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The detachable shower head slipped out of my wife’s hand when she was replacing it, and when it came swinging down it chipped the soap tray. The soap tray is affixed onto the surface of the tiled bathroom wall. With what is it affixed? How hard will it be to get off? After I get it off, how should I clean up the surface before installing before installing a new soap tray? What material is used to affix the soap dish to the tiled wall?

I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout nuthin’, but I figured there are numerous MO members who would know and be willing to help out me - the #1 home repair-challenged individual on the planet.
 

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I would ask a Tile setter it is probably put up with an epoxy, but not sure
 

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I'd start by taking a razor knife to the caulking/grout around the edges and see what it is made of... If it comes off like you are scraping cement it is grout. If it cuts and comes out easily it is caulk or silicone...

If it is grout then you will have to try and break/chip out the soap holder a little at a time. If it is caulk/silicone you can try slicing as much behind the soap holder as you can and then prying it off...

It could also be grout/quickset glued on then caulk/silicone around the edges. So it isn't an easy job. you just have to be ready to adapt...
 

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Get a new soap dish from a box store or a tile store. They can tell you how to fix it.

Briefly, though...

You'll need to get the broken one out. Consider drilling all around it with a masonary bit. Then connect the holes and remove it. You can use a oscillating saw to do this. Harbor Freight has them cheap. It will last through this job. There are blades to clean and/or cut grout. Make sure the resulting hole is big enough to accept the new fixture. If you don't have spare tiles, be very careful.

There's a product that gets mixed with grout--looks like Elmer's glue--to make a paste. This will cement the new fixture into the greenboard/cementboard. You slop a big dollop of the grout/glue onto the new fixture and push it into the hole. The idea is that the dollop squirts around the insides of the back of the fixture and holds it in against the insides of the wall. Use duct tape and maybe a 2x4 prop to support the fixture while the stuff dries--say 24 hours. You can clean up the sides of the fixture while the stuff is still wet.

When it's dry, re-grout around the edges and treat with a silicon sealer.

All done.

The bubba way to fix it is to get the other piece and use super glue to put it back together. But it'll be hard to get on straight, and there will be a sharp edge. And it'll eventually come off again.

Good luck.
 

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I'd start by taking a razor knife to the caulking/grout around the edges and see what it is made of... If it comes off like you are scraping cement it is grout. If it cuts and comes out easily it is caulk or silicone...

If it is grout then you will have to try and break/chip out the soap holder a little at a time. If it is caulk/silicone you can try slicing as much behind the soap holder as you can and then prying it off...

It could also be grout/quickset glued on then caulk/silicone around the edges. So it isn't an easy job. you just have to be ready to adapt...
If it's attached with silicon, I'd use a thin wire, starting at a corner, and 'saw it off'.

I've seen this done to remove silicone bonded windscreens.
 

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Dang you guys type way too fast for me! Somewhat repetitive but here goes anyway! It may have been installed with thin set when they were doing the tile. What is around the circumference of the dish? Caulk, grout? Can you use a razor knife or handheld grout saw (cheap at harbor freight or HD) to scrape the edge? Cover the edge of the tub under the dish with a couple layers of masking/duct tape and the floor of the tub with a towel and tape the edge where it meets the side. This will help prevent chipping of the tub. See if you can lightly tap the dish edge to break of chunks of it and then LIGHTLY use a chisel and hammer tapping lightly towards the center, trying not to chip the surrounding tile (but MAY happen). Main thing is to go SLOOOWLY and LIGHTLY! And replace as HIkayaker said! Good luck and take pics for the next person...YOU may be able to teach!
 
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Sometimes we just use latex caulk, it works. Usually we use tile mastic, sometimes maintenance men use liquid nails, or epoxy.

The important thing is to avoid breaking or pulling free any more tile. Scrape away what grout and mastic you can. The soap dish is already broken, what you want to do is gently chip and pry the rest of it off, without
damaging or loosening any other ceramic pieces. In the event something else works free, don't let it get damaged, it's going to be hard enough to find a matching size and color soap dish. Save the pieces of the old dish, to compare size and color to the new. Seek advice of the salesman where you get the replacement, they'll probably have a small tube of the latest spiffy new adhesive. Some of them are self-grouting, which will save you a step, at the end of the job.
 

