Tile is among the most versatile home surfacing materials. It can be as functional and good-looking on your home’s walls as it can be on counter tops, adding a polished look to your kitchen or bathrooms.
Tile is also easy-to-clean — so long as it’s well-maintained.
Proper tile cleaning is more than just a daily wipe-down. Cleaning tile requires a periodic resealing of the tiles themselves, as well as a re-grout for when the existing grout cracks, or stains.
Replacing grout is a job that’s low on skill but large on elbow grease. You can hire it out to a handyperson , or you can handle it in-home. If you choose to replace your own grout, here are the steps you’ll want to follow.
First, you’ll need some tools :
- Hammer and screwdriver
- Grout scraper
- Putty knife
- Damp sponge
- Dry cloths
- Grout sealer
Start by using your screwdriver to loosen bits of the damaged and/or dirty grout. Tap the screwdriver with the hammer gently to avoid scratching your tile. Once you’ve loosened the grout, use the grout scraper to remove the remnants.
Next, pour new grout into the crevices between the tiles and smooth it into place using the putty knife. The motion is similar to that of buttering a slice of bread. Scrape up the excess grout as you work. Continue spreading the grout until you’ve finished a several-foot section.
Before the grout has dried, use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles clean and neaten the grout lines. You can also use your finger to smooth and remove excess grout from between the tiles.
Repeat the grouting and cleaning process until all of the grout has been replaced. Allow the grout to dry for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Next, using the dry cloths, buff the tiles, using a forceful, circular motion to remove any remaining grout residue.
Then, as a final step, for long-lasting protection, seal the grout using a commercial grout sealer from a hardware store.
Keeping grout in good condition does more than just make your kitchen or bathrooms look great — it protects the surfaces beneath the tile, too. Re-grouting tile is a basic home improvement task that can pay for itself many times over.