Has your grout seen better days? Is it old, dingy, or even falling out of the joints? Have no fear, your answer is here! Fortunately, you have a few options. first, you can stain the old grout to revive it and even change the color if you wish (See my grout stain post here). the second option would be to give it a good power cleaning and then sealing the freshly cleaned grout to help fight problems down the road (See my post about sealers here). Third, and finally, you can remove the grout and replace it with new. This third option is the most labor intensive of the three. Since the first two options have been covered in previous blog posts, today I’ll focus on the third option: removing and replacing the grout.
What you will need:
Grout Removal Tool
Drop Cloth and Tape
Installation Tools (Grout Float, Mixer, Buckets, etc.)
Clean Up Supplies (Sponge, Buckets of Water, etc.)
Start by setting up your work area, removing the grout can get very messy and dusty very fast. If you are removing wall grout, put down your drop cloth to catch some of the dust flying around, if you are removing floor grout it would be wise to cover cabinets or furniture if it’s still in the room. If possible close the door to the room you are working in as to help contain the mess.
Now for the fun part, getting messy! Get your grout removal tool, whether it be manual (perfectly fine for small spaces), or an electric tool (recommended for large jobs), and start going at the joints removing the grout. This can get pretty dusty so be sure to wear a respirator, remember grout is a cementous material and has some nasty lung damaging ingredients in it! It’s important to get as much of the old grout out as you can, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Never fear, the new grout will bond to the old, as long as you use a Polymer Modified Grout (we suggest Prism, that way you won’t have to go through this ever again!).
Ok, all the grout is out. You’re a mess, and there is a thick layer of powder everywhere… Take a break, pat yourself on the back, and then get the vacuum out and get as much of that powder cleaned up as you can. Once vacuumed, you’ll need to clean the face of the tile so none of the old grout powder gets mixed into the new grout. This can be accomplished with some water and a grout sponge. While that dries, we move on to the next step.
Now it’s time to mix up the new grout. Grab the bag and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the water to product ratio, you are going to want a peanut butter like consistency. Then the magic happens, head back to your freshly cleaned work area and, per the instructions on the grout bag, fill the joints with grout and clean up excess left on the tile as you go with the grout float. Then, after about 30 minutes, depending on your specific grout, clean the residue off the tiles with a damp sponge.
After 48 hours the grout sealer may be applied. You can use a small artist’s paintbrush or a sealer applicator bottle, and just paint the sealer on to the grout. We recommend a few coats for maximum saturation, but be sure to wait at least 30 minutes between coats! If you get any sealer on the tile, wipe it off quickly with a dry towel as it will harden and be a pain to get off.
The final step is to clean everything up, stand back, and admire your hard work!