How To Remove Grout From Bathroom Tiles In 5 Easy Steps

If the grout in your bathroom is over 10 or 15 years old, you may notice that it's starting to look worn or has become discolored. Over time, tile grout can begin to crack, stain, become loose, and may need to be replaced or re-grouted. But what's the best way to remove the current grout? We've researched the best method to remove the current grout from bathroom tiles, and in this post, we will cover it for you.

Here are the steps to remove grout from bathroom tiles:

  1. Gather your equipment
  2. Remove any caulk
  3. Clean up any debris
  4. Cut the grout using an oscillating tool or utility knife
  5. Clean up

Taking up the grout in your bathroom tile is a relatively straightforward process, and it can be done in about an hour or so, depending on the size of your bathroom. You have a few different choices regarding the tools that you use to remove the grout. Continue reading to learn more about methods to remove the grout and tool options to choose from.

sealing between tiles using tile grout. How To Remove Grout From Bathroom Tiles In 5 Easy Steps

Steps To Remove Grout From Bathroom Tiles

It doesn't take much skill to remove or replace tile grout. In fact, the average DIYer can get it done without any professional assistance. Let's go over one of the most effective ways to do it.

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Sharp tool clean spaces between tiles remove tile adhesive

Things you'll need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Oscillating tool and grout removal blade
  • Utility knife that has a dull blade
  • Hand vacuum
  • Towel
  • Safety goggles
  • Handyman gloves

1. Gather your equipment

Start by gathering all of your grout removal equipment and placing it on the floor in the bathroom next to your work area. Next, don a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from any projecting grout or caulk. Additionally, you'll want to put on a pair of safety gloves to protect your hands while you're working with a utility knife. It can also be helpful to apply painter's tape to the tiles' edges beforehand to avoid scratching them with your oscillating tool or utility knife.

Check out this utility knife on Amazon.

2. Remove any caulk

Take your utility knife, and starting on the left side of the tile wall, lift any caulk using the corner of the blade. Start on the edge of the caulk, and work your way down the line. You'll usually find that after a few inches have been pulled, you can pull up the rest with your hand. Continue this process until all of the caulking is removed. When placing the blade on the caulk, be sure to place it on the corner as not to scratch the edge of the tile.

3. Clean up any debris

Next, take a broom or handheld vacuum and remove any debris and caulk from the grout line. If you have a handheld broom, this will work as well.

Learn more about this handheld broom on Amazon.

4. Cut the grout using an oscillating tool or utility knife

Next, take your oscillating tool or utility knife and, starting on the left side of the tile wall, scrape the grout away using up-and-down strokes. If you're using an oscillating tool, you'll simply hold the tool over the grout about an eighth of an inch deep into it and work your way down. If you're using a utility knife, use vertical strokes to carefully break up the grout without scratching the surface of the surrounding tile.

Keep in mind that with the utility knife, you'll need to apply a firm amount of pressure to lift the grout, so it's best to go slowly at first. And if you're using an oscillating tool, be sure to hold it steady over the grout line without letting it veer to the left or the right, as this may easily cut the tile.

5. Clean up

Once you have removed all the grout from the bathroom tile, take your shop vacuum or broom and sweep up any grout debris from the floor or bathtub. It's also a good idea to check your work for any remaining grout remnants that may be on the edges or bottom corners of the wall near the bathtub.

Check out this handheld vacuum on Amazon.

How Difficult Is It To Remove Tile Grout?

Overall, the project isn't as difficult as it is laborious, especially if you have a large bathroom. The job can be easier if you use an oscillating tool instead of a utility knife, as it will require less pressure to remove the grout. Removing tile grout requires precision. And whether you're using a utility knife or oscillating tool, you can easily scratch the surrounding tile if you're not careful.

What Is The Best Tool To Remove Grout?

There are many methods for removing tile grout, and the available tools to use will come with their own benefits and drawbacks. Let's look at the most common ones.

Manual removal tool

Most manual grout removal tools will consist of a handle and a blade to scrape the grout from the tile manually. Depending on the device you buy, you'll find that they all have varying degrees of ergonomic support and vary in shape. However, these tools can make grout removal a very tedious and tiring job. That being stated, if you prefer not to use a motorized tool, tools like utility blades and chisels can also work.

Check out this chisel on Amazon.

Oscillating tools

Oscillating tools are motorized tools that are equipped with a grout removal blade. These are typically considered one of the best options to remove grout as they can make it easy and fast. Rather than using your strength to press a manual tool into the grout, an oscillating tool, such as a Dremel, can work at a higher speed to break up the grout in a matter of seconds. These tools are typically more expensive than manual tools; however, if ease and efficiency are important to you, they're worth considering.

Check out this a Dremel tool on Amazon.

Reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw that has a grout blade is perfect for removing shower tile grout. They work especially well on epoxy and sanded grout varieties. The saws are able to cut through hard grout quickly, and it's best to become familiar with their operation before starting your project. The reason is that these powerful saws can quickly and easily jump around during use, causing you to damage your shower walls are other areas of the bathroom. So it's best to go slow when using them initially.

Check out this saw on Amazon.

Angle grinder

Angle grinders are especially efficient at removing grout. This tool saves you the task of repositioning your arms to cut around the tile and get the grout in the corners of the wall or floor. They can be used for grout that is unsanded, sanded, or covered with epoxy.

Like other rotary tools, they have a spinning disk that requires positioning of at least 1/8-inch from the wall tiles to avoid accidentally cutting them. The only drawback with angle grinders is the amount of dust they produced during their use. So it's best to use a dust mask and a pair of goggles when operating them to avoid Inhaling the grout dust particles.

Learn more about this angle grinder on Amazon.

Can You Touch Up Grout?

Yes. Generally, if there are small areas in the grout that are crumbling or developing cracks, you can cover them with new grout. You won't need to scrape every piece of grout out, but you may need to remove some grout depending on how high it is on the tile. You'll also need to make sure to clean the old grout before touching it up.

Can You Put New Grout Over Old Grout?

Blue Tiles in Swimming Pool

Yes, it is possible to apply grout over existing grout. It depends on the height of the old grout, but it can be done. Typically, if the old grout is less than 1/8-inch high, it's possible to do this. Thoroughly cleaning the existing grout necessary to ensure that the new layer of grout will bond well over the old layer. You can also use epoxy grout which will allow for a thinner application.

Can A Dremel Remove Grout?

Yes. Dremels are great for removing grout as they can offer an efficient way to cover large areas. It's important to first know how to properly operate the tool before using it on the grout lines, as using it improperly can cause damage to the tiles surrounding the grout.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped illustrate how to remove grout from bathroom tiles. Remember, if you want to complete the project quicker and with less labor, it's best to use a motorized oscillating tool to cut through the grout instead of a manual tool.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

11 Basement Bathroom Ideas To Check Out

What Is The Best Toilet For A Basement Bathroom?

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