Tile is a beautiful decorative floor and wall covering. It is not uncommon for it to be in many homes today. While tile can look great, poor or dirty grouting can really ruin the aesthetics completely. Your first attempt should be to clean your grout lines. This step can be done with a grout cleaning brush, baking soda, and water. Use the paste to scrub away any debris. Clean up the paste afterward with just some vinegar water and a mop. However, sometimes the grout installed is broken or just completely off-color. So if you are looking to replace your grout, here is everything you need to know:
Safety is essential, start by putting on safety goggles to prevent debris from shooting back into your eyes. An oscillating tool may be better to use a cordless version. This tool requires some precision work, and a cord may get in the way. Use your blade on each grout line to remove the grout. This step takes patients. Be careful and delicate, not to chip or break any of your tiles. Use this tool to remove as much as 80% of the grout. You do not need to be perfect for the first time. Lastly, use a shop vac to vacuum up the remaining debris.
Extra Clean Up
After your first run, you can use your oscillating tool to remove more grout. For harder areas, a flat head screwdriver can do the trick. Use the screwdriver to trace around all grout lines and remove more grout. You can finish with a dull utility knife or carpet knife. Be very careful not to break the blade and cut yourself.
For larger grout lines, use sanded grout. You may need unsanded grout for grout lines that are thinner. Delicate tiles may also scratch with sanded grout as well. Make sure your tiles can withstand sanded grout before investing. Next, mix your grout and water thoroughly. It should create a thick paste. Use a grout trowel to apply your grout directly into the seam. You can use your grout float to wipe away excess grout. Next, use a moist sponge to remove the excess grout haze from the top of your tiles. You may also want to invest in cheesecloth to help clean as well. Remember, you can only swipe one time with a sponge to wipe clean. Several swipes will just smear your existing grout. Rewet the sponge, ring it out, and repeat until all grout is gone from the top of your tiles.
Re-grouting can be a great project to spruce up your backsplashes or tile work. Do not rush the process and be thorough. The prep work can take some time but is worth the extra effort. For more insight on flooring tricks and tips, make sure to subscribe.