Pick up a tile cutting bit for a small tile router and cut the hole bigger. We do that all the time.
Most of the 4.25" tile is pretty soft.
Some neighbors had a shower/bath retiled. The folks asked if they wanted to replace the existing fixture (20 y/o Moen bath/shower one handle valve) They said keep it. But when they tiled, they tiled up to the edge of the valve leaving just a couple inch hole. The existing fixture plate is designed to recess into the wall.
Are there extensions, or flat cover plates that would allow a simple recovery, or is the only solution to cut a bigger hole in the tile, or worst, replace the valve with something new (which is possible since there is access from a closet in the other room).
Cutting the tile seems simple enough, but the friends are reluctant.
Last edited by marvingreenberg; 09-29-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Fox spell checking
Cutting a hard porcelain (no idea what's on their wall) will require a diamond bit - the carbide ones will usually just turn bright red and smoke! A softer tile, they cut like butter with a carbide bit.
If the hole is too small, you may never be able to service the valve. The hole needs to be big enough to get the cartridge out as well. IMHO, it is somewhat foolish to leave a 20-year old valve in the wall...parts availability is not guaranteed, and eventually, they ALL need parts - you've got a better chance with a new one. And, at 20-years old, it might not be a pressure balanced, anti-scald valve. If so, then it would never have passed code during an inspection. It's one thing to repair, but sounds like this was a remodel, and then, you have to bring things up to current code.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer
Thanks for the replies. Although it sounds like I'll either have to follow just Terry' s advice or do both, since the hole in the tile is small, and any modern fixture will still require a much larger opening.