Tools for removing tile seams. Popular remedies for removing grout

Tools for grouting joints.

The sequence of work, when filling the joints on the tiles, is considered in the article. It remains to break down in detail what tool is needed for this.

The easiest option is to mix the grout in buckets in which the grout mixture is sold with hydrophobic properties. In paper bags are sold plain.

Stirring can be done by hand, with a trowel. The shovel should be long and rectangular. With this form of tool it is easier to stir and get from the bottom. A narrow metal trowel is less productive.

Stirring the grout in a bucket

Stirring grout by hand, with a trowel.

Videos often show stirring grout with a drill or electric screwdriver.

Probably at low speed. But this is another additional tool. Which needs to be washed, stored, bought, transported. The time gain is small. Except in the case of grouting tiles on the floor in the supermarket.

Another important tool needed at this stage is a brush to wash the trowel and bucket.

If you leave it without rinsing (there are many such advisors) and just, then, tap it to crumble, it won’t all come off. New grout (and a different color) will catch pieces of old dry grout from the bucket.

Cleaning grout tools with a brush and water.

Mechanical removal

Removing old grout from tile joints is often done mechanically. It is easier to remove the composition with a preliminary softening, but tools will have to be used in any case, as the old joints hold quite strongly.

What tools can be used to remove grout between tiles:

  • Reamer.
  • Knife.
  • Dremel with the right nozzle (the best option).
  • Handy tools.
  • Other tools.

A painter’s knife

To clean seams between tiles on the floor and on vertical surfaces it is best to use a paint knife, if you consider hand tools. The blade can deflect when you jump on the tile, which prevents it from being damaged. Exchangeable blades are inexpensive, so you can use a sharp tool every time.

Start removing material from the center of the joint 3 movements at a time, until the blade is completely deepened. Afterward, you tilt the knife, gradually scraping away the seam to the edges of the tiles. When choosing a tool, make sure that the handle is well fixed, because you will need to use a lot of force when scraping.

The only difficulty you may encounter is the possibility of damaging the decorative tile. Therefore, it is necessary to work without haste, preparing several interchangeable blades at once. And what is important: have patience, because this type of work causes a strong aversion to its monotony.

Joint expander

Special blades for reaming have a slightly different principle. They have a thicker blade, and the entire surface of the working area is covered with an abrasive substance, which allows you to clean the seam across the entire width. They have removable blades, so if necessary, they can be purchased. Among all known representatives can be distinguished reamer Archimedes.


The dremel is notable for its versatility. For cleaning joints can be used carbide drill with a diameter of 1.6 mm and a guide, which allows you to fix the tip precisely between the plates. This feature allows you to control the depth of removal.

Other power tools

Power tools not designed for cleaning can be considered more of a handy tool. The result of working with them can be unpredictable and depends on several factors, including skill with the tool and patience.

How to scrub grout from tiles. ways, the best remedies

It should be understood that working with improvised tools, success can be achieved with sufficient experience and appropriate skills.

To clean tile joints on the floor, you can use a pobedite bit as an analogue of a dremel. For walls, it is better to look for a carbide version of the smaller size. To make the nozzle of the drill plunged to the desired depth, you can use an organic nozzle, setting a low or medium speed. Drive the drill along the seam, keeping it perpendicular to the surface.

Angle grinder with a special disc can be used in conditions where a few filed edges of tiles will not spoil the appearance. But it is better to use a model that reduces the speed. The disc is chosen thinner and finer. However, it is necessary to work with an angle grinder, having a certain experience. If you do not have it, it is better to refuse this method or invite a professional. Do not forget about personal protection, so that dry grout does not get into the eyes. Incorrect work with the grinder can lead to tile failure, one careless movement can break the tile or get injured.

Other features of different power tools:

  • Electric drill should work at minimum speed, the drill bit should be thinner than the gap itself.
  • An electric screwdriver. a small disc with wire fluff is used as a nozzle.
  • Dremel. universal, the most convenient option for cleaning grout.

On Remove old grout from tile joints

Handy tools

Diamond nail file, shoemaker, chisel, ordinary spatula and many other tools can help clean the joints between the tiles. After basic cleaning, you should use a kitchen sponge to remove the dirt, which will allow you to wash the tiles well and not harm them. You can also use sandpaper zero grains of sandpaper. This option is suitable if the tiles are not glazed and there is no risk of scratching the decorative elements.

