Removing Grout from Ceramic Tile

Simple Instructions on Removing Grout

By Mark J. Donovan

Overtime grout lines can get pretty ugly looking. I have been in some homes where I knew the grout used to be white or cream color, and now looks a dingy brown. In addition, grout can crumble over time leaving unsightly gaps in your ceramic floor or wall tile.

If washing can’t remove the stains from the grout, then removing the grout and replacing it with new grout is you’re only alternative.

Tools Required

  • Carbide Tipped Grout Saw
  • Carbide Tipped Grout Scraper
  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask
  • Drop Cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Hammer
  • Small Chisel
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Bucket of Water

Site Preparation

Remove all non-necessary articles from the work area as removing grout gets dirty and dusty.

If you are removing grout from wall tiles, lay a drop cloth over the area just below the tiles.

If you are removing grout from large floor tiles, consider applying masking tape along the edges of the ceramic tile to mitigate the possibility of nicking the tiles.

Put on your safety glasses and dust mask!!

Removing Grout

Use a carbide tipped grout saw to remove the bulk of the old grout. Start by cutting a line down the center of each grout line with the saw. Next use a carbide tipped grout scraper and/or hammer and chisel to lightly tap out the remaining grout from the scored grout line.

When using the hammer and chisel, make sure you tap the chisel towards the center of the grout line to prevent chipping of the ceramic tile.

In hard to reach areas, where it may be impossible to use the grout saw, use the carbide tipped grout scraper.

 Removing grout

Once you have completed the chipping out of the grout remnants, gently sweep up the area, and assess the work. If the grout lines look relatively clean from any debris, use water to wash out the grout lines completely.

With that you’re ready to install new grout. See “Applying Grout to Ceramic Tile”.

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

Related Information

Additional Ceramic Tile Resources from


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