After several years, tile grout may become chipped, stained, or cracked. Mold or mildew may be growing underneath and around this grout. In all cases, a re-grouting is called for and this is not a difficult project. It only takes a few tools and supplies and a bit of patience.
You will need:
- Commercial grout cleaner
- Grout saw
- Small knife or chisel
- Wet rag
- Dry rag
- Grout float
- Grout sealer
Step 1: Determine the correct type of grout. If only a section of the shower will be regrouted, break off a piece of grout from the shower and take it to the store to find a color match. If the entire shower will be regrouted, select a color that matches the color tile. If the space between the tiles exceeds 1/8-inch, select sanded grout. The sand contained in the grout provides it with more strength so it will hold together within the large gaps. In all cases, try to find non-shrinking grout.
Step 2: Clean the existing grout using a commercial grout cleaner and a sponge. This will remove grime, mildew, and soap residue. Allow the area to dry.
Step 3: Loosen crumbling, damaged, or cracked grout with a chisel or grout saw. Remove the grout using the small knife or chisel, making sure to get all the loose material. Vacuum up loose grout, including pieces wedged in the tile spaces.
Step 4: Use the commercial grout cleaner to clean the shower tile one more time.
Step 5: Use the wet rag to dampen grooves where the new grout will be applied.
Step 6: Following the manufacturer’s directions, mix the new grout.
Step 7: Apply the grout to the spaces between shower tiles, using the grout float. Once you have finished, go back over each surface with your wet finger, smoothing each joint. If a low place is found, use the grout float to re-do the area and smooth it again with your finger.
Step 8: Run a grout sponge or squeegee over the area to remove extra grout from the files of all tiles. Do not wipe over any areas too many times or it may disturb the grout. If a mistake is made, simply re-float more grout over this area and smooth the joints.
Step 9: Follow manufacturer guidelines regarding drying time. Do a thorough inspection, reapplying grout to any grooves with gaps at the edges. If non-shrinking grout is used, this extra application may not be needed.
Step 10: After the work is completed and the area is dry, apply a grout sealer to the dry grout. Once this is dry, use a sponge or wet rage to wipe residue from the faces of all tiles. A haze will result. Allow this to dry and then wipe it with a dry rag.