If you are unable to clean your grout discoloration or staining to your satisfaction, the next thing to do is re-grout your tile. Don’t panic! Re-grouting your tile is not as difficult as you may think, although it does require some work.
The first thing you have to do is remove all the old grout. While this can be done with a number of tools, the easiest way would be to head on down to Home Depot or the like, and pick up a grout saw like the one to the right. While you’re there you may as well pick up grout, a grout float, and a sponge or two. If you’re using sanded grout, get some rubber gloves as well.
Provided you own a bucket and a source of water, these will be all the items you need to re-grout your tile. All these items should run about $25. Please don’t decide you won’t need the $7 grout saw. You will cost yourself about 300-400 dollars worth of work and stress trying to do it with something else. The most expensive thing you’ll buy is the grout.
Now comes the most difficult part, you have to “saw” the old grout out of the tile. The small blade on the saw has a carbide edge. By placing the saw into the grout line and slowly sawing back and forth, the old grout will turn to powder and fall out of the grout line. Sound easy enough? It is. It is not a difficult thing to do, it’s just time consuming.
Start slowly! I cannot emphasize this enough. Until you get used to how much pressure to use and how to move the saw in such a way as to not chip the tile edge, you need to get a feel for it. While it’s fairly simple in the straight lines, between the two tile corners, you need to be careful of the corners. It is possible to chip the tile edges and corners when you do this. Mostly this is caused by not keeping the blade straight in the grout line, not keeping it parallel.
It should only take you a few minutes to get used to it. If you have sanded grout, such as in larger format tile or on a floor, there is sometimes an additional blade included that looks more like a saw, use that one. You can use either for any type of grout, just use the one that works better for you.
You will need to remove as much of the old grout as you can. Ideally all of it should be removed but you must remove at least 2/3 of it. This is to ensure that the new grout has enough of the tile edge on which to adhere. Take your time, this is the thing that will take the most time. When you’re all done, just vacuum up the grout dust. Take a break and have yourself an adult beverage a Coke.
Now you need to mix up your new grout. Every brand of grout has different mixing requirements. Follow the directions. No, really, follow the directions. The amount you’ll have to mix up varies according to the amount of tile, size of your grout lines, even the thickness of the tile. There is really no set amount so it is difficult for me to be able to tell you exactly how much.
A typical shower surround with 6 X 6 tiles will probably use about 1/2 gallon of grout. But I can’t see your shower from here so it may take more. Read the box or bag and just make sure you are buying enough for the amount of tile you have.
Mix all that up and while it is slaking (you read the directions, right?) get yourself a bucket of water with a sponge in it and your grout float ready. Now remix your grout.
Time to grout! Scoop some grout out of your bucket and toss it on the tile. Starting at the bottom of the wall if you’re grouting a shower or in a corner somewhere, force the grout into the grout lines. Again, take your time until you get use to it.
Push the grout down into the lines enough to ensure that the space between the tiles is full. After doing a small area take your float at a 45 degree angle to the tile and run it down along the grout line to smooth it out. Your trying to get the basic look that you want when it’s done. You’ll want the grout lines full but not over-full. The grout should be about flush with the top of the tile. This doesn’t have to be perfect by any means, but you’ll want to “squeegee” off as much access grout as you can. This makes cleaning easier.
Keep on going with this until the first section of grout you did is set up a bit. It should be firm but it should not be changing colors yet. (Grout gets lighter as it sets.)(Umm, except white, it gets darker.) When it gets to that point you want to start cleaning it.
Wring out your sponge very well. If you have too much water in your sponge it will lead to several problems. You will weaken the stability of the grout, you can wash too much of the grout out of the lines, you can even wash the color out of the grout – really. So wring out your sponge very well.
Now just wipe all the excess grout off the tiles. You should not need to scrub it, just wipe it like your cleaning a window. After you get the excess grout off the tile, wring out your sponge and wipe it down along the grout line to smooth it out. Now leave it alone. Really, leave it alone – be patient. Go change your bucket of water with some fresh stuff.
After the initial wipe-down dries you will probably see a grout haze over the top of the tile. Don’t panic, it’s completely normal. Now wipe it down again the same way. Don’t worry, it should be much easier this time. This time, though, you’re more concerned with getting that haze off your tile.
The grout lines should be just fine, you shouldn’t need to do anything else with them. Your main concern is getting the haze to go away. You want to do this now. A day or two later when the grout sets, it will be significantly more difficult to remove. Depending upon the type of tile and the color of your grout, you may need to do this two or three more times. I know, it sucks. Just sing tv show theme songs in your head while you do it, that should keep you amused. I like the Brady Bunch song myself.
The easiest way to get the haze off is to get some microfiber towels. If you use that for your second wipe-down it should take about 90% of that haze off with one wipe-down. That’s worth three bucks for me.
When you’re done stand back and admire your excellent work! Doesn’t that look better? And you even lived through it. Let the grout set for 24 – 48 hours before you take a shower or spill a bucket of water on it. Great job! Go have yourself another adult beverage Coke.