February can be a tough month for handy homeowners. It’s too cold to tackle those outdoor spring and summer projects, but you’ve spent November, December and January taking care of the indoor projects wishlist you put together during the fall. A February home project needs to be something you can do inside without a lot of fresh air and that doesn’t require a lot of prep that has to happen outside (like cutting tiles). One of our favorite winter projects is replacing grout!
Replacing the grout in your bathroom or kitchen might not seem like the sexiest of home projects, but go look at your shower. Unless you are a meticulous cleaner and you use a lot of bleach, chances are good that your grout is at least a little grubby. And let’s face it, even if you get in there with a toothbrush and some serious cleaner, it’s probably not going to come completely clean. Grout is porous and that creates a lot of challenges when it comes to cleaning.
If we’ve convinced you, here’s a general rundown on how to proceed. And remember, your local TruBlue can absolutely take care of this project for you if you’re not interested in doing it yourself OR if you get started and decide you’d rather be playing the snow. Find your local TruBlue online at https://www.trubluehousecare.com/locations/.
Remove the Old Grout: If you have larger grout areas, you’ll need a rotary tool, but for a shower or a backsplash, use a grout removal tool with a hard blade – like carbide. You need something harder than the grout to do this work. It’s a little tedious, but removing grout isn’t too difficult. Just be careful around your tiles and watch out for that blade.
Prepare the New Grout: We advise selecting a grout color that’s pretty close to the existing grout, just in case your grout removal wasn’t exactly perfect. You can get premixed grout, but most colors come in powder form. When you’re mixing grout, use as little water as possible while making sure all of your powder is mixed and saturated. You need to be able to spread it, but you don’t want it to be runny. Think more like cookie dough than brownie mix.
Apply the New Grout: Scoop a fairly large amount of grout onto your tiles and, using a float positioned at a 90-degree angle, swipe the grout across your tiles, being careful not to miss any spots in between your tiles. Wait a few minutes and, as the grout begins to harder, use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles in a circular motion without putting too hard. You want the tiles to be clean and the grout to be smooth, but not too thin or too wet. If too much grout comes off, reapply it and try again.
Clean Up: It’s easiest to clean your tools while things are still wet (but try not to get the grout down your drain), but you’ll have to wait to clean the wall or the floor until the grout is dry. Once it’s dry, scrub the workspace and then follow the instructions on your sealant.
Although it can be frustrating to have to redo grout, this is a great starter project because, as long as you are careful not to damage your tiles during removal, it’s easy to redo (even small sections) if you’re not happy with the result. And for small areas, it’s not too expensive and can really refresh to look of your tiled spaces. And remember, whether you want us to do this project for you or you find you are in over your head after you get started, TruBlue can help!