How best to remove leftover thinset from grout line [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : How best to remove leftover thinset from grout line

05-02-2006, 12:09 PM
Could someone please tell me what they found works the best for removing extra thinset from grout lines before I grout?

I tried to clean the grout lines out as I went along but apparently I missed some.

How about a grout saw? Will this work to remove thinset?

Also, what is the minimum depth I must have for a grout line? Does it have to be the entire depth of the tile?


Sponsored Links

05-02-2006, 12:15 PM
I don't know how much thinset you have between the tiles but I have used an utility knife to cut out small portions of thinset. Depending on the kind of tile be careful when doing so in order not to ruin the tile that you worked so hard to install. If you have it everywhere I would wait for someone else to respond.

I read on another thread that you want at least half the depth of the tile cleaned out for the grout. Hope this helps. Good luck.

05-02-2006, 12:20 PM
Cheapo little grout saw will rip right through that thinset... Get on it soon, for easiest removal. If it's fairly fresh (less than a day or two) a little water can help as well, but the grout saw is really all you need.

05-02-2006, 01:01 PM
I used the carbide scoring tool that I used to cut my Hardi-backer. It's much stronger and harder than a razor knife and the shape works well to dig the thinset out. I used it for 1/8" grout lines around a 2" octagon and dot pattern. Be sure not to twist it in the grout line or you may chip the tile (as I learned the hard way).

05-02-2006, 01:05 PM
I use a utility knife and a really stiff nylon brush with vinegar water. I hate seeing those little hairlines of thinset after I grout.


05-02-2006, 02:46 PM
my company calls them "smoogies". We just use our utility knives to get them out before you grout and then shopvac the grout lines.

05-02-2006, 04:22 PM
I'm curious about what people use for this with Kerdi so as not to damage it.

05-02-2006, 04:43 PM
I call em squishies. On the Kerdi get them out as you go if they occur. If you miss any use a grout saw carefully.

Tool Guy - Kg
05-02-2006, 05:45 PM
You need at least 2/3rds of the grout joint's depth cleaned out before grouting.

I use a utility knife. If you are over a membrane, use a cheapie grout saw as suggested and pay attention to how you saw as to not damage it. :)