Tips On How To Regrout Ceramic Tile

Tips On How To Regrout Ceramic Tile

When a ceramic tile job begins to look old and dingy, before you give in and install new tile, you should consider simply removing the grout from the seams and packing them with fresh, new grout. Provided the tiles themselves are in good condition and are still solidly adhered, regrouting the tile will make the entire installation look brand-new. 

It’s also quite an easy job. It requires no special skills, just a little bit of your time and the correct tools and materials. It takes about two hours to remove grout from 16 square feet of 6-inch tiles (about the area of a kitchen backsplash), and another hour, or so, to apply new grout. We have a wide range of property Melbourne regrouting services at Hitch Property Constructions. The required time, of course, increases if you have larger areas or if you have smaller tiles, which means more grout lines. But the techniques are not difficult, and you can save lots of money by doing this work yourself. 

Regrouting is a two-step process by which you first remove the old hardened grout from the seams, or joints, between tiles with an oscillating tool (ideally) and some manual scraping. Then, you mix up some new grout and apply it to the tile with a grout float and clean it up with a sponge. Once the grout is dry, you wipe away its hazy residue from the tiles. 

Top Tips for Regrouting Tile

Tile has always been a popular choice for floors, walls, and other surfaces due to its durability and long life. In fact, it’s typically the grout that starts to fail or show its age before the tile itself, and when grout gets dirty or worn, the entire tile surface can appear old or tired-looking. The best way to breathe new life back into your tile is to restore your

Cleaning Grout

In some cases, the grout might just be stained or dirty, particularly if you are dealing with a floor that gets a lot of traffic. There are plenty of grout and tile cleaners on the market, but hydrogen peroxide and baking soda may work just as well.

  • Pour a little hydrogen peroxide onto the grout lines and use a grout brush to work it in for a few seconds.
  • Then pour baking soda on top and brush your little heart out.
  • Clean up with water after you have covered the entire area, and your tile and grout will look fresh and new.

Colouring Grout

If the colour of your grout is simply outdated or faded, you may want to use a grout colourant to make it look new again. Grout colourants are applied directly to your existing grout; the process is not difficult, but it is a little tedious and time-consuming. Keep in mind that this will work only if your grout is porous (like most grout) and your tile is nonporous.

Sometimes coloured silicone caulk is used where tile meets other materials such as hardwood or tubs; grout colourant will not work on these areas. Also, when choosing a grout colour, stay away from white or light colours because they will inevitably get dirty and stained. If you choose a darker colour, then you won’t have to worry so much about the grout getting stained from foot traffic. Looking for regrouting services Melbourne on property maintenance? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

Replacing Grout

If your grout is chipping, cracking, or coming loose, you can actually get rid of it and replace it with fresh, new grout. This may seem like a daunting task at first, but the old adage “the right tool for the right job” certainly applies here. The HYDE Regrout Tool makes removing grout unbelievably easy. It removes both sanded and unsanded grout at a rate of about 1 inch per second and works with grout lines up to 1/8 inch wide.

If you have ever tried to use other grout removal tools, you know that they are frustrating and dangerous, and they can actually damage your tile. The HYDE Regrout Tool eliminates these problems; it’s very easy to use and surprisingly affordable as well. The carbide tips are able to get into tight, awkward places, and they are even safe to the touch when the tool is running. Again, once the grout is removed, consider replacing it with darker colours that will not show dirt.

Grout Sealing

After you have cleaned, coloured, or replaced your grout, be sure to use a grout sealant to protect it and make it easier to clean in the future. Grout sealants help keep your grout from getting stained, and they protect it from moisture and mildew. It is well worth the small investment of time and money to protect your hard work and your refreshed tile surface! So before you start tearing out your tile, look into giving your grout a facelift. There’s a good chance that fixing up the grout using these helpful tips will give you the same results as replacing your tile, for a fraction of the cost!

