How to Restore Dingy Tile Grout to its Original Clean Appearance

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Ron:
Do you have tile grout that used to look like this, but now it looks like this?  Maybe you’ve tried tile grout cleaners, but you still can’t get it back to that new looking condition.  Well your tile might be a candidate for grout refreshing.  Here’s how you do it.

The first step in grout refreshing is to take out the top surface of the old grout using this tool right here called a grout saw.  This is one version, here’s another version right here.  Either one of these will work really well.  Just take out enough grout to get rid of the discoloration.

MUSIC MONTAGE

Now grout saws like these are very sharp, so be careful when you do this that you don’t slip and scratch the top of the tile.  Just take your time.

MUSIC STING

Once you’ve scraped out all of the discolored grout, the easiest way to remove the loose material is with a vacuum. 

MUSIC STING

Well there, we’ve taken out all of the discolored grout, but now we have to replace the grout that we removed, so we get the joint full again.  Now this is grout, you can buy it pre-mixed or you can buy it in powder form and add water to it.  We’ll just put a little bit of this right up on the surface.  Like that.  And then, we’ll take this tool called a grout float.  It’s just foam rubber.  And we’re just going to spread this around the surface of the tile.  Now what we’re doing here is just putting the grout back into those joints.  So we want to take the float and hold it sort of flat, and press down to squeeze the new grout into those joints.

MUSIC

Once you’ve gotten the joints filled with grout, take this same tool and tip it up on a steep angle – about 45 degrees – and drag it across the face of the tile going from corner to corner, or the diagonal.  You see what’s happening right here?  We’re scraping off, or raking off the excess grout from the face of the tile, but leaving it in the joints.

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Next, take a clean grout sponge, it looks just like this one.  Dip it in clean water, wring out the excess, and just gently wash off the remaining grout from the face of the tile.

MUSIC

Now once the tile has dried, you’ll still find a thin film on here; that can be easily taken off with a dry paper towel.

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Well there you go, refreshed tile grout that looks as good as new because, well, I guess it is new.   Now you’ll want to let this dry about three days, and then put on a grout sealer.  That’ll keep it looking this way for years.

Removing the just the top surface of tile grout and replacing it with new makes old grout look brand new

Grout saws come in wide range of quality and prices ($3.50 to almost $20).  Common complaints about the less expensive models include blades bending or breaking and handles that are uncomfortable or come off.  Marshaltown, a well known manufacturer of masonry tools offers a high qualtiy model that has a study two-inch blade and resilient handle with finger guard.  Learn more by clicking here.

If your tile grout has gotten to the point where, despite cleaning after cleaning, it still looks stained, dirty or discolored, then maybe it's time to go a bit deeper.  By removing the top layer of grout and replacing with new material, the joints will look like they did when the countertop was new.  One tool you'll need to accomplish this is the grout saw.  Actually, it's not a saw at all, but more of an abrasive scraper.  One note of caution when using this tool -- move slowly and deliberately to avoid having the tool slip out of the grout joint and scratch the face of the tile.