Your bathroom is the highest humidity environment within your home. Even with the exhaust fan running, moisture builds up along your shower walls and eventually can cause the grout to begin to degrade. Not only can it begin to erode, it can have its integrity challenged by mold, mildew, and even the mineral deposits from your shower water.
The only problem is that knowing how to regrout shower tile often involves some tough and tedious work.
With a few simple tricks, however, you can get this job done in just a single day so that the beauty of your shower tile is restored. Here's what you do.
1. Grind Out The Old Grout.
To renew the look of your grout, you must scrape the old stuff out before putting new stuff in.
You could hack away at it by hand with those little grout saws, but if you've got a few bucks, you can pick up grinding attachments that work with power tools or a Dremel tool that can make this tough job become really easy.
Make sure your grinding attachment has guides that will protect your tile from damage as you're working. Pay special attention to your edges and corners.
2. Clean Up The Mess.
Once you've scraped out the old grimy grout, you'll need to clean it up to avoid contaminating your new group.
A Shop-Vac is a very useful tool for this part of the job. Any linger dust can be wiped away with a clean, dry cloth.
Do not use water or cleaners as part of the clean-up process as this can affect the integrity of the grout and you'll need to allow at least 24 hours for the area to dry.
3. Spread Out Your New Grout.
This is where a grout float will become your best friend.
Take some new grout that has a latex additive in it for added durability, which often comes ready-made at your local hardware or DIY store, and place it on your tool. If you purchase a grout mix, you'll want to make sure the consistency of your grout is just a bit thicker than smooth peanut butter before applying it. Then push the grout diagonally across your shower tile so that it begins to fill in the exposed joints you've scraped out. You'll likely need to repeat this process several times to get the grout to fill in correctly.
Add light, but firm pressure to the grout float to make sure the grout presses into the correct places. Don't worry about leaving some residue on your shower tile. You'll be able to get rid of it in the next step.
4. Wipe Down Your Shower Tile.
Once your grout has been allow to set for about 20 minutes, you'll notice a film begin to form on the tiles where you were working. Once that occurs, you're ready to wipe down your shower tile.
The only thing you'll need for this part of the job is a high quality damp sponge. Make sure you rinse out the sponge often so you remove the remaining residue instead of spreading it around. Use a diagonal cleaning method that is opposite of the direction you used with the grout float for best results.
5. Allow Your Grout To Dry For a Week.
You'll want to avoid using your shower for the next 7 days so the grout receives ample time to properly dry.
If you do use your shower during this one week period, limit the length of your shower as much as you can.
6. Apply a Sealant to Your Shower Tile Grout.
Once a week has gone by, you're ready to apply a grout sealant to prolong the life of the work you've just done.
Some sealants require the grout to be dry for a specific length of time, so make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions from your preferred sealant in this regard.
Then use an applicator bottle and apply the sealant directly on your grout lines. Make sure each line is completely saturated, but remove excess sealant as you go.
Allow to dry for 5-15 minutes and then apply a second coat.
If you get sealant on your shower tile, it will appear as a chalky film. A damp sponge will often remove this after the grout lines have dried. If it is stubborn, apply some sealant to a clean, lint-free cloth and rub the streaks out that way.
7. Test Your Work.
If you have applied the sealant properly, water should bead up on top of the grout. If it does not, then allow the area to dry and apply another coat of sealant. Then just allow the shower tile to cure for the amount of time that has been recommended by the sealant manufacturer.
Knowing how to regrout shower tile today can save you a lot of time and money if you do the work yourself and it can restore the beauty of your shower with just a day's worth of work. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to success.
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