How to Replace Grout

How to Replace Grout

If you have spent any amount of time in the tile, stone, or home improvement world, you have probably been asked the question: “How to Replace Grout.” Let’s dive into that with a quick review for anyone who may have this situation. As with so many topics, a little bit of background information is always helpful.

What is Grout?

Grout is a mixture of cement, sand, and water used to fill gaps between tiles, usually in bathrooms, kitchens, and other tiled surfaces. It helps secure the tiles in place and prevents water from seeping through.

How is Grout Cleaned?

Grout can be cleaned using a variety of methods, including scrubbing with a brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent, using a grout cleaner specifically designed for the task, or applying a paste made of baking soda and water and scrubbing it into the grout lines.

Understand Your Particular Situation

However, you may have the option of re-grouting  the area rather than embarking on a prolonged cleaning exercise. Please know that all projects of this type will not require the same level of effort, care, and expertise. You must consider  the general condition of the material that is currently installed along with the grout. First, are the individual pieces of tile, stone, or glass, in good to very good shape? Or do you observe a few cracked or loose items? I know that this may sound obvious, but I can’t tell you the number of hours we have seen wasted on grout repairs when the condition of the overall installation did not warrant the effort. Second, note the size of the facial dimensions of the individual tile, stone, or glass pieces that the grout is adjacent to. Why is this important? For example, a nominally 12” x 12” piece of tile will have a relatively small area of grout lines in the whole installation. However, a nominally 3/4” glass mosaic (as shown above) will have exponentially more grout that needs to be reworked.

Next Steps

Now that you understand a bit more about grout and have reviewed your situation, let’s discuss the next steps in the process of How to Replace Grout. As we hope you have gathered by now, regrouting is not as difficult a task as you might have first thought. However, there is still a certain amount of work to be done in the actual removal of the existing grout. That will require a small grout handsaw, as shown immediately above, and at the very top of this post. The particular tool in these images is manufactured by QEP and is typically available at Home Depot.

Let’s get started by using your handsaw tool to dig the existing grout out of the current joints. This is not a perfect process, but try to be as neat and uniform as possible. It is typically better to work on one small area at a time. The goal is to remove approximately 2 mm, which is more or less, in industry parlance, “the thickness of two dimes on top of each other.” Once you feel confident you have removed the 2mm of depth, take your time and vacuum the area up neatly.

Now it’s time to tool the new grout into the space you have made. For this particular situation, epoxy grout, in particular the Litikol Starlike brand, is a great choice. It is much stronger than other grout, especially the cementitious variety. I have personally used both a “float” (shown above) and a putty knife to work epoxy grout into the joint from approximately a 45 degree angle.


According to the manufacture, “Litikol Starlike grout has no pigment to fade or shade, and every grain of quartz aggregate has been colored to ensure you get a consistent, long lasting color that is bold and will not fade. On top of this, Starlike comes in the widest selection of colors, giving you artistic choices beyond any other grout. Starlike’s four distinct collections feature over 159 colors and finishes, including classic colors, highly chromatic and pastel Glamour colors, metallic finishes, glitter additives, glass grout, colored glass grout, and even grout that has the brilliance of the jewels.“ 

By no means have we covered everything there is to know about a topic like How to Replace Grout. But this is an excellent start. For more assistance please feel free to click here. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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