Steps On Regrout Ceramic Flooring

The grout between ceramic floor tiles can become unattractive because of stains, cracks, chips and grime that ruin the look of your ceramic flooring. When the grout has deteriorated to the point that it can’t be restored by cleaning, recolouring or resealing, you can revitalize your tiled floor by removing the old grout and replacing it with fresh grout.

Grind Away the Old Grout

Fit an oscillating tool with a blade designed for grout removal. Most manufacturers sell blades designed for this purpose—usually, these are blades impregnated with fine diamond chips that do quick work of pulverizing hardened grout.

Turn on the tool and move the blade along the grout joints, holding the blade perpendicular to the tile surface. Work patiently, and take care not to allow the blade to nick or chip the ceramic tile. On the first pass, your goal is to simply remove the bulk of the grout—don’t worry about removing every bit of grout on the first pass. 

As you work, frequently pause to remove dust and debris with a shop vac.

Manual grout saws can be purchased much cheaper for small jobs or if you have the time and patience.

Clean Up the Grout Lines

Once you have removed most of the grout, make another pass with the oscillating tool to clean up the grout lines. This time, angle the blade slightly in order to get close to the edges of the tile. Make sure not to linger on the edges of the grout lines, as this can easily damage the tiles. The grout will crumble quickly under the action of the blade. Do not force the blade if you find that some areas do not easily grind out—these bits of grout will be removed manually later. Vacuum the grout lines as you go.

Remove Remaining Grout Manually

Where the power tool fails to remove all traces of grout, follow up with a flat-head screwdriver or utility knife (it’s fine to use a dull blade) to carve out any remaining bits of the grout. Take care not to scratch the faces of the tiles.

Vacuum Thoroughly

Once the old grout has been removed from the seams, use a shop vac to thoroughly clear out any dust and debris. The grout lines must be completely clean and dry before filling them with fresh grout.

Mix the Grout

Tile grout is available both as a dry powder that must be mixed with water or as a premixed semi-liquid paste in tubs of various sizes. Mix powdered grout in a small bucket, using a margin trowel.

If you are mixing dry grout, begin by adding 1/2 of the recommended amount of water in a plastic bucket, then add 1/2 of the recommended amount of dry grout powder. Mix thoroughly, then add more water and more grout powder gradually until you have a full batch, or enough to cover about 3 to 4 feet square. The proper mixture should have a smooth, paste-like consistency that is just barely pourable. ​

Some grout may have instructions to allow the mixture to sit (slake) for a short period before applying. If so, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding this. 

Fill the Grout Joints

Scoop up a load of grout with a rubber grout float, and smear it onto the tile surface. Spread the grout over the joints, holding the float at an angle of about 60 degrees and pressing the grout fully into the joints. Work in alternating directions to make sure the joints are completely filled. Gather any excess grout and move it to the next area of tile, or reload the tile as needed. Repeat the same process until all of the joints are filled.

The grout float should be moved diagonally to the joint lines to ensure a uniform fill. If tiles have a rounded or bevelled edge, the joints may need to be tooled. Tooling is the process of removing the upper layer of the grout, leaving a thinner professional looking joint. They are special tools that can be purchased for this or a round eraser on a pencil can be drug along the joint lines of the slightly dried grout.

Sponge the Joints and Tiles

Once all grout lines are filled, use a moistened sponge to remove excess grout. Make sure the sponge is barely wet—too much water will pull grout out of the seams. Lightly stroke the sponge across the tile surface without pressing too hard. 

This is a slow process. Continue to clean out your sponge and move them across the tile surface until all excess grout is gone. Don’t worry about cleaning the surfaces of the tile completely; that will come next. Rinse the sponge frequently in the water, and change the water as it becomes dirty.

Remove the Grout Haze

Once the grout has dried completely (or as directed), a faint haze will still be present on the surface of the tiles. Use a soft cloth to buff the surfaces of the tile and remove any remaining haze. If you wish, you can use a purchased haze-removing product to polish the tiles.  