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Some folk remedies used to soften the seams:

  • Laundry soap. thanks to its alkaline composition provides prevention of mold. The grout should be dissolved in water and rinse the coating.
  • Soda. cleans the joints between decorative tiles. It is necessary to wet the surface, then fill it with powder. After a thorough cleaning of tiles with a brush.
  • Soda, vinegar and ammonia. a spoonful of soda is poured into a glass of water, then a spoonful of vinegar and ammonia is added. The joints are treated with a brush, the solution is left for 10 minutes.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. used to remove grease plaque, for which you need to mix it with water in a ratio of 1/2.

To clean glazed surfaces, you need to choose only alkaline mixtures. Acidic compositions damage it, it dulls.

Painting the joints

Painting the joints between tiles is a more reliable way to update the surfaces in the bathroom (they will remain clean and fresh for about six months). Joints can be treated with ordinary lime, water-based paint or choose a special composition in the store, which is designed for these purposes.

Painting the joints is not the most durable option, the preservation of the effect of the result lasts a maximum of six months

How to choose a joint paint?

To update the grout, you can choose a color similar to the shade of the old grout, or experiment with the palette. Light paint hides flaws in tiles and blends in with any tile shade, while dark tile paints give the room a sophisticated look. Some of the most well-known manufacturers that produce joint paint include Edding 8200, Pufas Frische Fuge, Fuga Fresca.

    Edding Dyeing compound, designed to “freshen” the appearance of joints between tile tiles. For convenient operation, it is available in the form of a marker, can be black, white and gray.

Edding 8200 industrial marker, 2-4 mm, round tip, white (for tile joints)

Attention: when choosing a marker for painting seams, you should pay attention to the thickness of the line. if it is wider than the seams themselves, it will be inconvenient to work with a marker.

  • Pufas Frische Fuge Komplettset. Inexpensive paint, which has one major disadvantage. low durability. Usually has a white shade, but the addition of tinting compound is allowed.

It should be noted that when applying paint to the surface, the color may differ significantly from that declared by the manufacturer. especially if the shade of the new composition is much lighter than the shade of the old grout.

When choosing a paint composition, you should carefully read the instructions on the packaging. most products are not used for epoxy seams, as well as those filled with silicone or polyurethane sealants.

Step-by-step instructions for applying paint on joints

For the paint to lie evenly on the surface, and the result of the work was pleasing to the eye for a long time, you need to adhere to a few simple rules.

Clean the surface well between the tiles (you can use the methods described above). If the dirt is heavily penetrated, you should use a mechanical method of cleaning, and in the presence of mold and mildew additionally treat them with antiseptic.

Allow it to dry completely (do not paint when the surface is wet, otherwise the result will not be satisfactory).

The paint is applied with a thin brush, as carefully as possible, and special attention should be paid to the vertical joints, where the composition can run down.

Caught on the tiles must immediately, without waiting for it to dry, wipe with a soft cloth, since it can not be removed later.

Wait 24 hours for the composition to completely dry, then assess the result and, if necessary, apply one or more additional layers of paint.

After painting the seams, it is desirable to protect them with a special compound sealant, which will prolong the life of the composition.

If the grouting material has not yet had time to set and harden, that is, no more than a day after its use, but there is already a need to replace it, you can just wet it with water.

Half an hour after the application of new grout, it is necessary to get rid of the excess on the tile itself, as well as grout the joints. To do this, use a clean sponge, it is better to take a new one. If you are often engaged in construction work with tiles, then you probably have all the necessary tools, if not, you know that you can buy a special bucket with a squeezer for sponges. With it, the grouting process will go much faster.

Then you need to let the material dry and continue the work only the next day. Now you need to remove the white plaque, using a glove with a felt covering. You can also use special rubbers with a felt covering, but they are not suitable for embossed tiles.

If after all the work you notice some defects, but the grout has already set, you should remove them using sandpaper rolled up into a tube.

In some cases, the tile has a relief surface or a large number of decorative details that significantly complicate the work. During the grouting of such a tile, it is better to seal its entire surface with polyethylene and masking tape, in order to avoid contamination, which is difficult to remove.

