Grout Removal Tips

Tile is beautiful throughout a home. From floors, backsplashes, showers and more, eventually, even the best tiling jobs show their age. When that day comes, remove the grout and replace it to rejuvenate the installation and make the surface gleam again.

Surprisingly, removing existing grout is relatively simple and does not require lots of special equipment. A manual grout removal tool is cheap and gets the job done, but for larger areas and quicker removal, consider using an oscillating tool.

Grout Removal Tools

Traditionally, grout was removed manually. It’s effective and gives you added precision. Although these methods are more time consuming and labor intensive than a power tool, manual tools are still great to have on hand while removing grout. They are particularly useful for smoothing out any imperfections after using a power tool.

When using any tool to remove grout, take care not to scratch the tile surface.

Manual Grout Removal Tool

Grout saws and rakes are handheld and have a small metal blade to rub between tiles to remove grout. Grout saws are effective and are great to use in addition to power tools. However, one drawback is that they are time consuming and labor intensive.

Screwdrivers work as a great grout removal tool for removing sharp corners. This is especially helpful if you have rounded tiles.

Grout Removal Power Tool

Power tools, on the other hand, make removal significantly faster. When using them to remove grout, going slow and letting the tool do the work for you is key. Keeping the tools at the lowest setting for a clean job is well worth the time.

An oscillating multi-tool is the perfect tool for removing old grout lines. Mount a blade that has a diamond or carbide tip for much easier and quicker grout removal. A reciprocating saw is similar to the multi tool, and is great for larger jobs.

Other Grout Removal Equipment

Generally, grout is made of water, sand, and cement. Be sure to use safety goggles and eye protection, especially if you are using power tools. Use a high-power shop vacuum to remove grout dust.

Tips For Removing Grout

  • Be sure you have proper personal protection equipment. Removing grout will create lots of dust.
  • Fit your oscillating tool with a grout removal blade. Lightly press the blade into the grout line on a low setting. Work slowly and let the tool do the hard work.
  • Use a manual grout removal tool to ensure smaller pieces are removed, and all the grout lines are smooth.
  • Use a shop vacuum to make sure all grout and dust are completely withdrawn from the seams.
  • Prepare to regrout tile!

Key Takeaways

There are many reasons to remove grout from your existing tile. From stains and mold to aesthetic reasons, removing old and dirty grout is a manageable task for many DIYers. Using an oscillating tool makes for a quick job, and touching up areas by removing grout manually with a grout saw allows you to remove as much grout as possible. With a little time and effort, you’ll be ready to regrout your tile for a clean new look!

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