- Q.Is there an easy way to
remove old grout from a tub surround without working by
hand with a grout saw?
responds: If the reason you’re
removing the grout is that it’s old and
crumbly, try a utility knife first. If the grout is
soft enough, this will work, though you may go
through a lot of blades. For wide grout lines
— 1/4 inch or more — you might
try this technique: With a steady hand, use a
dry-cutting diamond blade in an angle grinder or
circular saw and cut out the middle of the joint.
Then cut away the rest with a utility knife (set
the blade only as deep as the tile).
For really persistent grout and narrow joints,
there’s no easy answer: It’s a
tedious and time-consuming process that’s
unforgiving of mistakes — you stand a good
chance of slipping and scoring the tile.
If the reason you want to remove the grout is
that it’s discolored, you might spare
yourself the effort and try a grout colorant to
hide the stain instead.
Michael Byrne is the director
of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation in