Compared to other DIY home improvement projects, bathroom renovations offer a great value for your money. That said, a bathroom renovation can also be a lot of work, especially if you’ve decided to learn how to remove grout from tile.
For many DIYers, much of the time and effort that goes into their bathroom renovation project will be spent regrouting tiles . Depending on the size of the room, removing the old grout by hand can take the better part of a day. However, you can cut the time considerably by using an oscillating power tool to remove grout.
When wondering how to remove grout, working with an oscillating power tool is far better than using a grout removal tool like a grout rake. Oscillating tools are easy to handle, versatile, perfect for working into small spaces. That’s why using one is considered the best way to remove grout. In this post, you will learn why you should remove grout and how to remove grout from tile using your oscillating power tool.
Why Remove Grout?
Grout fills the gaps between tiles and it helps to hold them in place. While the tiles themselves may last a long time and resist staining, grout is more porous and likely to stain and wear down over time.
In many cases, you can clean the grout to make it look good as new, but if mold and mildew are left for too long, the grout can get stained and it will not come clean. If the grout is either old and deteriorated or stained, the only option to get the tile looking good again is to remove the old grout with an oscillating multi-tool or other piece of equipment and regrout the surface.
Beyond re-grouting the tiles, you will also want to apply a grout sealer . A sealer can help to protect the grout and prevent staining. It will also hold up better under the conditions of your bathroom. If the surface is properly sealed, cleaned regularly, and resealed when it is needed, the grout will last much longer.
What You Need to Remove Grit from Tile
One of the best ways to remove grout is with an oscillating power tool. This will make grout removal from tile much easier. Along with an oscillating tool, you will need a utility knife and a grout rake. If you do not have a grout rake, you can use a flathead screwdriver as a replacement for this grout removal tool. Additionally, you will also need carbide-grit segment saw blade for your oscillating multi-tool.
If you are looking for an oscillating power tool that can work well for grout removal and a wide range of other DIY jobs, the 20V Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool is a great option. The cordless design means you do not have to worry about running a cord and the 20V battery offers plenty of runtime for long projects. It is also lightweight and easy to handle, making it an ideal grout removal tool.
How to Remove Grout from Tile Using an Oscillating Multi-Tool
When you’re ready to use your grout removal tools, start by fitting the carbide-grit bit into the oscillating multi-tool. Once the tool is ready, turn it on and work the blade straight into the seam between two tiles. You do not want to use a lot of pressure when working the blade into a seam. The best way to remove grout from tile is to apply gentle pressure and let the tool do most of the work.
With most of the grout removed using that straight cut, you can now slowly angle the blade of your grout removal tool up and down to remove more of the grout from the seam. You just need to work slowly and be careful not to damage the edges of the tiles.
Once the seam is mostly clear, you can put down the oscillating tool and move to working with your grout rake or screwdriver. Just get the blade of the grout removal tool in there to scrape out any bits of material that would not come out with the power tool. If there is still some grout that refuses to come out with the screwdriver, you can then try using a utility knife to clean out the last remaining pieces of grout.
No matter what grout removal tools you use, the process will take some time and a lot of work. However, now that you know the best way to remove grout from tile, it’s clear that using the right tools can make a significant difference. If you are looking for the best way to remove grout quickly, an oscillating power tool is the right tool for the job.
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Grout is a common material used with tile, and it keeps the spaces between each tile looking uniform. This material can become damaged over time, and it will likely require a bit of repair to restore it to its original state. If you’re dealing with damaged grout, there are some easy ways to fix it yourself. With just a few simple tools and some quick training, you can easily repair damaged grout and make your floors, backsplash, and feature walls look fantastic again.
Types of Grout
Grout comes in two major formats: sanded and unsanded. The type grout you use will be based on the width of your tile joints and where you plan to make your repairs. Before you begin, measure the space between the tiles. If it’s larger than 1/8 of an inch, you should use sanded grout. If it’s smaller than 1/8 of an inch, use unsanded grout. You should never use sanded grout with glass, metal, or marble tiles since it can scratch the surface and cause damage. Acrylic latex grout is a good alternative, but it will require sealing. Epoxy grout works great to resist stains, but it may be a bit difficult to apply.
