Wanting to re-grout wall tiles in the bathroom, I realize that the gaps between tiles are very uneven from area to area, and are sometimes too narrow for either the oscillating tool's 1/8 inch blade or manual grout blade which has approximately the same thickness. Even the 1/16 blade would not cut it in all places. Trying a thin screwdriver or another pointy metal tool immediately made a chip on the tile edge.

What would be the recommended way to proceed here?

  • 1
    Remove what you can. Scarify the rest. Re-grout. Live life. Profit?
    – Mazura
    Dec 19, 2018 at 1:19

5 Answers 5


One way to proceed is to remove all the tiles and then install new ones using a better quality installation technique to get uniform gaps between the tiles.

This approach also allows for:

  1. The possibility to update the tile backer to the most modern methods to ensure no leaks and inspect for old mold in the walls.
  2. Selecting tile that may be more pleasing or modern.
  3. With the walls open you have the option to replace any plumbing fixtures that protrude through the tile.
  • I was afraid of seeing such an answer, but this is likely the way to go. Jan 15, 2017 at 14:05
  • 1
    @montrealist - I know this approach has quite an increase in cost of materials and time so you will have to weigh that against the types of options listed above.
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 15, 2017 at 14:14
  • Yes, it's a rental so I think I'll just recaulk this time around. Jan 15, 2017 at 14:43

Use a hacksaw blade. Specifically:

  1. Get a old hacksaw blade
  2. break it in half
  3. mount the half in a mini hacksaw frame, broken edge protruding

This gives you a cheap and effective grout rake, with a blade 0.7mm wide, less than half the width of the narrowest shop-bought grout rake.

I just removed the grout from my shower like this and it worked brilliantly. A hand-held hacksaw blade is also bendy enough to remove grout from corners.

  • I agree with JeffT above. I was able to saw out some extremely narrow joints using a 14 tooth bi-metal hacksaw blade. I cut a 12" blade into 3) 4" pieces and mounted them into the jaws of my vice-grip sheet metal pliers with a 3" jaw. Using that along with a utility knife I was able to tackle this thankless task. Feb 20, 2021 at 22:59

I always use a Stanley knife with lots of new blades when doing re grouting jobs.

  • 1
    Can you elaborate on this? I've never used a knife to remove grout
    – Machavity
    Dec 28, 2017 at 2:50
  • Why a Stanley style knife - for the really thin blade?
    – Criggie
    Dec 28, 2017 at 4:18
  • 1
    If you can't get a 5-in-1 in there, you need a knife. +1 (anyone who needs elaboration on this is likely to send themselves to the hospital)
    – Mazura
    Dec 19, 2018 at 1:23

If the tiles themselves a NON POROUS I applied muriatic acid and let it eat the grout and thereafter flush it out with a pressure sprayer

  • 1
    Wait... You're using a power washer to spread muriatic acid around your bathroom? That seems... ill advised...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 20, 2023 at 12:42

I have tight white grout. The tiles have bumps on them to space them close together (bumps touching). To remove the grout, I bought a Ryobi hard brush (the black one, not yellow medium or blue light) and insert in my drill. It brushes the grout right out.

  • Thank you for your reply! Nov 23, 2023 at 14:47

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