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If the tile has already been contaminated with grout material, you can clean it with oil (even normal sunflower oil will do) and a terry cloth.

Restoring the seams between the tiles

If you want to upgrade the interior of the room is not necessary to resort to an expensive and time-consuming repair, implementing only the restoration of grout composition. You can restore the joints between the tiles to their original appearance by using the following technique:

  • The first thing to do is to cover the sides of the facing with masking tape, in order to avoid damaging it while restoring the grout.
  • Next, you need to wipe off the top layer of the old grout with sandpaper. To increase the convenience of the work carried out it can be wrapped around a screwdriver.
  • After removing the top layer it is necessary to make processing of seams with antibacterial primer and wait for its full drying.
  • Next, use a rubber trowel to apply a fresh coat of grout or paint the joints with a special marker.

When the work is complete, you should remove the polyethylene film from the tile and wipe it with a soft rag.

Methods of cleaning joints between tiles

Before you remove grout from tile joints, you need to choose the best method and purchase or prepare the necessary tools.

The mechanical method

Removing grout from tile joints in this way is quite a laborious and time-consuming process that requires accuracy. Any careless movement can lead to damage to the elements of the coating. To carry out such work, experts use the following tools:

  • Renovator. With the necessary nozzle the work is carried out fairly quickly, but you need the knack for activity with the tool.
  • electric screwdriver. It requires a special nozzle in the form of a brush.
  • Drill. The drill to this tool should be much smaller in size than the joint between the tiles.
  • Joint expander. It has a comfortable and sturdy handle, which makes cleaning easier and faster.
  • Painting knife. A flat screwdriver or chisel can also be used to remove grout. Using these tools will ensure that the work is done accurately, but will be quite time-consuming.

Before you remove old grout from joints with an electric tool, make sure that the tile is firmly attached to the substrate and will not fall off with the grout. This method is fast, but only suitable for experienced users of power tools. Otherwise, there is a chance of tile damage, which will entail considerable financial costs for the replacement of the destroyed coating. The work is carried out at low speed. First, the cutting edge of the nozzle or drill bit should be passed along the joints, trying to keep to the middle, and do not change the pressure, it must be done quickly and evenly. After removing the grout from the middle, you should carefully go over the edges of the tiles. Particularly carefully work on the corners. Remove the remaining dust and debris with a stiff-bristled brush.

If for some reason it is impossible to use a power tool, grout is removed with hand tools. The principle of work is the same, but it takes considerably more time. Use a grout reamer or a construction knife to cut through the grout in the middle, then wipe off the grout around the edges of the tile and remove with a stiff brush.

Chemical method

If the mechanical method is not suitable, you can remove the grout using chemical solvents. On sale you can find various aggressive compositions, which can cope with even the most stale joint. When choosing a chemical agent, you need to know the type and composition of the grout used.

First of all, in order to protect the tile surface from the aggressive effects of solvents, it is necessary to cover the edges with masking tape. Then carefully apply the cleaner to the seams and leave it for the necessary period of time, indicated in the instructions for the solvent. After that, the degree of softening of the grout is checked and, if necessary, an additional layer of chemical agent is applied. Softened substance removed from the joints can not only expand the joints, but also with a chisel or spatula. Thoroughly rinse the cleaned interstitial space with water using a sponge and wipe dry.

How to remove old grout from tile joints. a photo and video guide

Grouting the joints between tiles. the finishing touch to the bathroom finish, which not only gives it a finished look, but also performs important practical functions. The fact that ceramic tiles are protected by glaze only at the top, the same underside and the edges may eventually deteriorate from moisture penetration.

The grouting compound closes these weak spots due to its high moisture-protecting properties. However, the service life of quality tiles is counted in tens of years, grout serves many times less. To update the decorative coating of walls made of tile, you need to remove the old grout. This article will help you perform grouting quickly and accurately.

