Regrouting tiles

October 30th, 2014 by Ray Hesketh

One of the questions Im most asked is how to regrout old tiles. Regrouting the tiles in your bathroom, kitchen or on floor tiles is straight forward. It will make them look as good as new and enhance most tiled surfaces. Unfortunately you might at some point find yourself in the situation where cleaning the grout is simply not possible. This might be down to years of use, water damage or mould, kitchen grime that has seemingly glued itself onto the grout or maybe it just wasn’t installed properly in the first place. Regrouting might then be the only option left apart from actually ripping all the tiles off and starting from scratch. I’ll be honest here, it’s not a quick or fun job. It’s time consuming and messy. However, the results will definitely be worth all the effort and it certainly is a lot cheaper than replacing all the tiles.You will need to first of all scrape out all the old grout, a process that is known as raking and for which you will need a grouting rake. You can buy a basic set of tools containing everything you need for the job for as little as £10 from DIY stores. This is admittedly a very tedious job which will take some time and you will have to be careful not to damage any of the surrounding tiles. At least 2 to 3mm of grout will need to be removed for the new grout to adhere properly. You will also need to ensure that you remove any mould that might have made its way deep into the grout.Once you have removed the grout and cleaned up all excess and wiped off any dust and loose bits, you should check whether your tiles need sealing in case they are porous. A sealant will also prevent any grout from sinking underneath the surface. Next, you will have to mix up the grout. Make sure you only mix enough to use in around half an hour. Grout dries quickly and will become unusable. Apply the grout to the tiles in the same way you would when grouting new tiles. Make sure you work bit by bit (not covering too large an area with grout) so that you will be able to wipe any excess away. If the grout dries on, you will be left having to scrape it off the tiles.