Bob Vila Radio: Replacing Grout

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated May 9, 2013 1:57 PM

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Long before your tiles wear out, the grout between them can start to look tired, dirty, or stained. A good scrubbing can help freshen it up, but at some point the grout will need to be replaced. New grout can extend the life of those tiles for many years.




Listen to BOB VILA ON REPLACING GROUT or read the text below:

The first step is to remove the old grout. You can scrape it out by hand with a grout removal tool, but the work goes faster if you use a grout saw, or a grout attachment for your reciprocating or rotary saw. Just take care not to scratch the tile.

Once the old grout is out, wash the surface with a grout-and-tile cleaner. Mix your new grout to the consistency of toothpaste, then use a grout float to apply it. Spread the grout diagonally across the tile, holding the float at a 45-degree angle. When the joints are firmly packed, wipe off any excess. Let it set for a few minutes, then wipe again using a damp sponge. The grout should be slightly lower than the level of the tile.

Once the grout is dry, wipe down the entire surface the way you’d buff a car. After three days, use a grout sealant to protect it against future stains.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on flooring and stairs, consider:

5 Reasons to Love Subway Tile
Top Tips for Cleaning Grout Lines
Bob Vila Radio: Laying Tile