Are you disappointed by the unsightly look of your tiles due to worn-out grout? If so, it’s time to regrout your tiles and restore their beautiful look. Luckily, you don’t always have to remove the old grout when regrouting tiles.
Here’s how to regrout tile without removing old grout:
- Choose the right materials
- Make a channel for the new grout application
- Clean the tiles while working in a clean area
- Apply the new grout and push it between the tiles
- Remove any excess grout and clean the tiles
- Use caulk or grout sealant to seal the grout
Regrouting tiles without removing old grout saves you time and money. If you’re prepared to renew your tiles, continue reading as we expound on the above points.
It’s important to gather everything that you might need for this project before you start working.
Start with the grout. Epoxy grout is an excellent choice for regrouting because it lasts a long time. Additionally, this type of grout is available in various finishes and colors, which gives you more control over the overall appearance of your tile.
After the grout, gather the tools you need for the project. To help you remove fragments of the old grout, you’ll need a carbide-tipped scraper. Alternatively, you can use a screwdriver or a hammer. However, these tools may not be as effective as the scraper.
You’ll also need the following cleaning supplies:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Bucket of water
These tools will help ensure that no dirty grout gets in your way and makes the process more difficult.
Just because you’re not removing the existing grout doesn’t mean that you should start filling the new grout on the space without any preparation. Instead, there’s some groundwork to do. Taking the time to follow these steps will help you create a channel for the new grout.
Use a tool such as a grout saw and make a channel about 2 millimeters (0.08 in) deep. As you do this, scrape off any old grout that comes your way using the same tool. It’s advisable to put on a mask when making these channels to avoid inhaling dust and harming your lungs.
When you’re done creating the channels, you’ll likely have dust and debris on the tiles and around your workspace. Applying the new grout to a dirty area will likely result in messy, unpleasant results.
To best clean up your workspace before moving on to the next steps, use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum away any remaining debris.
After you vacuum, use a damp cloth to wipe the working area to ensure that tiny particles aren’t left behind. Give some time for the water to dry before you continue working to ensure that you’re working on a clean and dry surface.
After your working area is dry, get your grout ready to apply it on your created channels.
The process used to apply grout may differ based on the brand of the grout you’re using. Therefore, it’s essential to confirm the instructions on the packaging. Read the packaging of your specific grout in case there are extra steps to adhere to for the best possible results. Nevertheless, the general procedure of applying the new grout is as follows:
- If using powdered grout, mix it as per the instructions in the package.
- Use a grout float to apply the grout into the crevices and push it down until it is firmly packed.
- Use the flat edge of the grout float to remove any excess grout.
- Wipe excess grout off the tiles using a clean, damp sponge.
- Continue working on the area until you’ve filled all the channels or the expected results.
Here’s a YouTube video further explaining this process step-by-step:
When applying the grout, clean any excess grout on the tiles as soon as you notice it. Cleaning throughout the process will save you the struggle of removing the excess grout when it’s dry. For perfect results, it’s imperative not to rush through this process.
Take your time and ensure that you apply enough grout and eliminate any excess. If you want a specific color for the grout, buy a grout pigment and add it to the mixture before applying.
6. Use Caulk or Grout Sealant to Seal the Grout
To avoid having to regrout again in the near future, you should use grout sealant. Sealant protects your grouting work and helps it last longer. I recommend the Seal It Green Grout Sealant that is available on Amazon. It’s odorless, non-toxic, and also easy to use.
After the grout sealant, use caulk on the edges and corners of the area to complete your project and ensure durability. To ensure that the caulk and grout sealant sets well, have a break of about a week after applying the new grout.
Regrouting can be an intimidating task. Keep in mind some of these helpful tips when taking on the regrouting process.
Removing all of the old grout before applying new grout is an option. However, many people consider the grout removal process to be time consuming and impractical. All you need to do is remove the dirty grout on the surface to create room for new grout. Additionally, ensure that the space you leave is large enough for the new grout to bond.
You should remove the old grout to 2-3 mm (0.08-0.12 in) depth if you plan to regrout over it. This space created is enough to apply the new grout and completely cover the old and worn-out material.
You can use many tools to remove grout as long as it has a grout removal blade. I recommend the ENERTWIST Oscillating Tool with a powerful oscillating saw that cuts faster and smoother than most tools.
If you want to avoid using tools to remove the grout, consider using chemicals. You can use a chemical such as muriatic acid, a form of hydrochloric acid used to remove mortar. Moreover, you can use sulfamic acid.
When using these chemicals, pour them on the tiles and leave them for a few minutes to melt the grout.
You can visit your hardware store for these and other chemicals that you can use to remove grout. However, using chemicals to remove grout is typically only advisable if you remove all of the old grout.
It can be challenging to know when the best time to regrout is. Some of the signs that you need to regrout your floor are:
- Your tiles are loose.
- Your tiles are more than 15 years old without regrouting.
- The tile grout is unsightly and discolored.
- You feel a need to change the look of your kitchen or bathroom.
To soften grout, you can use a solution of hot water and sugar. Then, pour this solution on the grout and rub it using a paint stick. Water and lemon juice can also help soften the grout and make it easier to remove.
Heat also makes grout softer. You can use a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the old grout between your tiles. Alternatively, you can use the chemicals to soften the grout.
Both retiling and regrouting are recommendable methods to give your floors or walls a new look. However, consider regrouting if you need to save time and money. This is a project that you can do even without hiring a professional.
However, if you decide you aren’t prepared to regrout on your own, you can hire grout cleaning services. Having your grout professionally cleaned will also help make your tiles look new.
Here are a few ways that you ensure your regrouting lasts longer:
- Use enough grout to ensure that it bonds well with the old grout.
- Ensure that your surface is clean and dry before applying the grout.
- Cut a channel that is big enough for the new grout.
- Apply the grout at an angle of about 45-degrees from the tile.
- Make sure that there are no air spaces or gaps between the tiles and the grout.
- Use high-quality sealant and caulk.
You can paint over grout using paints made specifically for grout. You should only apply paint to glazed or sealed tile grout.
Don’t paint grout if the tiles are made of natural material. Natural tiles can absorb the paint and make it hard to remove them in the future. In addition, you should only use paint made specifically for grout.
If you must paint the grout, use epoxy paint. For the best results, ensure that the grout and the tiles are clean before you start painting.
Here’s a YouTube video explaining how you can paint grout:
Old grout can be a source of disappointment when you look at your tiles. Luckily, regrouting is a DIY task that you can handle without spending a lot of time or money. Follow the steps listed above and get a fresh look for your floor or wall tiles.
Related: Is Grout Waterproof or Porous?