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My father (judson) taught me one thing in life when it comes to home and vehicle repairs, "smile and dial!". Lol he kept texting me a about it when eating dinner this evening and I told him I would come over and look at it. By no means should you guys tell him to try this on his own...he will have to waite till I get over there and then we can both screw it up! A little YouTube and tools I've accumulated over the years due to figuring out vehicle and home repairs myself should do the trick. If it doesn't work out...well dad...SMILE AND DIAL! lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My father (judson) taught me one thing in life when it comes to home and vehicle repairs, "smile and dial!". Lol he kept texting me a about it when eating dinner this evening and I told him I would come over and look at it. By no means should you guys tell him to try this on his own...he will have to waite till I get over there and then we can both screw it up! A little YouTube and tools I've accumulated over the years due to figuring out vehicle and home repairs myself should do the trick. If it doesn't work out...well dad...SMILE AND DIAL! lol.
I should never have let my son join MO. :embarassed:
 

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Judson,I would say the apple did not fall far from the tree.:smokin:
 

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I remodeled two of our baths, had to do this when wife did not like placement. Get a carbide drill, or whatever they call the drill that will cut thru tile. Put five or six holes in the thing. It is held on with silicone but I bet the tiler then used grout around the edges. Just take a small chisel and knock out the perimeter grout. I took a rubber mallet and gently knocked it out. The holes that were drilled kept it from doing damage on the way out. I got this advice from a guy at a tile store. He said he set a lot of tile.....? But it worked very easily for me.
 

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I can't add much to the discussion but my take would be that before you try to remove the soap dish, make sure you can get get matching colored tile. Worst case scenario, the four tiles that the dish is bonded to may need to be replaced.

View attachment 785593

It's unfortunate that who ever bonded the soap dish to the tiles didn't move it a half inch higher in order to limit the number of sacrificial tiles.

I watched the tile guy replace some of the cracked counter tiles in the house (new construction) before we moved in. He took a grinder and ground out the grout between the few broken tiles, chiseled (levered) them out, installed new and re-grout. I would think the repair here would be similar.
 
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Plenty of room left for a bar of soap. Why worry about it?
 
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Another suggestion , use a hair dryer and warm it up as best you can , take a putty knife and hammer and see if you can tap it off , don't forget to put a towel underneath in the tub to catch it if / when it falls off .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Judson,I would say the apple did not fall far from the tree.:smokin:
Hey Mike - in many respects the apple didn't fall far from the tree (like the love of hunting and fishing). However, with respect to "handiness" it did. Son is MUCH more knowledge than I about such things. And, what he does know in that area I freely admit he DIDN'T learn from his father.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Soap Dish Sage Update -- I called a friend to come to my house to assess the situation. All it cost me was some bourbon, two beers, and allowing him to hug the Mrs. This individual can perform the following: roofing, carpentry, tiling, plumbing, electrical, HVAC and Lord knows what else. He is a retired Director of Maintenance for one of the school districts of which I was superintendent. I hired the man (many moons ago now). Besides having all the above-mentioned skills I do not have, we fish and hunt together, and what's the most troublesome is that he's a better wingshot than I.

Anyway, he confirmed my fear that the soap dish is not just affixed to the surface of the tiles, but is set into the tiles and grouted, and that then it was caulked around the edges. He then asked my wife about the piece that broke off. He looked at it, and said he would return, add some support that won't be seen, and then epoxy the piece back in place. He certainly has the skills to retile if necessary, but he said, "You know when you go to the doctor, and he gives you some pills, and says that if they don't work, come back and he'll give you stronger pills? That's not bad practice. If this works, it's easier for me and cheaper for you. If it doesn't, I'll come back with 'stronger pills' but you'll have to pay for them."
 
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