Repairing Cracks with Caulk
Cracking is the most common cause of damaged grout. As you walk on tile floors, the grout becomes weaker and can eventually start to show unsightly cracks. You can remedy this by using caulk to fill in the cracks and restore the look of the grout. First, remove all loose and cracked grout with a grout saw or Dremel tool. Apply the caulk gently to the cracks, smoothing it down with a plastic spoon. You can also wet your fingers and smooth the caulk by hand.
Make sure you allow the caulk to fully cure for at least 48 hours before you walk on the floors. Avoid putting heavy furniture back until it’s fully cured as well. There are several types of caulk available and some are made in a variety of colors. Look for a caulk that matches the existing grout color as closely as possible.
Repairing Cracks with Grout
If you want to fill in the damaged grout with a new layer of grout, it will create a nice, uniform look. Since grout is porous, it crumbles over time with normal wear. Using grout to fill in cracks will restore it beautifully, and you can make spot repairs as needed. In order to repair damaged grout that’s cracking using new grout, follow these steps:
- Use a bamboo skewer and drag it along the grout line. This will loosen any cracked and damaged grout. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean out any excess loosened grout.
- Mix the new grout with water in a small container. A cup or bowl should work fine. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before mixing.
- Evenly spread the new grout over the damaged grout lines. Use a grout float to ensure even application. Drag the float across the grout lines using slow movement in several directions. This will pack the new grout into the cracks and keep air bubbles out.
- Scrape any excess grout from the tiles using the edge of the grout float.
- Give the new grout about five minutes to sit. Once it’s semi-dry, wipe your tiles using a sponge dampened with tap water. When a hazy layer appears on the tiles, you can buff them clean using a dry rag or microfiber cloth.
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Remove Damaged Grout with a Grout Saw and Reapply
If you prefer to completely remove the old, damaged grout and reapply it, this process yields great results. You will need to use a special grout saw to effectively remove the damaged grout and prevent your tiles from becoming damaged. As you use the saw, be sure to do so with careful, gentle motions. Aim the saw directly into the grout lines and avoid using it on the tile itself whenever possible. While you remove the old grout, use even, steady motions and push the saw directly into the grout. Wear safety goggles for additional protection.
After the old grout is completely removed, use a special grout cleaner to clean up any excess, leftover debris. You can make a homemade grout cleaner using equal parts of vinegar and water. Never use abrasive cleaners as they can cause scratches on your tile. After cleaning the grout lines, rinse everything using clean water. You can absorb any excess water by using a rag or some paper towels. Don’t completely dry it since the grout needs a small amount of moisture to adhere and cure.
Once you’re ready to reapply the new grout, you can follow the steps above. It’s important to note that you’ll need more grout than you would if you were to simply repair existing cracks. When you use the sponge, wring it out frequently so you’re not introducing too much water to the grout. After application, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying time so the grout can completely cure.
To maintain the beauty of your grout, you should apply a grout sealant. After the grout has completely cured, you can apply the sealant and allow it to dry. The sealant will keep the grout safe from further damage, and it also protects it from absorbing stains and dirt. There may be a haze on your tiles after applying sealant. Simply buff them out using a soft cloth until the haze is fully gone. Re-seal your grout at least once every six months for best results.
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If the spaces in between the tiles in your bathroom and shower are dirty or unsightly, you can do a quick grout repair job on the seams to make them look new again. Cleaning and repairing grouted seams in tiles is an easy DIY job. You can usually complete the job in a couple of hours. This easy to follow how-to guide will walk you through the entire process.
Step 1 – Select the Grout
Purchase grout that matches the color of the grout currently used in your bathroom. Unless you’re planning on re-grouting the entire surface, you want to make sure that the new grout color matches as closely as possible.
Step 2 – Remove Loose and Damaged Grout
Use a grout saw to remove the loose or damaged grout in between the tiles. Gently run the grout saw back and forth along the grout seams. Be careful to avoid damaging the tiles.
