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Old 12-26-2019, 09:40 PM   #1
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Remove grout from tile surface


When we tiled the basement a year ago, the grout was not removed properly from someof the tile surface.
I had given up on it - thinking that I will cover the area with a rug.
I am having second thought and wondering if its possible to remnove this - in spite of the elapsed time.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


Hi,

Sounds like this might be pretty bad, but with out pics and details I'm not sure.

If it's just a small area, you can first try soaking the area with water then scrape with plastic or wood putty knifes. That might remove some of the heavy spots. Also use abrasive sponges and scotch-brite pads.

Now get some sulfamic acid crystals from your local real tile store. Follow directions and see what happens.

A few pics might help us help you better.

Jaz
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:55 PM   #3
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Hi,

Sounds like this might be pretty bad, but with out pics and details I'm not sure.

If it's just a small area, you can first try soaking the area with water then scrape with plastic or wood putty knifes. That might remove some of the heavy spots. Also use abrasive sponges and scotch-brite pads.

Now get some sulfamic acid crystals from your local real tile store. Follow directions and see what happens.

A few pics might help us help you better.

Jaz

These are probably the worst areas....If I can clean this, the rest of it would be easy I am guessing.
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


What kind of tile is it?

If it is "through body porcelain," you might be able to carefully and gently sand off the dried grout. Try it in an inconspicuous area. Just guessing here, but start with maybe 100 grit and work your way up to 220 or finer.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:08 AM   #5
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


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What kind of tile is it?

If it is "through body porcelain," you might be able to carefully and gently sand off the dried grout. Try it in an inconspicuous area. Just guessing here, but start with maybe 100 grit and work your way up to 220 or finer.
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I would first try a plastic "Pot Scourer" with water.
This would be much less likely to scratch the tile surface but it might be hard work.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:48 AM   #6
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


I agree with Frodo.

Only use a something softer than the substrate you are trying to clean. Sandpaper is made from aluminum oxide (or similar) which is extremely hard, and likely to damage the tile surface. Wood or plastic scrapers. The green side of a kitchen Scotchbrite pad may have some effect.

Interesting that sulphuric acid was suggested to clean mortar. I had not heard of that before, but seems it is used for this purpose. Muriatic acid is commonly used to clean(eat) mortar/concrete. Is sulphuric better suited for indoor use (less fumes maybe) ?
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


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I agree with Frodo.

Only use a something softer than the substrate you are trying to clean. Sandpaper is made from aluminum oxide (or similar) which is extremely hard, and likely to damage the tile surface. Wood or plastic scrapers. The green side of a kitchen Scotchbrite pad may have some effect.

Interesting that sulphuric acid was suggested to clean mortar. I had not heard of that before, but seems it is used for this purpose. Muriatic acid is commonly used to clean(eat) mortar/concrete. Is sulphuric better suited for indoor use (less fumes maybe) ?
Right, but I was only talking about "through body tile." It can be sanded all the way down, like a piece of wood.
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


I actually had to do this after the "PRO" left a mess.


I used wet sponge and a razor blade scraper to get it off, and it worked well.


Yes, it was a PIA.
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:50 PM   #9
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


Those are not thru-body porcelain, do not sand.

No one suggested sulphuric or muriatic acid. Do not use these indoors. I wrote sulfamic which is for this purpose.

Jaz
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


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Those are not thru-body porcelain, do not sand.

Jaz
No?

A couple of years ago I did my mudroom in thru-body porcelain. That's how Lowe's described them.

I didn't need to sand it because I grouted it cleanly, but I have numerous broken/cut pieces that clearly show the tile is consistent in composition from top to bottom thickness, like a piece of wood. These tiles are not glazed at all, there is no surface layer.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:24 PM   #11
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Those are not thru-body porcelain, do not sand.

No one suggested sulphuric or muriatic acid. Do not use these indoors. I wrote sulfamic which is for this purpose.

Jaz
Any health risks with Sulfamic acid? Do I need a respirator to use this?
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:15 AM   #12
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


There's no fumes that I know of but you should always have some air movement. It's pretty safe used as directed. As with ALL products, you add the crystals to water, never add water to the full strength product. Read and follow all directions.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Custom-B...0231/300176044

Those are porcelain ceramic and the bisque is the same color all the way, (it's called "color body"), but the pattern/mottling is only on the surface. And, they may be glazed or just "decorated".

Through-body is much more expensive and is mostly found in high-end commercial buildings. They are usually polished and have the same pattern on the back as on the front. They come polished, matte, textured, bush-hammered, flammed among others.

Jaz
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:08 AM   #13
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


I would use warm water and some vinegar to remove grout residue.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:10 PM   #14
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Re: Remove grout from tile surface


To remove grout film, we always used muriatic acid, start by mixing 1 part to 2 parts water, go stronger if needed. Apply with stiff brush. But you have a bit more than film, maybe cover it with a rug. If you do try the acid use all recommended safety precautions, avoid contact or even fumes hitting any metal stuff. If that were a commercial job we would try to clean with acid, no joy, we'd just rip it up and start over.
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