If you are tired of looking at the dirty, dingy tiles in your shower, you may want to replace them. Instead, consider just re-grouting them. It may seem like a huge undertaking at first thought however, with the right advice and proper tools you will have a ‘new’ shower in no time. You can create a beautiful shower without spending a fortune on purchasing new tiles. The seven tips below will help you to finish your project quicker, without taking any costly shortcuts.
1. Use the Proper Tools
It has been said repeatedly; use the right tool for the job. Many of us do not heed this warning; however, the true handyman can tell you that this is not a myth. The proper tool is the answer to solving many do-it-yourself nightmares.
For the removal of the existing grout, purchase an inexpensive grout saw. Some may suggest using a screwdriver, sander, can opener or nail to remove it. These various methods are not only time consuming but, also, extremely difficult tools to use for this task. An inexpensive grout saw will make your remodeling project faster and easier. It is also a good idea to purchase a few replacement blades at the same time. These blades can wear out rather quickly.
2. Remember to Work Vertically
Anytime you can, work vertically as you remove the old grout. It is true that you will have to move horizontally also, but do this as little as possible. Otherwise, your arms will tire quickly.
3. Thoroughly Remove the Existing Grout
Remove no less than 2/3 of the existing grout. This will make ample room for your new grout. If you neglect to remove the recommended amount, your new grout could have a weak base. This could cause it to become damaged. Thoroughly removing the old grout will ensure a strong base.
4. Clean It
Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum each crevice. The grout will be able to adhere firmly without any dirt, sand or dust particles between the crevices. Applying grout to a dirty and dusty area is not recommended. The grout will most likely flake off and chip after it has hardened.
5. Work in Small Sections
Work in relatively small areas, about five square feet is advisable. This will allow you enough time to work in your new grout, without the worry that the grout will become hard before you can get to it. Always move from the top to the bottom to keep a smooth look.
6. Keep the New Grout Dry
Consider shutting the main water valve off for the shower. This will prevent any accidental drips. Even the slightest amount of water can keep the grout from properly drying and could cause damage.
When smoothing the grout, if you decide to use a sponge squeeze it really well to remove the excess water.
7. Utilize the Caulk Gun
If possible, purchase your grout in a gun resembling a caulk-gun. It will lessen the amount of time it takes you to complete the job. It will also help keep your tile from becoming messy. Be sure to fill any of the cracks that surround your tub or shower with caulk. Do not use grout for this task.