Step 3 – Clean the Seams
Use a spray bottle and some cold water to wet the areas where you removed the grout. Then take an old toothbrush and scrub the seams. This will remove the grout you freed with the grout saw. Finally, wipe away excess water or grout with an old towel or rag.
Step 4 – Mix the Tile Grout
Refer to the instructions on the bag or box of tile grout you purchased. Follow the directions precisely when mixing the grout. You can mix the grout in an old plastic container or something that you can dispose of later.
Step 5 – Spread Grout
Use the grout float to fill the seams. Try to fill them completely, making sure the grout is as level and straight as possible. Use a small edge of the grout float to match the beveled grout surface used on the other tiles.
Step 6 – Clean the Tiles
Working in small sections, clean the tiles with a sponge to remove any excess grout as you go. If you wait too long to clean the tiles, the grout will dry and be harder to remove. If the grout does dry and become hard, use a putty knife or plastic scraper to scrape the grout away. Then, use a damp rag to wipe the loose grout and residue way from the tiles and seams. Allow the tiles to dry before continuing.
Step 7 – Polish Tiles
Once the tiles have dried, take a soft towel or an old t-shirt to buff the tiles where the grout was applied. Sometimes the grout will cause the tiles to lose their luster or shine. If you buff the area for a few seconds with a dry cloth, the shine on the tiles should return.
How to Repair Concrete Grout
The grout that sits between concrete slabs or bricks in some patios, pathways, basements, and garages is made as strong as cement. It has the strength to hold your brick and concrete walkways together for years. However, due to cracks that form over time, eventually repairs will be required.
Not fixing cracks and damage in a timely manner can lead to an unsightly appearance and further damage. Repairing concrete grout is a simple task that requires a grout saw and grout. To learn how this process works, read on!
5 Easy Steps for Cement Grout Repair
Remove the grout that has been damaged. You will need to scrape away the grout using the blade on the back of the grout saw. Dig down into each side of the tile where there’s damaged grout. You don’t want to leave any old grout on half of any slab or tile that you are going to be regrouting.
Use a vacuum to remove the debris and dust that you have created from the removal process. Don’t use water on the area.
Mix water with the grout powder inside of a bucket. Stir this mixture thoroughly with a putty knife that’s wide. It should become a thick mud. Then allow it to sit for about ten minutes before stirring it again.
Spread the grout into the lines of the tile that have had grout removed. Press in the grout using a grout towel and scrape off excess grout from the surface of the tile.
Allow the new grout to dry for about ten minutes. Using a damp sponge, you can wipe off the excess grout from the tile. Once the new grout has cured for the length of time mentioned in the manufacturer’s directions, seal it.
Having your cement regrouted is not a complicated process. However, to ensure everything is done correctly and looks great, we always recommend hiring a professional. Decorative concrete structures always looks their best with professional grouting. For decorative concrete in Colorado Springs, you can trust Flat & Fancy, Inc. for your needs. For any type of regrouting services, contact your local Grout Medic or call 1-888-994-7688.
Dealing with cracked grout is a common issue that comes up for many homeowners at some point. While grout is a durable material, tile surfaces suffer a lot of wear and tear that can crack it, resulting in a shabby look. Therefore, learning how to repair cracked grout can be an essential skill to learn. Here are the basics for completing this task successfully.
Step 1 – Try Grout Caulk
One of the easiest ways to try and repair cracked grout is to simply use grout caulk. This is a substance that matches the color of grout exactly and comes in a normal caulking tube. You can simply squeeze the tube in a caulk gun and apply it to any cracks that you may have. Make sure to smooth the caulking over by wetting your finger and running it over the repaired area. This tends to work better on very small cracks in areas that will not see high traffic. However, it is the easiest method available.
Step 2 – Find Matching Grout
If grout caulk does not work, you will have to find a grout mix that matches what already exists. This will be easy if you have some left over from the original installation. If that is the case, just find a bag and you are ready to go.
If you do not have any left over, you should try and find the exact same brand and color as the original installation. Trying to match an unknown grout by just comparing colors can be very difficult. Therefore, it is best if you can find the exact same material to make sure that it matches.
