How to Remove Grout From Floor Tiles 2022

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how to remove grout from floor tiles

If you need to remove old grout from your floor tiles, it might seem like an impossible job. 

Grout is meant to harden over the years and that can make it very difficult to remove. However, there are ways you can get it to come up and even save the tile. 

Generally, this is a job that you will want to do very carefully. It’s easy to break the tiles and can even be dangerous if you’re not wearing the right protective gear. 

In this article, we have laid out some different ways you can remove grout. By following these steps, you can remove the old grout and save your floor tiles at the same time. 

Removing Grout from Floor Tiles: Basic Idea

There are a few different ways to remove grout from your floor tiles. Depending on what you have on hand and what you’re capable of doing, any of these could work. 

The ways to remove old grout include: 

  • Soak the grout in sugar and water 
  • Remove it manually with a tool 
  • Remove it with a reciprocating saw 
  • Remove it with a dremel

Why Remove Grout from Floor Tiles?

remove grout from floor tiles

When the time comes to retile a shower or bathroom, you may be faced with an issue. The grout that was used to seal the tiles will probably have hardened quite a bit. 

Grout is meant to be waterproof and as a result, can be very difficult to remove. While this generally means the grout was installed correctly, it can be frustrating. 

Luckily, there are ways that you can remove the old grout and even save the tiles in the process. 

By being very careful during the process, you can successfully remove the old grout. However, it is important that you work carefully and try not to break any tiles by being too forceful. 

Soak the Grout

No matter how you are going to remove the old grout, you should soak it first. 

Mix a solution of one cup of sugar with a gallon of warm water. Then, soak the grout with the solution for several hours. The amount of time you need to leave the solution will depend on how old the grout is. However, you should plan on leaving it for at least two hours. 

Soaking the grout in the sugar and water solution will soften it up. This will make it easier to remove no matter how you are doing it. 

Remove it Manually 

It’s possible to remove grout using a manual tool

Grout removal tools usually look like a screwdriver with a bent blade. These blades are made of carbide and are very hard. 

To remove the grout, slide the tool along the center of the seam. This will start to cut through the dried grout until it can be removed. 

There is another type of grout removal tool as well. These look more like a small saw and are made of the same material. 

To use these, simply saw into the grout manually like you would with anything else. The hardness of the carbide makes it easier to cut through. 

It’s important to note, however, that this method will be more likely to damage the tile. It’s hard to work intricately with manual tools like this. 

Use a Reciprocating Saw 

A reciprocating saw is a great tool for all kinds of applications. 

With a reciprocating saw, the blade moves back and forth just like with a manual saw. However, it is powered and much more effective on harder materials. 

Use a carbide blade to cut through grout with a reciprocating saw. 

Simple cut through the grout like you would with a piece of wood. However, you will want to make sure that you don’t cut down into the subfloor. 

As you make your cuts, check your work to be certain that you’re not making them too deep. 

Use a Dremel

A dremel is perhaps the best tool to use to remove grout. 

With a dremel, you can use a carbide cutting blade to slice the grout through the middle. This will loosen the grout so you can get it out. 

You can also use other bits on the dremel to remove grout from the sides of the tile. This is the best way to get the whole thing completely cleaned and ready for new grout. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to remove grout from tile floors
  • When should I regrout and retile a shower?

If you are noticing cracks or bubbles in your grout, no matter what type, you need to reapply it. 

When grout starts to crack, it will let water underneath the tile. This can result in things like mold, mildew, and rot. 

  • Will vinegar remove grout haze?

Vinegar is an excellent choice for removing grout haze and cleaning grout

Soak the grout for 2-3 hours with a vinegar solution. Then, you can scrub it with a scrub brush to fully remove the haze. 

  • Does regrouting damage tiles?

There is always the possibility that you can damage tiles when regrouting. However, if you work carefully and take your time, you can remove it without causing cracks or breaks. 

This is why using a dremel is recommended for removing grout from tiles. 


Removing old grout can be a stressful job if you don’t want to break tiles. 

However, by preparing properly and going through the right steps, you can do it correctly. Working carefully and doing the job right will always give you the best chance at success. 

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Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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