Removing Grout with a Dremel Rotary Tool

Here is a case about how you can use a particular type of Dremel Router Bits. I have two bathrooms in my house, but now that word is out that I have become an expert in repairing grout, I seem to be doing this project about once every other month for a family member or friend.

In the past, I usually used a utility knife with a grout blade.  I would dig it into a crack in the grout and begin “chunking” the grout out. Grout would go flying and somewhere along the line I would usually chip a piece of tile off… to either fill in with new grout or pop the tile and replace it.

With the right attachment and the right Dremel Router Bit, you can buzz down the seam between the tiles and remove the old grout.  The difference between what your utility knife can do and what your Dremel rotary tool can do are night and day. The seams between the tiles are completely clean.  No loose pieces of grout anywhere.

Here are the steps you will need to take to get this job done right.  It’s much quicker than you think.

You will need four items that you can pick up online or at Lowes:

  1. The Grout Removal Attachment
  2. Grout Bit
  3. Safety goggles
  4. Ear plugs if you don’t like the high pitched sound echoing off the shower walls.

Do note that if your gap is less than 1/8 of an inch it is easier to break your grout bit.  I would suggest a more narrow bit or switching to the Demel Multi Max.

1) Put the grout bit in your dremel tool chuck and then screw on your grout removal attachment.  The attachment is great because it allows you to control the depth and the angle at which you word.  It is better to start shallow and then make a second pass at a slightly greater depth.

2) Find the speed of your Dremel to go between 15-20,000 rpms. This is the recommended setting when working at the angle set by the attachment.

3) Use the guides on the attachment to keep your tool cutting through the grout so it does not chip the tile.  It is easiest to work down, by pulling the tool down, rather than working up.  I find it easier to work left to right on the horizontal seams. Remember to work slowly.  Let the tool do the work as you pull it through the grout.

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4) Make a second pass at a greater depth to remove the desired amount of grout.  This also helps thoroughly clean out the seams.

5) One last trick I use is to get a can of “spray air.” These are the aresol cans that spray air for your computer.  Take that and spray between the seems to get out any grout dust so you have a nice clean seam.

6) Clean up the mess and prepare for regrouting.

Most repairs are generally confined to a small area of the shower or tile job and do not require you to do all the tile.  I can usually knock out a job like this in about 15 minutes.  Most repairs can be done in less than half an hour, even with clean up.  Then just regrout.  The job looks excellent.  It all starts though with a good tool.  The larger the seam, or gap, the easier the job is.

Just watch the brief video above that shows you how the tool works, along with the correct Dremel Router Bit, and really how easy it is to remove grout with a Dremel rotary tool and the right attachment.


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