Five Grout Removal Tools Explained

Grouting a white tile floor with grout and a spatula.

The only efficient and quick way to remove grout is by using grout removal tools. There are a number of these on the market, which include some incredibly effective power tools. In many instances, these tools grind the grout away with ease, allowing you to be rid of stained or cracked material. Here are five of the best tools available to you.

1. Dremel

The Dremel grout removal tool is relatively cheap and does a good job when the proper kit is attached. This guides the tool in a straight line along the grout so you don’t end up using the tool directly against the tile. The guide can be adjusted to go deeper in the grout and the high speeds means it operates quickly.

You will need to replace the bit when it wears down. Some people have reported that these bits have a tendency to break quite easily while the tool can periodically overheat. Users also say it’s not very efficient with grout that’s less than 1/8-inch wide.

2. Hammer and Screwdriver

The hammer and screwdriver is the oldest of the grout removal tools and for many years, this was the only available option. It’s convenient since you’ll already have those tools in your toolbox and with sufficient experience, you can carry out a good job with just these basic implements.

On the downside, using a hammer and screwdriver as a grout removal tool is a long process and not very accurate. Removing the last of the grout from a tile can be quite tricky and it’s very easy to crack the tile.

3. Grout Grabber

The Grout Grabber is an instrument that fits onto a reciprocating saw. As the saw is pulled back along the tile, it moves backward and forward and grinds down the grout. There is little danger of cracking the tile and it’s also very easy to use on either the floor or a wall.

This tool does have some disadvantages; the thinness of the blade means it requires several coats in order to remove everything or, occasionally, you could find yourself needing to run several blades side-by-side. You also need to own a reciprocating saw.

4. Power Grinder

A power grinder makes for a very efficient removal device since it operates at very high speed and can disintegrate the grout quickly. You can either rent a power grinder or buy an attachment that will do the job on your electric drill.

There are a number of problems using a power grinder, however. You have to proceed slowly to avoid overheating and to stop cracking or loosening the tiles. Without any type of guide, you need to be very careful.

5. Grout Scraper

A grout scraper is a good tool to use, although you’ll need to use the hammer and screwdriver first in order to make an opening for the scraper. It will do an effective job, but you need to be very careful during operation. One slip and you could easily scratch or chip a tile as there’s no guide to this tool either. You also need to make sure you buy one with a carbide tip, otherwise it will become blunt far too quickly to be useful.