regrouting 4" tile


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Old 10-29-09, 05:47 PM
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regrouting 4" tile

Hello all,

Can anyone tell me what the best way to remove the old grout from 4" shower wall tiles for regrouting. I believe the tiles are the Florida Tiles brand and they have VERY narrow 1/16" joints. I've looked at all the grout removing tools and talked to several regrouters and there doesn't seem to be a consensis on the subject. This is my take based on what I've seen. The common hand held grout saws look to wide to even fit into the joint, the grout bits (dremel, rotozip) are too big except for (maybe) the dremel 1/16" bit, and I've heard from several people that the bit breaks if you look at it wrong. Dremel multimax (fein copy) makes a 1/16 grout blade, but I haven't seen or heard anything about it. Dremel also makes a very thin (aprox 1/32) 1 1/2" diameter diamond coated tile cutting wheel and rotozip makes a thin (aprox 1/16") 4" diamond coated tile cutting wheel, both of these look promising but, I don't know how they would work for removing grout. Removing grout from such a tiny 1/16" joint looks like it would be very difficult to do, especially removing enough grout (2/3rds) to do a proper job. So, what do you recommend? Is it feasable to be able to remove at least 2/3rds of the old grout so that the regrout job will last? Thank you for your help. mike
 
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Old 10-29-09, 05:56 PM
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Power anything is suicide for your tiles. You can probably buy a cheap screwdriver and grind the point down to a little over 1/32" so you can get it in the grooves. Your grout isn't that thick anyway. You will need to use a non sanded grout back.
 
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Old 10-29-09, 06:18 PM
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Chandler, thanks for your reply. You said " You will need to use a non sanded grout back" What does this mean? Are you simply saying that i need to use a non sanded grout when I reapply the grout? How much of the old grout do you think I can get out using a filed down screw driver? The dremel bits have an optional bit guide that keeps the bit in the joint and prevents it from jumping around and chipping the tiles. Do you know anything about them? And do you agree that 2/3 of the old grout must come out to have proper adhesion for the new grout and to have a long lasting overall result? Thanks mike
 
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Old 10-30-09, 04:37 AM
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Your grout is probably only 1/4" thick, so when you start removing it, most of it will come out with the home made scraper. And, yes, use non sanded grout, as opposed to sanded. The dremel guide keeps you at the right depth, but it won't help keep it in the grooves. Only the steady hand of a surgeon will do that. That is why I don't like using anything more powerful than my hand doing this, although I have done it successfully. Holding your breath for 10 minutes at a time is rough!!! So scared you will chip a tile.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 07:01 AM
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I used a jewelers file to remove grout in a narrow joint. There is one file in the set that is toothed on the edge only. I also used the triangle file.

The only way I would use a dremel or zip tool is with some sort of a fence. One little slip and you will be replacing more than grout.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 09:10 AM
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I assume your talking about the narrow joints in the tile with the self spacing lugs, yes. Utility knife and lots of blades works best for me. They get dull fast but you can still use them for a while. You'll go thru lots though.
 
 

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