The causes of premature wear and tear

If after the repair of the bathroom a little time has passed, and the tiles have already lost their attractiveness, most likely the case is that the joints have darkened or changed color. There are several reasons why this problem occurs:

  • Poor-quality grouting of the joint, when it is not filled completely, not to full depth or with gaps;
  • Mistake in the choice of grout composition. Type of grout choose based on the temperature, humidity of the room, the nature of its use and the equipment to be installed;
  • Mistakes in the preparation of mortar. If during the manufacture of grouting compound from the dry mixture, its consistency turned out more liquid, if you do not follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, the reliability and durability of the joints is reduced;
  • Lack of effective ventilation, which only contributes to the appearance of dampness in the bathroom;
  • Incorrect technology of applying grout in the joints of tiles;
  • The use of aggressive detergents based on acid, corroding the grout composition;
  • The emergence and penetration of mold deep into the grout composition;
  • Active contamination of joints of light colors.
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To understand that the removal of old grout really need to help cleaning, if even a thorough cleaning with aqueous solution of citric acid has not improved the condition of the tiles, then feel free to go to work.

The need for grouting

If the seams have changed color and it is impossible to scrub them with a stiff brush, using detergents, most likely mold has “settled” there. To understand that it is time to take up the tool, you will help the following signs:

  • Grout from the joints fell out in pieces, in some places you can clearly see the gaps, from the finished mortar has fallen out;
  • The tarnish is not removed by sanding the top layer with sandpaper;
  • The seams look dirty.

The seam, affected by the tile is useless to surface clean up or paint, it requires complete reconstruction, but if the tile itself is already “loosening” or falling off, it is advisable to think about the overhaul of the bathroom.

To remove grout that has fallen into disrepair from the tiles, there are several ways, depending on what tool is used:

Using power tools

To clean the grout from the joint with a drill or angle grinder, you need to run a cutting edge or drill bit along it, observing the same amount of pressure. Act quickly and clearly, keep exactly in the middle of the gap between the tiles. Special attention and care deserve corners. If you are still worried about tile preservation, adjust the limiter so that it covers its edge.

Manual scraping

The mechanical method of removing grouting compound is to eliminate mortar from the joints, using hand tools. It is more time-consuming and labour-intensive, but more delicate for bathroom finishes. You will need:

  • Reamer or a sharp paint knife;
  • Chisel;
  • Primer compound with antibacterial components;
  • Sponge;
  • Fine sandpaper;
  • Personal protective equipment.

Tip! To remove grout from the joint, using a hand tool, you should protect the tile surface with a film, and the edges with masking tape, it is not superfluous to cover the floor with something, because there will be dusty work.

To quickly free seams from grout, follow these steps one by one:

  • Take the reamer in your hand, in the absence of a tool you can use a well-sharpened knife, run a line for the trimmer along the scraped joint to its full depth;
  • Using a chisel, cut off the grout from the edge of the tile to the point of the cut on one side first. Then repeat this procedure with the other;
  • The edges of the tiles are carefully processed with fine sandpaper to eliminate the remains of the grout mixture;
  • When the seam is released, it should be well blotted with antibacterial primer, which will protect against mold and improve the adhesion of a new layer of grout. After the primer has dried, the wall is ready for caulking.

The chemical method

If the mechanical method seems too much of a chore for you, try getting rid of grout from tile joints with chemical solvents. Manufacturers offer a fairly aggressive compositions, capable of cope with any grout. However, to choose a solvent, you need to know the type of grout mixture used. Using the chemical method blindly will not work, because in order to achieve the best result, you can go through a lot of options. An affordable way to facilitate grouting is the folk method, according to which you need to treat the seams with a solution of one part vinegar with two parts of water and leave it for an hour.

Safety precautions and personal protective equipment

Before performing work in the bathroom to remove the old grout from the joints, it is necessary to make preparations: to cover plumbing, furniture and appliances to protect them from dust, as well as to prepare personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment: goggles, gloves, respirator

When removing grout from joints, the safety rules must be strictly adhered to:

  • All tools for such work (reamer, chisel and knife) have a sharp blade or tip that can seriously injure if you do not make the slightest mistake. Therefore, before you begin to remove the grout, wear protective gloves.
  • It is necessary to use special glasses, since at a mechanical method of chipping away many small pieces of grout, and the chemical method emits vapors dangerous to humans.
  • When using chemicals must always use a respirator.

Thus remove old grout from the joints of tiles in the bathroom is quite possible on their own. The main thing is to prepare the necessary tools, have patience, as well as remember about personal protective equipment and strictly follow all safety rules.

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