I’ve just received another question in the comments section asking how to cut larger holes in tile. Holes for things like the controls in the shower, shower lights, toilet flanges, etc.

My normal smart ass answer is: Mark the circle and remove everything that is not a tile with a hole in it.

The short answer is with a grinder and a diamond wheel.

The slightly longer answer is to draw your circle, take the grinder and plunge it into the tile,, straight down, inside the markings of the circle. Continue this around the entire circle until the large piece is out. Then go back around the circle at about a 45 degree angle and take out the rest of the circle just around the markings.

See, difficult to visualize, isn’t it? (I understood it perfectly well…)

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If you want a little something unusual in your shower installation you can always put glass mosaics in the back of your niche. It looks cool. The problem, however, is that when you buy a sheet of mosaic tile it may be one square foot of tile, but it has all those funny mismatched edges that aren’t straight. Every row of glass is offset.

This is done in order to not have grout lines in the installation line up (it’s supposed to look random) and to allow each sheet to interlock with the one next to it. In other words the left side of the sheet interlocks with the right side of the one next to it.

But if you only need one or two square sheets, like for the back of a niche, it won’t really fit in there in the stock sheet form. A reader asked me a while back if she had to order three or four of those sheets to do her one foot by two foot niche. Like the one on the right there.

(You can click on any of the photos for a larger version.)

Because the sheet is actually more than one foot wide (each row is offset) but there is no way you can cut one or both sides off and end up with a 12″ wide mosaic she thought she would need to order more to fill in the missing pieces. You actually only need two pieces, it fills itself in.

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