please help, big mess (Dried Grout on Tile)

Old 03-29-05, 04:15 PM
frustrated reno
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Question please help, big mess (Dried Grout on Tile)

My husband and I are in finishing stages of gutting out a 85 yr old farm house. We are now working on the bathroom. HE was working on the floor tiles last night and did not wipe the grout after putting in the cracks etc. The grout has HARDENED and the floor is wrecked right now.

Is there a product or a easy way to get the grout out and then regrout without removing the floor ? I started chipping away at the grout today but is a long hard process. Hours later and a neck that won't move I gave up.

Hope somebody out there can help.
Old 03-29-05, 06:17 PM
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Unless one of the pros here knows a trick, I'd say you're pretty much out of luck.
Old 03-29-05, 06:47 PM
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Muratic acid will eat mortar and possibly your grout. It is sold to clean the mortar from bricks on house foundations. It is intended for outside use and it is intended to be diluted. Read the warnings and directions on the bottle carefully.

Only consider using the acid if you have a good quality glazed tile. If your floor is marble, slate, terra cotta or any un-glazed tile I would not attempt it.

Straight from the bottle, the acid is VERY strong. It is so strong that it will often "smoke", you will feel a mild burning where it touches your skin and it will bleach & burn holes through cotton clothes. If you try using it in a bathroom you will want lots of ventilation and a cartridge respirator (gas mask) with organic vapor cartridges, safety goggles and heavy rubber gloves. Straight from the bottle it is very nasty stuff.

Try the acid as recommended on the bottle. Often the diluted acid has not worked for me, and the longer your grout or mortar has set the harder it is to remove. Your big problem will be getting the acid off the floor and neutralizing it so it stops "eating". The acid can be neutralized with baking soda and by diluting with lots of water. You could sponge the acid off the floor, sprinkle baking soda everywhere and mop the floor several times with a baking soda & water solution.

Because the acid can be dangerous I will NOT recommend that you try it stronger than recommended on the label (or straight from the bottle). I can say from experience that the straight acid will eat almost anything: concrete, mortar, grout, heavy mineral deposits on tubs & toilets, and some types of stone.
Old 03-29-05, 10:46 PM
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Unless tile is acid rated, acid should not be used for reasons indicated.
Old 03-29-05, 10:51 PM
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1) Ask at the place you purchased your material.
2) Where you purchased your material will also sell a grout saw.
3) For the tile itself, moisten a bit and then use a hand paint scraper.

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