How to Regrout Ceramic Tile

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Plastic sheets
Rotary tool
Utility knife
Shop vacuum
Grout compound
Mixing bucket
Grout float

Regrouting the ceramic tiles in your bathroom can breathe new life into the space. Not only will fresh grout make the place look beautiful, but it is also a straightforward process that is easy on the budget. Here are eight easy steps to regrout ceramic bathroom tiles.

Step 1 - Prepare the Site

Removing grout can be a messy process. Protect surfaces by covering nearby areas with plastic sheeting. You should also wear a dust mask as you work because debris from the grout is not safe to inhale. Use a shop vacuum from time to time to keep the area from accumulating too much dust.

Step 2 - Remove Old Grout

A rotary tool is great for blasting away old grout because it is easier to control than larger power tools. Purchase a blade specifically made for removing grout for the best results. When using the tool, work slowly across the entire grout line and try to hold the blade perpendicular to the wall. You want to avoid chipping away the ceramic tile, so work slowly as you move along. Do not worry if all the grout is not removed on the first pass.

Step 3 - Do a Second Pass

A grout saw cleaning out grout from between shower tile.

Once the majority of the grout is gone, you should make a second pass with the rotary tool to kick out any remaining grout. This time, angle the grinder slightly to reach the corners of the grout line. Once again, work slowly to avoid damaging the edges of the ceramic tile. Try to keep steady movement as lingering on one spot for too long can crack the tiles.

Step 4 - Remove the Final Grout

If the rotary tool did not remove all of the old grout, you will need to remove the rest by hand. You can accomplish this by using a utility knife or a small flat-head screwdriver. Just be sure not to damage any of the tiles as you go along. Once all of the grout has been removed, use your shop vacuum to clean out all of the lines and remove as much dust as possible.

Step 5 - Mix New Grout

Grout compound comes as either a dry powder or pre-mixed paste. If you are using the dry powder, only mix as much grout as you can work within a 30-minute window to ensure the mixture does not dry out too soon. Follow the instructions on the grout compound packet for proper water mix and consistency.

Step 6 - Apply New Grout

A grout float used on large, red tiles.

Using a grout float or trowel, start applying the grout compound to the surface of the tiles. Apply plenty of grout to the tiles and use the float to push the grout into the seams. You should hold the float at a 60-degree angle and wipe away any excess grout with a damp sponge. Keep a bucket of water on hand to periodically clean the sponge. Work in small sections, repeating the process until the entire surface has been re-grouted.

Step 7 - Cleanup

Once the new grout is in place, you want to make sure any excess grout has been removed before it dries out. It is a lot easier to remove grout when it is still wet than when it dries. Use a damp sponge to gently clean the tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper drying times, which are usually a day or so.

Step 8 - Seal

After the new grout has fully dried, it may leave behind a subtle haze on the surface of the tile. This is completely normal. Simply remove the haze with a rag to complete the project. Some grout requires a sealer, which should be applied after the grout has fully dried. You can usually apply the sealer with a foam brush and remove any excess with a damp cloth.