How to remove epoxy grout from tile

Written by marion sipe
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How to remove epoxy grout from tile
Reapply epoxy grout to grout joints damaged by cleaning the grout haze. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A tile floor needs a good washing soon after epoxy grout is applied, and skipping this step can lead to a "haze" of leftover grout on the tiles. Because epoxy grouts are stronger and more durable than cement-based grouts, and less vulnerable chemicals, grout removers made for cement grouts won't remove epoxy. However, many commercial products are available to do the job. Remove drips and drabs of epoxy, or simple "grout haze," with the use of a few supplies and some effort.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Epoxy stripper
  • Paintbrush
  • Stiff-bristled scrub brush
  • Wet vac

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cover nearby areas of wood, carpet or metal with painter's tape --- or plastic sheeting if you'll be applying the stripper over a large area. To keep the stripper out of your soil, use plastic sheeting to cover nearby areas of landscaping, lawn or garden.

  2. 2

    Follow the manufacturer's directions when applying the epoxy stripper. Generally, use the stripper right out of the bottle, without diluting it. Apply it with a paintbrush, avoiding the grout joints whenever possible.

  3. 3

    Let the stripper sit for about 30 minutes, but check it often to gauge the softening of the epoxy. For drips, thicker sections of grout haze, or grout that has cured for a while, it may take longer. Allow the stripper to cure until the epoxy is soft enough to be scrubbed away.

  4. 4

    Scrub up the grout residue with a stiff-bristled brush and then wash the floor with a nonacid tile cleaner of your choice. Use a wet vac to remove the cleaning solution.

  5. 5

    Rinse the floor thoroughly with plain water and allow it to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear chemical resistant gloves and eye protection when working with epoxy strippers and make sure there is good ventilation in the area.
  • Keep children and pets away from the stripper as it cures.
  • Always test strippers and chemicals on a small area of your tile before you apply them to larger, more visible areas.
  • When working on a larger surface --- an entire floor or patio --- work in 3-foot by 3-foot sections.
  • Try prying up thick sections of grout staining by using the stripper to soften the base and prying it up with a paint stirrer. Be careful not to scratch the tile.
  • Epoxy strippers cannot be thrown out with the trash and must be disposed of properly.

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