How to Use a Grout Removal Tool

Written by sylvia cochran
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Removing grout is a messy and time-consuming process, but if you use the right tools, you can get through it and have results you can be proud of. Salvaging tiles and simply replacing old grout is a most cost-effective way of remodelling a bathroom and giving it a facelift without spending a lot of money. Careful use of the various grout -removal tools serves to preserve the tiles, as well as your knuckles. When you follow these simple steps, you too will know how to use a grout -emoval tool like a pro.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Slim flathead screwdriver
  • Grout scraper
  • Power grinder

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    Hammer and Screwdriver Combination

  1. 1

    Pick up your hammer and use the flathead screwdriver as a chisel.

  2. 2

    Place the head of the flathead screwdriver at a 45-degree angle to the grout.

  3. 3

    Lightly tap the end of the screwdriver with the hammerhead. The goal is to loosen the grout -- not the tile -- so be judicious in your application of force.

  4. 4

    Continue on with this process until you have caused all of the grout to crumble, leaving the tiles in place.

  5. 5

    Follow up this process with a grout scraper if needed.

    Grout Scraper

  1. 1

    Pick up a good-quality grout scraper that comes equipped with a carbide tip. Since they are cheap, you might want to buy a small handful, depending on the size of your project.

  2. 2

    Using a hammer and small chisel, get a bit of the grout removed to give you an entry point.

  3. 3

    Apply the tip of the grout scraper to the entry and apply firm pressure while pulling the scraper downward.

  4. 4

    Avoid rushing this procedure, as one slip of the grout scraper can result in an ugly scratch on your tiles! Once you know how your grout reacts to the application of this grout-removal tool, you may increase your speed a bit.

    Power Grinder

  1. 1

    Keep the appliance unplugged until you have added all the appropriate attachments.

  2. 2

    Attach the grout-removal accessory. Make sure it has snapped securely into place before you turn on the grinder.

  3. 3

    Plug in the power grinder and turn it on.

  4. 4

    Go slow, and remember not to overwork one area, as this may lead to chipping or loosening of the tiles.

Tips and warnings

  • Have a number of replacement blades ready when using a power tool. Depending on your grout, you may find that even the most durable and commonly advertised carbide grid cannot withstand the hard grout found in some older homes.
  • Depending on the size of the space in which you are working, the use of a power tool may be hampered by walls and other impediments. Be ready to fall back on the old-fashioned grout-removal combination of flathead screwdriver and hammer.
  • Wear earplugs when using a grout-removal tool in an enclosed bathroom; the noise is amplified by the ,and within a short period of time, you are bound to have a raging headache.
  • In a pinch, you can use a diamond blade that is usually suggested for cutting cement or tile. But keep in mind that one slip will result in cut tile, in addition to cut grout! Proceed with caution.

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