Grout replacement is a small renovation project many homeowners can do by themselves. Homeowners may wish to undertake this project for a number of reasons. One common reason for wanting to replace the grout may be to replace a standard grout color with a trendier color.
However, if the reason for the grout replacement is due to grout failure, it is important to investigate the cause of the grout failure first. If the home is rather old and the bathroom hasn’t been remodeled the grout failure may simply be a result of regular deterioration over time.
Grout failure in a new home or a recently remodeled bathroom, however, can be the sign of a more serious problem. Inadequate subfloor or walls are common problems which may cause grout failure. Regardless of the cause of the grout failure, this article will provide information on replacing the grout for the homeowner who wishes to attempt this simple project.
The first step in any grout replacement project is removal of the existing grout. The grout removal method will depend on the size of the area and the quality of the existing grout. For a relatively small area with loose grout a manual, hand tool can be used for the removal. In any hardware you can find a claw shaped device with a carbide tip which is designed specifically for grout removal.
The use of a hand held tool can be quite tiresome for grout replacement in a larger area where the grout is not loose and there is a large amount of grout to be removed. In these situations a power tool with an attachment designed specifically for grout removal can make short work of the process of removing the existing grout.
The process of grout replacement should also include thoroughly cleaning the area after the existing grout is removed. This is important because dust and sediment remaining in the area between the tiles can prevent the new grout from adhering correctly. Vacuuming is one way to remove the dust that remains after the grout is removed.
Placing the New Grout
The next step in a grout replacement project includes placing the new grout. The materials you will need for this step are dry grout mix, water, buckets, a tile float, sponges, clean rags and a mixing tool. First place the dry mix in a bucket and stir the dry mix gently to break up any clumps.
Next add the exact amount of water specified on the package instructions into another bucket. Then add the grout, in small portions to the water and use the mixing tool to mix the grout and water mixture until the resulting consistency is sticky.
Now it is time to start the part of the grout replacement process where the new grout is actually placed into the seams between the tiles. A tile float can be used to compress the tile into the seams. Be carefully to maneuver the tile float diagonally across the floor to prevent pulling the grout out of the seams.
During the process of grout replacement, it is important to note that cleaning excess grout off of the tile during the process is essential because in as little as one hour the grout can harden and be difficult, if not impossible to remove.
For this reason, keep two buckets filled with water as well as sponges and clean rags nearby. Throughout the process use the sponges and rags to keep the tile clean. Use one bucket for rinsing the sponges and rags and the other bucket to moisten the sponges and rags.