Remove thinset prior to grout?

jaidogMay 21, 2012

Prior to grouting, does all thinset need to be removed from between tiles? I see some sections where the thinset is completely filling in the joints between tiles. Seems to me this must be removed so there is space for the grout, not to mention the color differences between the grout and thinset. If it does need to be removed, what's the best method of removal.

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weedyacres

I just take a sharp-end chisel and run it at an angle along the edge of the tile. It is easier to remove when wet, so better to use a putty knife at the time you're setting the tile, but a chisel takes out the dried stuff fine for me.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:22PM
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bill_vincent

Nevermind the chisel. Use a utility knife. You won't chip nearly as many tiles. :-)

Also, no need to remove it all-- only spots where the thinset about fills the joint, or sticks out.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:22PM
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mongoct

Yup, I also use a utility knife.

I'll let it set up then come back several hours later when the thinset has set up a bit. Rake it out, it'll pop right out. Sometimes I'll sweep it up, sometimes I'll follow with a shop vac.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:57PM
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weedyacres

For the record, I don't hammer on the chisel, I just scrape it along the edge. No cracked tiles yet. :-)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Billl

If you are a fraidy-cat like me, they sell a cheapo grout removing tool with a carbide grinding edge. It cuts through mortar easily as well in 1/8" or larger spacing. Just slide it back and forth in the grout line and it grind the mortar into a fine dust that can be easily vacuumed up.

I'm sure others use utility knives and chisels without issue, but I know that Murphy's law generally rules my home improvement projects.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 8:36AM
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tim45z10

I use a spacer to clean it out when its wet. Followed by a damp cloth.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:15PM
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tim45z10

I use a spacer to clean it out when its wet. Followed by a damp cloth.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:17PM
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