Removing Grout from Tile
LESLIE: Alright, now it’s time to help Fran with a grouting question. What can we do for you?FRAN: Yes, I just bought this house and it’s got some ceramic tile in it and apparently whoever put it down didn’t know what they were doing …LESLIE: OK.FRAN: … because it’s got either the cement they put it down with or the grout all over the top of the tile. I need to know how to get that off.TOM: Well …LESLIE: Is it like a haze or is it thick chunks of grout?FRAN: There are thick chunks.TOM: On top of the tile or in the grout lines itself?FRAN: On top of the tile.TOM: Oh, that’s a problem. If that grout has dried in place like that, it’s very, very difficult to get it off. If it’s in the grout lines, you could always use a grout saw and take it off but if it was done improperly and it’s stuck to the surface, that means they didn’t wash the grout off enough when they were doing this and it’s very, very difficult to get that off – if not impossible.FRAN: Oh. Well then I basically need to take the tile up and start over?TOM: Yeah, well that might be the best solution because it’s – you know, you could try to get more aggressive with trying to remove it – by using an abrasive stone or something like that – but chances are you’re going to damage the surface of the tile.LESLIE: Damage the tile itself.TOM: Yeah. How big of a surface are we talking about?FRAN: Well, it’s a very small room but it’s on like probably seven or eight tiles.TOM: Yeah. Well, why don’t you just break out those seven or eight tiles? Can you get some more tiles of that color?FRAN: I don’t know. I really haven’t looked. I just …TOM: Well, that would be the first thing to try, Fran. See if you can find replacement tiles and this way you can only break out the ones that are causing the problems.FRAN: Yeah. Alrighty, thank you.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And again, I would consider just replacing those few tiles.LESLIE: Yeah, I mean that’s a tough project. You’re never going to get that off. I mean there are some chemicals that you can use but mostly those are for just removing the haze, not chunks.