How To Cut Grout With A Utility Knife

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If you’re a homeowner, a small business owner, or just someone who has to deal with occasional maintenance and repairs around the house, you might come across times when a utility knife is the only tool that will get the job done. For example: cutting grout.

In this post, we are going to walk through how to cut grout with a utility knife using easy-to-follow instructions.

Step By Step – How To Cut Grout With A Utility Knife


  • Utility Knife
  • Hot Water
  • Towel

Budget: $30-$50

Duration: 20 – 30 Minutes

Step One:

Clear the area.

Prepare your utility knife. To be able to cut grout, a knife needs to have a cutting wheel. A blade can’t reach the same result. It has to be a hybrid model, like this one here .

Insert the blade that comes with it (or another one if you prefer) and screw the cap back on.

Step Two:

Cut a length of grout rope.

Grout is a kind of cement that is used to fill the gaps between tiles.

It may not be as hard as concrete, but it still has enough strength to put up a fight. Make sure you use a sharp object like your utility knife and apply enough pressure.

Step Three:

Tear apart the grout rope in two.

Step Four:

Cut across the piece of grout that needs to be removed using your utility knife.

Step Five:

Re-tear the remaining bits to clear it up.

How to get rid of grout residue.

To get rid of the residue before you continue, simply use a scrubbing brush and warm water to wash it away.

Be sure to keep water and a towel close by when you are cutting grout with a utility knife because there will be pieces that fall of and small shards of leftover grout on either side of your cut that you’ll need to wipe up quickly before they set back into place and harden again.

Below is a great video discussing more on How To Cut and Remove Grout With A Utility Knife and other tools:

Step By Step – How To Soften Grout For Removal

Step One:

Wet the grout with hot water.

Step Two:

Rub the grout line with a sponge or cloth.

Step Three:

Repeat on the other side of the grout line.

Step Four:

Till up and repeat as necessary.

It’s recommended that you wet the grout before each attempt and use a toothbrush to get in between hard to reach areas as well as loosening some of the grout from around tiles.  You can also use compressed air to spray water in between tiles if you don’t have a sponge or cloth handy.

After a few minutes of doing this over and over, the grout will surely loosen and soften and be ready for removal.

Step By Step – How To Apply Grout With Putty Knife

Step One:

Clean and Mop the Tile

First, clean your floor with a mild detergent solution and a mop or broom. If you are using grout with latex bonding agent (white), then make sure the tile is bump free and dry, so that the grout will stick properly.If you are using self-leveling slurry sealant (gray) then these instructions do not apply to you.

Next, go over the floor with a sponge mop to raise any dust or dirt and ensure that your floor is completely free of all foreign material. Wipe the mop and sponge on your removable clothes (cleans up easily with water).

Step Two:

Mix the Grout

Mix your grout according to the instructions on the package or mixing tool. Ensure that you stir or shake with a plastic tool, so that any air bubbles will be forced to escape. The grout should be purple when mixed, but will turn darker once it dries.

Any part of your floor that is moist during this step will turn brown when dry. Take care not to mix too much grout or it may start drying before you are ready and harden before putting it in place. You can always add extra color if needed.

Step Three:

Cut the Putty Knife

Cut a 3″ (7.5cm) piece of putty knife for each tile that you are applying the grout to (up to 30 square feet or 7.5 square meters). If you are using self-leveling slurry sealant, then cut a 3.5″ (9cm) piece of putty knife instead.

Because the nose of the putty knife is made from steel, it can be used on tile floor and vertical surfaces such as walls and railings without pinching or denting. The teeth on this tool allow it to ‘bite’ into the grout material without cutting into it.

Step Four:


Place the tip of the putty knife into a grout slot, so that it is firmly in place. Now slide the tool in under hand pressure to about one third of its length.

Firmly grip the handle and starting pulling the tool towards you, so that it peels out a layer of grout material from underneath. This process should take a moment before you get the hang of it.

Step Five:

Rinse and Repeat

Keep on applying the grout then use a wet towel to clean the parts where needed. After this is finished you can remove the knife and start again.

Note: If you are using a latex grout, then after about six areas, you should stop. You can always go over the section again. Then use a wet towel to clean off the areas that have been covered then hit it with a blow dryer for about 1 minute on high heat to dry it properly.

Final Thoughts on How To Cut Grout With A Utility Knife

This ends our How To Guide of How To Cut Grout With A Utility Knife.

We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional floor installation projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.

You may be interested in our other How To Utility Knife Guides:

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