Tips on Re-Grouting Tile May 24 2016, 0 Comments

A surprise is defined as "an unexpected event that creates a sudden feeling of astonishment or awe, and typically invokes a happy response." But not every surprise is a good one.
If you're preparing to re-grout tile in your home, the best way to avoid any unpleasant surprises is to know what you're getting yourself in to before you begin, and making sure you have the right tools to complete the job.

What is Grout?
Grout is a cement-based mortar, used for filling the gaps between tiles. There are two basic types, and which one you choose will depend on your tile, and the width of your grout joints:

  • Sanded - With the addition of sand, this type is more stable, and better suited for wider grout joints over one-eighth of an inch, to inhibit movement. It is not recommended for delicate tile materials such as glass, as it may scratch.
  • Unsanded - Preferred for narrower grout joints.

Why Should I Re-Grout Tile?
Grout, unlike tile, doesn't last forever. Once you start to see cracks, small fractures, missing chunks, crumbling or staining, it's safe to assume that you have areas where water is entering behind your tiles. Over time, that moisture will cause any number of problems, including:

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Rot
  • Deterioration of the tile adhesive

These problems won't go away on their own, or fix themselves, and the longer you leave it, the more damage will occur, widening the scope and cost of the project.

What Causes Grout to Deteriorate?
Here are some tips to avoid re-grouting tile any more often than necessary:

  • Clean your tile floors using the right cleaner and the right tools, avoiding harsh or abrasive chemicals, and using a string, sponge, or cloth to wipe.
  • Prevent water pooling by cleaning up spills and allowing floors to dry thoroughly after washing.
  • If your grout requires sealing, do so according to the product recommendations, to prolong the life of your grout.

What Have I Gotten Myself In To?
Home repairs and renovations are notoriously known to balloon out of control; often, a quick and easy weekend project, becomes a herculean task filled with trips out for more tools, materials and sometimes even a call to a professional to finish or correct the job.
If you're looking to re-grout tile, forewarned is forearmed: knowing the scope of the project before you begin can help you decide if you're up for the challenge, or if you'd rather have someone else do it for you, keeping in mind that this is a very time consuming, hands-and-knees job that will need to be done in small increments.

Four Steps to Re-Grout Tile

  1. Before you can re-grout tile, you'll need to remove the old grout first. Your local home improvement store should have everything you need, including a grout scraper, but be careful: those with carbide tips may last longer, but if you should slip you may damage your tile, and if you have stubborn grout, you may need a more specialized tool.
  2. Next, clean the joints, removing all dirt and old grout, using a soft cloth and then your vacuum.
  3. Follow product recommendations to mix and apply your new grout.
  4. Seal if necessary, using a grout sealer formulated for use on natural stone tile, that will seal, penetrate and resist stains and liquids.

If you have questions about your re-grouting project, or about anything else related to the cleaning and maintenance of your tile and natural stone surfaces, feel free to email me directly at kevin@marblecareproducts.com, or call our office at 561-994-4668, to speak to myself or another team member.

Additionally, check out the free stone cleaning guide below, which is full of valuable information on cleaning products, procedures and more.