The previous homeowners of my house remodeled the kitchen and without looking too close, everything might look professionally done, but unfortunately we're left trying to correct a lot of these bad decisions that they made with the remodel, this being one of them.

This particular issue is that grout was put in the corners/intersections of where the backsplash (a glass mosaic backsplash) and the walls meets the laminate counter top (faux-granite style counter, matte finish). And for some reason...it was also put in the crevice where the bottom of the top cabinets meet the top of the backsplash. I already know that the grout was not mixed properly because we're missing patches of grout in between some of the mosaic tiles (and sometimes when we're cleaning it, some more pops out, which is fun). The grout in this area is pretty thick and grainy.

I'm concerned that if I start chipping away at it that I may ding-up the other close-by areas (glass backsplash, cabinets, wall, counter, etc...) or that not all of the grout will be able to be cleaned away and it will be patchy.

I was thinking that maybe, given my situation, it may be sufficient to caulk over-top of the grout (even though I know it won't look perfect).

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


Use a tool like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-Handheld-Grout-Saw-for-Cleaning-Stripping-and-Removing-Grout-10012Q/100001353.

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The link includes a brief video. If the surface on one side is wood or Formica, be careful because the carbide will scratch it. Typically, removing grout between tiles can only abrade hidden edges, and it gets covered by new grout. You might end up needing to touch up where the grout line on the cabinet was using a cotton swab or a piece of cardboard as a brush. If the Formica ends up with some visible scratches in the grouted area, you can typically find color-matched caulk.

If caulking is an option where the different materials meet, just remove as much grout as needed so that the finished job is neat. The caulk can be a thin cover layer over the grout if the surface is clean.

  • I've used this exact tool to remove grout from my shower prior to caulking. It does the job, but can take a while, so be patient. Some masking tape along the countertop and backsplash would help avoid incidental scratches. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 16:55

I did a similar job with a Dremel tool and a plastic guide - the detail grout removal attachment and brush attachments worked like a charm!

  • It takes a very steady hand with a Dremel tool to not accidentally gouge into material that is intended to be left behind. If you've got that steady hand, this would work well.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 18:13

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