Step 3 – Mix the Grout
Once you locate the grout that you need, you will need to mix it up. Take a bucket and mix water and the grout together inside; read the directions on the side of the bag to ensure that you use the appropriate amount of water. You need to make sure it is the right consistency before you begin.
Step 4 – Fill in the Crack
With the grout mixed up, you can try filling in the crack immediately. This will be a very easy solution to your problem if it works. Take a grout float and use it to apply the material to the crack. Then, wash off any excess around the outside of the grout line and let it dry. If this works, you should not be able to tell the new patch from the old and it will look very good. However, sometimes you can tell that you patched it and another approach will be needed.
Step 5 – Remove the Old Grout
Take a grout saw and remove all of the existing grout from in between the tiles. Make sure not to apply any pressure to the tile so you don’t break it while you are doing this.
Step 6 – Install Grout
Once the old grout is removed, use the grout float to fill the empty joint. Take a sponge afterward and wipe off the grout lines to level them off and clean away excess.
If you wish to maintain a clean, shiny bathtub that both your family and guests can enjoy, it’s important to know how to repair grout around your bathtub, especially if you are planning to remodel your bathroom.
Before you learn to manage grout, you should first understand that grout is the valuable “glue” that seals the tiles of your bathroom area. It’s a needed construction material that must be clean and maintained at all times. Grout is a reliable material, usually made from cement or mortar, used to fill in cracks and cavities that could potentially ruin the appearance and/or function of your bathtub area.
Yet aged and dirty grout around bathtubs gives the whole bathroom a less than clean look. Most home improvement experts agree that, when it comes to grout, replacement is the true key to repair. The application of new, fresh grout can add a whole new sheen to the area surrounding your bathtub, creating a cleaner, more polished look.
Steps to Repair Grout Around the Bathtub
Step1: Clean the Surroundings of the Bathtub
Before you apply new grout around your bathtub, you must first remove the old, excess stuff that posed the problem in the first place. Many people use a razor blade for this purpose, though you must be careful not to scratch the tub. Others prefer to use a proessional grout saw or the sharp end of a utility knife. Regardless of the tool you choose, it’s important to handle this tool carefully, applying it only to the excess grout you wish to remove.
Step2: Clean Grout
The next step is to use a damp cloth coated either with water or a solution of 50 percent water, 50 percent bleach to clean your work area, removing any remaining traces of grout, along with the fungus and mildew that accompany it.
Step3: Apply New Grout
Now it’s time to apply the new grout, which can be purchased either in its purest form or perhaps pre-mixed. If the grout has not been mixed, you may have to add water to the mix and then apply this mixture with the help of a spatula or other helpful household tool. Once the application is complete, allow your work area to dry for 24 to 72 hours, or as recommended by package instructions, then clean the excess grout with a gentle, non-scratching abrasive pad.
Step4: Apply Grout Sealant
The final step is to apply a grout sealant, again cleaning up any excess liquid after allowing appropriate time for drying.
As other grout management options, you can search local home improvement stores to seek tools and products to recolor or remove mold and fungus from existing grout. You even have the option of painting grout, with the use of artist brushes or a toothbrush-style tool.
Regardless of how you choose to manage and repair your bathtub grout, your primary objective will always be a cleaner, shinier tub area; an area that maintains a new, fresh look, regardless of its age or degree of use.
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- Repairing Crumbling Grout
Properly installed tile and grout should allow for the normal expansion and contraction of tile flooring; however, even minor earthquake tremors, such as those that occur in the Bay Area, may cause the grout to begin to crack and crumble. Once the grout cracks for any reason, it’s time to repair broken grout before there is any damage to the surrounding tiles. While grout may crack from wear and tear, an uneven or weak subfloor may be causing the problem. If you need to repair grout numerous times on any one floor, ask an engineer to look into the underlying cause of the problem.
Measure the width of the grout lines on your tile floor. If the lines are less than one-eighth of an inch, you need unsanded, epoxy or acrylic latex grout. Grout lines wider than one-eighth of an inch need sanded grout. The exception to this is marble tile floors. Sanded grout scratches the surface, so use unsanded, epoxy or acrylic latex on them.
