How to Re-Grout Your Bathroom

Give those tiles a whitening job and say buh-bye to icky mildew.

going green, faucet, kitchen, bathroom, water, saving, billsYou’ll need:

  • Grout
  • Grout saw
  • Bucket
  • Grout sponge
  • Protective gloves
  • Sealant

1. Pick your grout

Head to your home super center and pick out a grout that will match your tiles. If you have an extra tile lying around, take that with you, or take a digital photo if you can. Otherwise, just keep the color in mind, and note the size of the space between the tiles. Ask the title aisle attendant for help deciding between sanded and unsanded – if you have marble tile or a small grout line (under 1/8th inch), then you'll want unsanded grout, otherwise go for sanded.

2. De-gunk

The hardest part of this job is removing all the old, icky grout. It's basically cement, so apply some elbow grease to dig into all the grooves and chunk out the gunk. It's going to be a messy job, especially if you're doing the whole bathroom rather than just the tub area. If your grout's not in terrible shape, you can just clean it with a chemical cleaner before re-grouting.

3. Mix it up

Mixing grout is like mixing up a batch of Betty Crocker, so don't be afraid. Just follow the directions on the box. Just like with baking, you'll know when your batter is too thick or too thin, and you adjust almost the same way – by adding either more water or more powder. And don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, but you might want to put on the gloves for this stage.

4. Apply it

Take your special grout sponge and start to plug it into the grout lines. The grout will just glide into place, but some of it will run over onto the tiles. You'll wipe this up later, so don't worry about it too much. When everything is filled, wet your finger and smooth the lines. Then wipe up the tiles with a sponge or a rag. If you disturb any of the grout, just apply a little more and let it dry. Translation: Don't take a shower. Let it stand for as long as the box says so.

5. Spot check

When the grout is set, check for any gaps or cracks – sometimes in a new light you can see things you missed before. If everything is ok, apply the sealer. It just wipes on, and all you have to do is follow the directions on the bottle. Also let that dry for as long as the manufacturer recommends. When you're all set, you'll be able to pretend you're taking a spa vacation by using a luxurious new bathroom.
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-- The Nest Editors

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