Any chance of salvaging existing porcelain tiles?


Old 03-18-17, 08:41 AM
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Any chance of salvaging existing porcelain tiles?

I had to open up the floor to make a repair to the drain line under the concrete slab, and in the process I have cut/damaged four floor tiles to make the slab cut.

These are rectified porcelain tiles 19"X19" in size, set on a thinset directly on the slab. I have zero spare tile.

I thought about incorporating some unique design and do some inlays but that doesn't quite work.

I need to find matching tiles and since I didn't install the original tiles, I called the last owner of the property and he doesn't remember except he "thinks" he got it in "this town". A full day of driving around stopping at tile stores yielded nothing. Everyone told me to stop looking and just retile the entire 1800SF LOL.

I am debating whether I should try and harvest four full tiles from the closet. One closet has twelve full tiles and I could redo the closet flooring. The question is is it possible to remove these twelve tiles, breaking and cracking many in the process I am sure, but end up with four full undamaged pieces? Is it worth a shot or most likely I would just break every single one of those too?
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Old 03-18-17, 08:54 AM
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None of the 4 tiles you removed for the slab repair came up intact, so I doubt you would have any success in a closet. I am certain you can find enough small tile to make a design, even bordering it if necessary. While at the tile store or box store, take a piece of plywood with your square dimension less grout thickness with you. Try several designs, styles and sizes in the space, maintaining the same grout line.
Old 03-18-17, 10:24 AM
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As far as using a different design, smaller tiles, inlays, some way to make it seem part of the original design, that does not work. Already tried that approach. The different design only works in certain situations, but not in this situation. Also these are rectified porcelain tiles so the grout lines are almost none, like < 1/16".

As far as not being able to save tiles when I broke the slab originally, I never tried. When starting out I used a 7" diamond blade grinder to cut out the opening through tiles and concrete. The grinder wasn't able to cut all the way through the slab, so I used a sledge hammer and demo hammer to break out the rest. After the initial hole was created I later determined the repair would not be possible without more room so I enlarged the hole again. The hole is in between a kitchen island and some base cabinets. I never attempted to save those tiles. In retrospect I probably should have once but wasn't thinking that far ahead.

Last edited by MiamiCuse; 03-18-17 at 10:51 AM.

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