Remove a small sample of the broken grout to take with you to the tile or home improvement store. Match new grout to the sample. You might be able to use more or less water as you mix the grout to get an exact match on the grout shade, but doing so may affect the quality of the grout’s texture and its structural integrity.
Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water. Clean the area of broken grout with the vinegar mixture.
Cut out the damaged grout with a grout saw. Insert the blade of the saw, which looks like a screwdriver or round handle with a saw on the end, into the joint with the damaged grout. Move the saw back and forth along the joint to cut out the grout. If the grout is particularly difficult to remove, apply more pressure to the grout saw as you move the saw along the joint. Take care not to damage the tiles.
Wipe a damp paper towel over the grout line to clean it out. Remove any excess water puddled in the grout lines. Leave the sides of the tile slightly damp to help the grout bind to the tiles.
Follow package directions for adding the correct amount of water to the grout you selected. Pre-mixed grout has the proper proportions of sand, if necessary, and Portland cement. Add water to the grout in a disposable mixing container. The grout should hold together in a ball when it’s the proper consistency. Push the grout into the joint with a grout float. Smooth the joint with the rounded end of a craft stick.
Wipe the surface of the surrounding tiles with a clean, damp sponge. Rinse the sponge frequently to avoid smearing grout onto adjoining tiles. Allow the grout to dry following manufacturer’s recommendations. Temperature and humidity may affect drying times.
Clean the surface of the surrounding tiles completely with a soft cloth. If the cloth doesn’t remove the haze, mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water. Wipe this mixture over the tile with a clean sponge. Wipe it dry with the cloth.
Apply a grout sealer with a small paintbrush following manufacturer’s directions. Allow the grout sealer to dry.
After several years, the grout in the tile porch may look worn, get crumbled or get damaged. This is due to prolonged exposure to heat and moisture. However, other factors also play a role, such as the type of grout used, its consistency during installation, or the experience of the installer. Replace the crumbled or damaged grout to prolong the usability of the tile porch. Here’s how.
Tools and Materials
- Grout saw
- Sanded grout
- Rubber float
- Spray bottle
- Stiff brush
- Vacuum cleaner
- Damp cloth
Step 1 – Prep the Porch
Clean the surface of the porch especially if it is dirty and grimy. Wet the surface and brush it to remove any grime sticking onto the tiles. Wipe it off with a clean dry rag or cloth. Prepare all needed materials.
Step 2 – Remove the Old Grout
Use a grout saw to cut through the grouting material. Run the tool over every joint in between the tiles. This may require going over the same area until every last bit of the crumbled material has been removed. Be careful not to chip the tiles. Try not to touch the tiles with the blade of the tool. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck off the debris away from the joints. Use a stiff brush to remove any leftover debris inside the channels.
Step 3 – Mix the Grout
Mix the material with water in a bucket. Pay particular attention to the correct ratio of water and powder as instructed in the package. Use a trowel for mixing. The resulting consistency should be like that of mashed potatoes – not too thick and not too thin.
Step 4 – Apply the Mixture
Consider dividing the whole area into sections of 5×5 square foot if the entire surface area is wide. It is best to work one section at a time. Use the rubber float to press the mixture into the spaces in between the porch tiles. Press the float firmly so that the material will squeeze in and fill every gap without leaving any air spaces. Work the tool in organized one-directional strokes. A 45-degree angle is probably the best way to go. Do not worry if some of the grouting material smears the tiles.
Step 5 – Wipe Off Excess Grout
Leave the mixture to set for about 20 minutes. Wipe off the excess grout on the tiles with a damp cloth. Run the damp cloth onto the grouted channels as well to create slightly concave surfaces on the lines. Do not allow the cloth to remove too much though. Just a thin layer will do as long as it makes the surface smoother. Let the material cure for 24 hours.
Step 6 – Apply Sealant
Use a paint brush to apply the sealant over the grout lines according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will keep the channels resistant to moisture damage, thus allowing the installation to last for several years to come. Leave the sealant to dry for about 24 hours before stepping onto the porch floor.