How To Remove & Replace Grout

If your attempts to clean tile grout have failed in the past, our guide provides simple steps for the removal and replacement.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
how to remove grout from tile
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Keeping your bathroom tiles clean is a relatively easy job, but when the grout starts to become dirty or discoloured, it can ruin the appearance of your bathroom.

If you haven’t tried already, there are many high-quality grout cleaners you can use, but if they aren’t up for the job, the best way to clean the grout on your tiles is to remove and replace it.

To help you successfully remove grout from tiles and replace it with new grout, we have created the below guide that covers each step of the process.

What You’ll Need

  • Grout rake or a multi-tool
  • Face mask (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Grout float
  • Grout (we would recommend a ready-mix formula)
  • Grout finishing tool
  • Grout sponge

How To Remove Grout From Tiles


1. Equip Yourself With A Removal Tool

To easily remove grout, you’ll want to equip yourself with a suitable grout-removing tool.

In this particular example, we used a grout rake, which can be bought for very little, and it’s an easy-to-use handheld tool with a diamond blade on the end (as shown in the images below).

how to remove old grout from tiles

Richard Morgan/DIY Works
how to remove old grout from tile

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Of course, there are other tools that you can use for the job, such as a drill with a blade on the end, oscillating multi-tool and even an angle grinder. However, we found that the cheap grout rake was more than ideal for this grout removal task.

2. Mask The Edges

To avoid damaging any of the tiles as you are removing grout, you may want to use masking tape on the edges. This will help to avoid any damage to the tiles as you are running the rake or alternative tool through the grout.

3. Target Sections

Although you may be tempted to rush the removal, targeting one section of the tiles at a time is recommended. Therefore, working in one direction, run the rake or power tool through the grout with a firm sawing action.

With regards to how much grout you should remove from the tiles, we would recommend that you try to remove approximately half of the grout’s thickness, as shown in the image below.

how do you remove grout from tiles

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

4. Vacuum As You Go Along

Due to the composition of grout, as you are removing it, it can become very dusty. Therefore, after successfully removing grout from one section of the tiles, you’ll want to vacuum the area to clear away any dust.

5. Wipe Down The Tiles

After removing the grout, wipe down the tiles with a damp cloth to reveal the final finish. If you spot that there is still old grout, you’ll want to remove it before applying fresh grout to the tiles.

Before & After Results

By simply removing the grout from the tiles using the method above, we achieved the following results:

how to remove grout

Richard Morgan/DIY Works
best way to remove grout from tiles

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

As you can see, the old grout has been removed/raked out, and it’s now ready for the next stage, which is to replace the grout. It’s worth pointing out that if you smoothly raked out the grout, you may be able to leave it without adding new grout. However, due to how discoloured/dirty the grout was, we raked out a lot, and it was worth our while replacing it.

How To Replace Grout

After removing at least half of the grout’s thickness, you can proceed to replace it:

1. Mix Up The Grout

Depending upon the new grout you wish to use, you may need to mix the amount you need with water. In this guide, we used a ready mix formula due to its simplicity, and it certainly sped things up when it came to grouting the tiles.

2. Work The Grout Into The Joints

To apply the new grout to the tiles, use a grout float to work it into the joints and then use the edge of the float to wipe away any excess. As with the removal, you’ll want to work in sections at a time to avoid the grout drying out.

How To Replace Grout

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

3. Use A Finishing Tool

To finish the grouting, you can use a finishing tool to smoothen the fresh grout before it has time to dry. Although this isn’t technically required, these finishing touches make all the difference, and it takes just seconds to do while the grout is still wet.

4. Clean Any Excess Grout From The Tiles

After you have completed the grouting, you can then proceed to clean any residue/dust on the tiles. Although you can use a standard sponge, a dedicated grout sponge will do a far better job of cleaning the tiles.

If you want to give the tiles a more thorough clean after wiping them down, read our guide to cleaning bathroom tiles.

Conclusion

Hopefully, our guide on how to remove old grout and replace it with new grout has given you the confidence to try it out yourself. It’s a relatively easy DIY task that anyone can achieve and it’s also very satisfying too.

If you need further information with regards to the removal and replacement of grout, feel free to get in touch and we will try to help out where possible.

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