If your tile floor or walls look dingy and dirty, you may be considering removing the grout and replacing it with new ones or even replacing kitchen tiles. This is a very messy undertaking that should only be left to professionals.
However, if you have decided to hire a professional regrouting company instead of attempting this yourself, there are some things you can do to make sure that your money is well spent. You will want to ensure that they use the proper tools for the job to protect your tile wall or floor from cracking or chipping during the removal of old grout.
Whether you decide to regrout the tile yourself or hire professionals to do the job, ensure your grout looks fresh and clean by following the tips below. The following tips will not only leave your grout clean but will also beautify your tile's surface. Let’s go!
Start by Bleaching the Grout
To bleach the grout, you may use a bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide. The reason for bleaching is because your tile grout might contain mildew that needs to be removed before applying new grout. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout and then rinse it off thoroughly.
If the toothbrush applicator fails, try to carefully scrape out the top layer using a razor blade. The reason for scraping away the old grout is to accommodate the new grout. After that, apply tile sealant all over the area. This will prevent mildew from growing in the future.
The next step is applying grout sealant to your tile before you apply new grout. The purpose of this is to provide water resistance and also a non-toxic barrier between the original grout. But only apply this if you see cracks in your grout.
Prepare the Area for Grouting
You need to clean your tile and remove all the dirt, grime, etc., from it before applying any sealant or grout. In addition to cleaning the area thoroughly, look at your tiles for cracks or loose pieces that might be a hazard if they break when you start working on grouting. Keep out debris when working by placing masking tape over the drain.
Make sure you gather the proper equipment for the job. When preparing your grout, you'll need a rubber grout float, tile sealant, utility knife and household cleaner. All these equipment will have their function. For example, you'll need a utility knife to cut the grout line on your tile. Also, you'd need a rubber float to spread the grout over the entire surface of your tile and clean it afterward.
In addition to that, you'll also have some stuff for cleaning like a non-scratch scouring pad, towel or damp sponge to dry the area after you wash off the residue from dirt
Remove the Old Grout
Once you've set everything up, use an oscillating tool to grind away the old grout. You can also use the utility knife, or grout saw to remove the grout if it's not too thick. Note that some grout saws have teeth while others have abrasive coatings on the blade, so use one of them to avoid scratching your tile. Remember, this process is not the same as how to remove tiles as you need to be careful here not to damage the tile.
This can be time-consuming, so take your time to make sure you get all the grout out of the tile surface. To grind away grout, start at one end and work your way to the other end. You'll still have some residue from old grout, so use a damp sponge to wipe it off after grinding or sawing.
After that, remove dust by using a shop vacuum or sweeping, then clean the grout using bleach to remove all traces of mildew. Lastly, rinse and dry until everything is dry. Also, try to leave some joints slightly wet, so there is no cracking in the grout.
Vacuum the Tile Thoroughly
Once you've removed the old grout and cleaned the tile, it's time to vacuum thoroughly. This will get rid of all the dirt and dust that accumulated since you last vacuumed (at least). Use the precision nozzle for hard-to-reach areas or high floors, or use a telescopic wand if possible.
Remove dust and debris using a shop vacuum. You should completely clean the grout lines before filling them with fresh grout. Protect the tiles and keep things moving by applying a pre-grouting sealer.
Mix the Grout
Mix the grout following the manufacturer's instructions. You can also pour a little at a time to achieve the desired color, although it is harder to adjust as you go during this process. Tile grout is available, both dry and wet, so you can choose to use whichever type suits you best. You must mix the dry powder with water.
Generally, unsanded grout is used for grout joints 1/4 inch wide or less, while grout joints of 1/2 inch or more must have sanded grout. Do not use unsanded grout on any joint wider than 3/8 inches, as it will shrink excessively and create voids when it dries. Check to ensure that your tile manufacturer recommends the type of grout you are using per current safety.
Filling the Grout Lines
Here's the fun part. Grouting is the process of filling in the gaps between tiles with fresh, clean grout that has been mixed to have just the right consistency. If you know how to seal marble floors, this won’t be hard either. To do this, you'll need a small bucket, your bucket of grout and a margin trowel. You'll also need a grout rubber float to scoop a load of grout, then smear it into a tile.
Make sure your joints are filled by grouting in a lengthwise manner, then go back over the joints in a crosswise direction. Be sure to wipe off excess grout that squeezes out from joints and tiles with your sponge or rag as you go along. This will keep the surface of your work clean and allow you to gently blot out any large drips. Move the grout float diagonally across the joint lines to smooth out the grout.
If you have rounded tiles, then consider tooling. Tooling is simply removing the top layer of the grout, leaving a rough texture. Lightly scrape across the tiles with an outer corner of a trowel to create these recessed, textured lines. You may also decide to use different colored grout for accent purposes by sprinkling some in and working it into the joints after filling them with your regular grey mixture.
Sponge the Joints and Tiles
After filling and tooling all the joints, you'll need to cover them with a thin layer of grout. You can use a fresh sponge for this or re-use the one you used to clean out the tub. Ensure the sponge is barely wet since too much water will pull grout out of the joints. Do not press too hard when stroking the sponge across the tile surface.
Move your sponge diagonally across the joints until excess grout is gone. This is a slow process that requires patience. You also need to rinse the sponge frequently in the water and change the water as the grout starts to become muddy. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a soft, dry cloth to wipe off the grout haze.
Caulk the Joints
Use caulk to seal the edges of the tiles where they meet a walkway or something else not made out of tile, such as a glass shower door. Cover all grout joints with clear silicone caulk after you have grouted your tiles and wiped away the excess grout. This seals the joints from water damage and will also help keep the grout from chipping off. After caulking, smooth and level excess with a wet, gloved finger and a soft cloth.
Seal the Grout
Once you are done with all the above steps, allow the tiles to dry for two days before applying any sealer and polish. Allow them to dry in sunlight, if possible. After they have dried for at least 48 hours, use either a paintbrush or a small sponge brush to apply to a sealer.
FAQs on how to regrout tile
Can you place a new grout over an old one?
No. You will need to remove the old grout first before applying a new one.
How can you regrout without removing tiles?
You'll need the right tools that can chip away the grout without damaging the tile.
What are the benefits of regrouting tiles?
Refinishing your tiles will make them look new again and protect them against structural damage caused by moisture.
How long does it take to regrout tile?
It depends on the size of your project. If you apply the grout to a small area, it will take about half an hour to complete the task.
What tools do I need to regrout tiles?
You would need some sandpaper, non-sanded grout, and joint compound and tile nippers. All these are available in home improvement stores near you or you can buy them online.
Final Word on How to Regrout Tile
Dingy and damaged can be a nightmare until you take the necessary steps to remove them. If you have been wanting to regrout your tile, now is the time to do it. And if you're still confused about how to turn it into your DIY project, then seek the help of a professional contractor to save yourself from unnecessary stress.