How to De-Grout Your Tiles

Tile GroutGrout is a wonderful thing, to be sure. It is, after all, the main thing keeping your tiles in place on the wall. Rock-like in its endurance, it can stand up to a lot of punishment before failing and takes a fair bit of effort to remove. Unfortunately, it requires perhaps a little too much effort to remove, especially for those who decide they’d like a new tile pattern. Learning how to do it effectively is a must if you want to do so without the expense of hiring a contractor.

Needless to say, before you start make sure you and the room are protected. Cover sensitive appliances and furniture with heavy sheets and blankets, because pieces of grout will go flying, and ensure you yourself are wearing safety gear. At the very least, you should safety goggles, a dust mask and cut-resistant gloves. For additional comfort, consider kneepads as well. The task could well take a while and you’ll probably be on your knees a lot.

Start by making an incision down each grout line you wish to remove with a grout saw - one with a carbide bit is ideal. Then remove the grout from between the pieces of tile with a grout scraper. Insert the triangular tip into the incision you’ve just made and firmly (but gently) drag it along the grout line. Do it several times until the grout is removed. If you don’t have a scraper, a hammer and chisel can work just as well, but angle the tip of the chisel away from the tile. Once done, take the chisel and hold the tip parallel to the floor with the cutting edge touching the edge of the tile and gently tap it with a hammer until any grout remnants are gone. If any remains after this, scrub it off with warm soapy water.

If you wish to keep the tiles after they have been removed, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water (half and half of each) and spray the tile with it, giving the solution a couple of minutes to settle. Then wipe any remaining grout off with a clean rag.

For all your tile needs, check out www.wallsandfloors.co.uk.

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