Using granite floor tiles in your home will make a statement but, unfortunately, you'll come to find they are also very expensive. One way to use granite floor tiles is to find used and discarded ones and reuse them. Several places will have used granite floor tiles including home renovation sites and building surplus recycling centers. Used granite floor tiles have one issue which will make installing them impossible: grout. Old grout is stuck fast to the granite and chopping at it will damage the tile. The article below will show you how to safely remove old grout from used granite floor tiles.
Step 1 – Reconstitute the Grout
Grout is vastly silicone and latex which makes it dry fast and be impervious to water. To remove dried grout from granite floor tiles has to be approached differently. You can actually cause the grout to soften and release its bond by using eco-friendly chemicals. Other chemicals found on the market that do the same job are not only expensive but caustic and corrosive. Using acetone and vinegar is a great environmentally friendly alternative. Purchase a brand new spray bottle and fill it with equal parts water, vinegar and acetone. Turn the bottle upside down several times to mix the ingredients. Once mixed, spray the grout and allow it to get soaked up by it for several minutes. If the grout is very old then allow the solution to work for a longer period of time.
Step 2 – Removal of the Grout
Once you have given the grout time to soften it will be ready to be removed from the granite floor tiles. You will have to work one tile at a time. Place the first tile firmly against a wall or other secure brace. Place the flexible putty knife at the front of the grout and bury it under the grout. Use even and firm pressure and slide the putty knife toward the brace. The grout will easily come off the granite tiles. Be very careful when doing this and go slowly as you do not want to damage the granite tile. The solution not only softens the grout but dissolves its bond to the granite. Once the grout has been removed from side of the tile turn it to remove it from the other side and continue until all of the grout has been removed. Do this for each tile covered in old grout.
Step 3 – Film
Removing grout will often leave a film behind that is oily to the touch. If left it can turn yellow and stain the granite. This film will also cause new grout to not properly adhere to the granite floor tiles. Removing the film from the granite is easy to do using the same chemicals you used to reconstitute the grout. Dip a clean rag in acetone. You do not need it to be soaking wet with it. Rub the granite tile vigorously until the granite feels smooth.