I am wanting to cover up a previous soap dish feature in my shower, and have discovered that below the stainless steel base that was screwed into the grout between the wall tiles, that along with the two wall plugs the screws were secured into, there are two additional wall plugs both with broken (and now rusted) screws in them.
I thought I'd try removing the grout around them and then refill it, but they aren't flush and can be seen once filled. How can I best remove them without removing the tiles (as I don't have any spare tiles) for this bathroom, installed in 1997. I have already chipped some of the surrounding tiles when I was removing the grout which isn't ideal and now on hindsight, I should have tapped the edge of the tiles before removing the grout.
I'd be keen to hear from anyone whose had this same problem and resolved it.
Thank you for sharing your question about how to remove rusted masonry wall plugs with broken screws inside them.
In these delicate situations where force must be applied to a small area to wear down metal or an attachment, I recommend using the Ozito 170W Flexible Shaft Rotary Tool With 109 Piece Accessory Kit. There is a grinder tip in a cone shape that should be ideal to wear down the steel in the grout. Drilling or tapping the steel plug may produce more stress on the tiles and end up cracking them. The Rotary Tool comes with a variable speed allowing you to control how fast the tool will go.
I suggest keeping the steel tip in the wall damp and wet with a wet rag as it will generate heat as you grind it down. When it is low enough to be covered with grout I recommend stoping and not proceeding any further. I recommend using the White Knight 500ml White Tub And Basin Paint to touch up the chipped area of the tile. Any updates you can provide before, during, and after the repair would be much appreciated.
If you need more advice or information, please let us know.
Is the wall behind the tiles solid or hollow? If hollow, might it be possible to hammer the screws into the cavity with a punch?
I think there is a great chance of further damage to the wall if you try to knock the plugs in given they tend to expand with the screw in them.
The problem is easily fixed if you have a Dremel there are a number of diamond coated burrs the one I would start with is the long tapered one and work your way in from the side (along the grout line each side if need) until you reach the plastic plug continue working in from the side until you have cut the screw in half the screw can be removed leaving the plastic plug then using a standard drill bit drill the plug out. if you take your time it will work I can assure you, I use these to remove broken harden threading taps from a mating part
or if you want to use the system already suggested that’s ok to but you will need the long tapered burr