Fix-It Chick: Reinvigorate any room in home by regrouting dirty old tile

Regrouting old tile can add new life to any room in the house and prevent water damage to the home.

Step 1: Remove any soap scum or mildew and clean the tile with a good nonresidual cleaner, such as TSP or Dirtex.

Step 2: Use a carbide tip grout remover or grout saw to remove at least two-thirds of the old grout from the existing joints. Be careful not to chip or scratch the tiles.

Step 3: Vacuum up the grout residue and use a barely damp sponge to wipe away excess debris. Be sure the grout joints are clean and completely dry before proceeding. For bathtubs or showers, shut off the water supply to avoid any accidental water disasters.

Step 4: Pour a small amount of cold water into a clean bucket and slowly add powered grout until the mixture reaches a soft, butter-like consistency. Only mix as much grout as can be used in 30 minutes.

Step 5: Continue stirring the grout for five minutes and then let it set for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the moisture and additives to properly bond with the grout material. Stir the grout again and continue to stir it occasionally throughout the grouting process.

Step 6: Scoop a handful of grout onto the surface to be grouted. Use a good quality rubber float to spread and press the grout into the joints. Hold the float at a 30-degree angle while spreading the grout. Use the float edge to firmly pack grout into each crevice.

Step 7: Once the joints are packed full, use the rubber float to remove as much excess grout from the tile surface as possible.

Step 8: Let the grout cure for 15 to 20 minutes and then clean off the tile surfaces with a lightly dampened sponge. Do not allow any water to seep into the newly grouted joints. Water will compromise the integrity of the grout and cause the joints to fail.

Step 9: Wait two more hours and then use a lint-free cloth to remove the white haze on the tile surfaces. Be careful not to disturb the grout joints.

Step 10: Allow the grout to cure for 24 hours before using the surface area. Keep the joints dry for three days and then seal the grout with a penetrating grout sealer to complete the process.

• Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at


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