How to Replace Grout on a Tile Floor

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Old, stained, damaged grout can make your tile floor look dingy and worn out. Removing and replacing the grout can make your tile floor look new again. Once you've removed the old grout, apply new grout the same way you would for a new tile floor. If you don't want to use a rotary cutter or have very narrow grout lines, you can remove the grout with a grout saw or utility knife. Those tools will make the job take more time but are still effective in the end.

Things You'll Need

  • Rotary cutter with masonry-cutting bit
  • Grout saw or utility knife (optional)
  • Safety goggles
  • Breathing mask
  • Plastic sheets
  • Duct tape
  • Vacuum
  • Wet sponge
  • Grout
  • Float
  • Remove anything from the room that can be removed to protect them from the dust that will be created when you remove the old grout. Fasten plastic sheets to the doorways with duct tape to keep the dust from traveling to other rooms.

  • Break up the old grout with a rotary cutter fitted with a masonry-cutting bit. Turn on the rotary cutter and touch the bit to the old grout. Avoid touching the tile with the masonry-cutting bit. Wear safety goggles and a breathing mask while you work. Be sure to remove all the grout between the tiles, all the way down to the thinset beneath the tiles. Do not remove the thinset, which is a different color than the grout.

  • Vacuum all the old grout from the tile floor. Wipe the tiles with a wet sponge. Clean away all the dust so that it doesn't interfere with the new grout bonding to the tiles.

  • Scoop the new grout on top of the tiles and spread it around with a float. Press the grout down into the spaces between the tiles. Wipe grout away from the tile surfaces with the float edge. Let the grout dry a little and then joint the grout by rubbing the corner of a wet sponge along every grout line. Be careful when jointing the grout because a sloppy jointing job will make the entire tile floor look poorly done.

Tips & Warnings

  • For more effective dust control, have a helper stand by with a shop-vac as you work with the rotary cutter. Your helper can hold the shop-vac's hose in the air near your rotary cutter to catch the dust as it is rises.

References

  • "Tiling"; Editors of Sunset Books; 2009
  • Photo Credit Boden image by Milosz Bartoszczuk from Fotolia.com
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