When you have brand new tiles, you most likely admire how crisp and clean everything looks. Your grout lines make a definitive line between each piece, creating a seamless design. Yet, overtime, this doesn’t always last. With wear and tear, grout lines can go from adding to your designs appearance, to hindering it. For this reason, it is important to make sure you’re checking on them, and when needed, regrout your tile. Regrouting tile can be a simple and cost effective way to restore your tired, dungy looking room. You can regrout the tiles on the floor, walls or backsplash to create a fresh look without having to relay all new tiles. 

Supplies Needed:

  • Grout or utility knife
  • Chisel
  • New grout mix
  • Tile sealant
  • Household cleaner and towel
  • Rubber grout float
  • Tile sponge
  • White towel

Here are a few basic steps to get you started regrouting your tiles. 

Step 1 –
Decide on the color of the new grout that is going to be used. This should match the color of the old grout and be the same kind (see previous posts here for different types of grout). You can also do a small patch test on a small part of the tiles to ensure that they match if you have any concerns 

Step 2 –
Remove the old grout. Start by chipping away at the old grout with a grout saw, chisel or utility knife. The older the grout, the harder it is to remove and more elbow grease is required. Tap along the old grout lines, trying your best to not touch the tile and chisel away until you remove the top layer of grout. Use caution when removing the old grout so you don’t damage any of the tiles along the way. 

Step 3 –
Start by cleaning away all of the old grout you just removed. You can use a vacuum cleaner to clear away all the loose grout, dirt and dust, allowing for a clean palette. Clean the tiles with an all purpose household cleaner or a simple solution of dish soap and water. This part is optional but highly recommended – using a pre-grouting sealer to protect the tiles and help to keep them smooth. 

Step 4 –
Mix the grout. Make sure to read the instructions for the grout thoroughly. If you are not using a pre-mixed grout, mix the grout that you purchased with water in a bucket. And then get ready to apply to the tiles.

Step 5 –
Time to grout. Don’t worry if the grout gets on the tiles, you will be cleaning them in the next step. Using a rubber float to place the grout on the tiles, then spread it diagonally over the area. Hold the float at an angle (30 degrees) and push the grout between the tiles. Be sure to distribute extra grout into the grout joints in order to fill them completely .Go over the same area a few times to eliminate any air bubbles that may form or spots that aren’t full enough. Don’t worry if you have smudges of grout everywhere, just take the rubber grout float and move it diagonally across the tiles, removing the excess.

Step 6 –
Wait about 10-15 minutes for the grout to set (or as long as the manufacturer directions say). Then use a damp tile sponge to remove any excess grout on the tiles in a diagonal motion, wiping over the grouted surface until the area streaks and then turn the sponge over and wipe the surface until it streaks again. Rinse your sponge and repeat until all the grout residue has been removed. Allow the grout to dry for about a day and a half for best results. 

Step 7 –
Now that your grout has dried, you will need to buff any excess grout with a clean dry rag (preferably white). Shake out the rag if you are doing a large area. Be careful to use a rag that has any dyes or colors as it could run onto your grout and tiles. 

Step 8 –
Depending on the area you are regrouting, you might need to recaulk any gaps between the tiles. Once that is done and dried, it’s time to seal. Use a grout sealer to seal the grout lines around the tiles. Let dry and you’re done! Sealing the grout will help ensure that your hard work will last for years to come!