I doubt you need to worry about it for just one small cut like this. The subsequent caulking should cover any small imperfections. Cut carefully, slowly, and straightly. Wear a dust mask and at least safety glasses.

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#45
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/14/2015 12:05 AM

Thanks! This is actually what I used to make my floor tile cuts. Not nearly as good as a tile cutter, but all my cuts were against the tile wall and getting caulked, so I didn't worry about little chips. I'll just do the same here. Thanks!!!

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#46
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/15/2015 4:36 PM

Not the prettiest cut, but that is what God invented caulk for, right? :-)

And I can remove them and put in accent tile at a later date, if I so chose.

Thanks Tornado!!!

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#47
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/15/2015 4:37 PM

Looks good to me.

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#48
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Re: Removing a Ceramic Towel Ring From a Tile Wall

09/17/2015 10:27 PM

Looking good.

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