Happiness. Short-term, stupid, self-interest.

Home Renovation – “Oh, the Pain” of Removing Grout from Slate

October 2006

I spent many evenings with my Dremel trying to brush out dried grout in all the fine groves in the slate. Even though we had sealed the stone, the grout had found its way into every textured nook in the slate, and it was a tremendous job requiring paying meticulous attention to detail.

Long and tedious work; thank god for my MP3 player so I could listen to tunes to pass the time.

There isn’t a good way to do this. The brush on the Dremel would not only remove the grout, but also the soft slate. Another way to remove dried grout off of a sealed surface is with an acid wash. This worked OK except that it still didn’t remove the grout from the deeper grooves where it was thicker. Sulfamic Acid is rough, I had to wear gloves, a mask and eye protection… it is nasty stuff; but it seemed to help.

So, evening after evening, I’d go out there, listening to my music and spend a more couple hours brushing out what I could of the grout. After a week and a half it looked pretty good; I figured one last acid wash and I’ll call it finished.

(You know where this is going… don’t you?)

It may seem terribly obvious, but an MP3 player doesn’t last more than 0.03 seconds when submerged in a bucket of acid; hence, my Solid Advice.

I had my MP3 player clipped to my jeans but it somehow just popped off when I was bending over and scrubbing; and of all places for it to land, it landed directly in my bucker of acid with a “plop”. The music stopped instantly. I fished it out as quickly as possible and towel dried it immediately; all the while saying some pretty bad words. But, it never worked again, not a bit.

No, I don’t have a picture!

I’m over it now, but only because I have a new MP3 player; and I’m much more careful with it. As a matter of fact, I also have an FM transmitter so I don’t have to wear it while working on this project; I can just play it through the radio. Just one more reminder, heed my advice

The hearth was done and on schedule for the stove installers. All I had to do now is finish up the insulation and sheetrock, as long as I didn’t forget anything….


May 14, 2007 - Posted by | Home Improvement

1 Comment »

  1. It’s easy – just oil the slates first.

    Comment by Alistrair wallace | April 9, 2009

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