Picking the Right Grout for Your Project

Grout is the hard filler substance between tiles that contributes both stability and aesthetics to your floor or walls. Unlike the mortar between bricks that actually cements the bricks together and provides structural strength, grout functions mainly as a space-filler to prevent shifting of tiles as well as a sealant to inhibit infiltration of moisture between and beneath tiles. Standard grout is typically blended with water into a pourable mixture that readily flows into the gaps between tiles and cures hard in a day or so.

In addition to filling spaces, grout is also used to adjust for small variations in the dimensions of individual tiles and the thickness of the tiles, as well as inconsistencies in the substrate below. The colour of grout is also an important factor to complement the visual appeal of the tiles. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of regrouting services. 

While there’s no set standard for the width of grout lines between tiles, certain commonly accepted practices prevail. For small-format tiles, up to 8 inches by 8 inches, the spaces between tiles will normally be either 1/32 or 1/16 inch. Regular format tiles from 12 x 12 inches up to 16 x 16 inches will be spaced with 1/8 inch grout lines. Tiles larger than 16 x 16 actually present a more uniform appearance with narrower grout lines of 1/16 inch.

Generally speaking, most contractors prefer not to exceed 3/16 inch with most types of tile. The exception is heavy quarry materials such as slate, which sometimes utilize grout lines up to and even exceeding one inch.

Non-Sanded Cement Grout

This common type is usually utilized for narrower grout lines such as 1/32 or 1/16 inch. Those gaps are too small to permit the use of sanded grout, which includes granules of sand that don’t penetrate well into very narrow openings.

Non-sanded cement grout is a mixture of Portland cement and is available in a basic colour of grey or off-white. Addition of colourants mixed into the grout can create a wide variety of additional colours. A non-sanded grout is always recommended for certain types of polished stone—granite and marble are good examples—that might easily be scratched during the grouting process by the sand content of sanded grout.

Sanded Cement Grout

This variety is a mixture of Portland cement and very fine sand graded for this specific use. While a 1:1 mixture is utilized for joints up to 1/8 inch, the proportion of sand is increased for wider joints. Sand content is important for wide joints because the granules of sand add bulk to the mixture and help bond the grout cement together, as well as improve adherence to the tile.

Sand also reduces shrinkage of the grout that would otherwise occur in wider grout lines. This, in turn, makes cracking and “loose” grout less likely. The sand and cement may be mixed on-site or purchased as a premixed sack with colourant and other additives. Polymers that are now mixed with both types of sanded cement grout increase hydration of the cement and result in a harder grout surface. They also prevent a mottled appearance and the formation of white haze on the grout lines after it dries.

Sealing Grout

Both non-sanded and sanded cement grout can be considered water-resistant but definitely not waterproof. Absorption of liquids that cause staining is a potential drawback of unsealed cement grouts. Moisture penetration may also trigger mildew growth.

Therefore, it is standard procedure to seal cement grout lines after the new grout has dried for a few days using a commercially available sealant. Cement grout sealants come in two types: membrane and penetrating.

The membrane variety forms a thin top seal but doesn’t go deep into the grout. Penetrating sealants are generally preferable because they soak into the pores of the grout and don’t discolour or haze over with time.

Epoxy Grout

Where high traffic, water exposure and wear and tear are an issue, epoxy grout may be the answer. Like most forms of epoxy, the formula consists of two or three components—resin and hardener plus colourant—that must be mixed to a specific proportion and then applied in a timely manner. Epoxy offers superior hardness (it is frequently harder than the surface of the tile itself) and durability and is impervious to water and staining. It also resists the growth of bacteria like mildew.

Early versions of epoxy were difficult to adapt to grout applications because the formula hardened quickly after mixing components. Often it was problematic to apply the mixture fast enough before it would begin to cure. Today’s new generation of epoxy grouts hardens more slowly to allow more time for application. Plus, the formula contains detergents that permit clean-up with water, which was not possible with earlier formulations.

Epoxy is often chosen in demanding, high-traffic areas prone to water exposure and staining such as kitchens and bathrooms, while tile in other parts of the home may be grouted with standard cement grout.

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