Grout : Clean or Replace


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Old 01-27-05, 07:17 PM
grausch
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Grout : Clean or Replace

I have a bathroom with tile over 50 yrs. old. The tile is in great shape but the grout looks dirty. Should I clean or replace the grout? I have purchased a grout cleaner but the small area I applied the cleaner to didn't look much better. How and how much grout needs to be removed before re-floating?
 
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Old 01-27-05, 07:37 PM
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If it is that old it may not be what we know as grout in today's world. It might be the setting cement. Anyway, you would be best served to CAREFULLY remove the grout with a grout saw, a utility knife, metal dental pics, and other like tools. Go about 2/3 of the depth of the tile for removal.You obviously dont have replacement tiles so you dont want to chip the edges. If it is a tight joint you will need unsanded grout.
 
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Old 01-28-05, 06:41 AM
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Tileguybob - what do you think about the companies that use a machine to clean the grout? I've seen some advertisements for it. I always wondered if that loosened the tiles and if it was better to just leave the grout alone. I imagine it is probably not a good idea on 50 year old grout.
 
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Old 01-28-05, 07:14 PM
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I'll have to use a lot of "ifs" to answer that. If the tile is strongly adhered to the substrate then I suppose a machine would not loosen them although the tile could be brittle through the body and crack that way. Back then the tile were mostly set into the mud wall and all became one in a manner of speaking.
If the machine is not to violent it may also work. A grinder with a spinning wheel would be more apt to do damage than a vibrating machine like Fein makes.
If the grout is grout and not white morter used to set the tile then the grout would be more likely to loosen up and come out. The morter is a lot tougher to break out.
Unless the grout is damaged and needs to be replaced I would opt to try a grout colorant and "paint" the grout back to the color wanted. This could be very tedious with a small grout joint but if it is 1/8" it would not be as bad to deal with.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 10:47 AM
grausch
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Question

The tile is layed on thinset then mortor on steel mesh. The tile and grout is not loose. It is very difficult to remove with a hand saw. The grout lines are 1/8 th. I would really just like to clean/re-whiten but what works the best. If I do get it clean enough, what product should be used to seal it ?

Thanks for your help....
 
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Old 02-01-05, 02:32 PM
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If you go with the grout colorant and paint the grout white, the colorant also acts as a sealer so you are accomplishing both tasks at the same time.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 06:55 PM
grausch
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Does grout colorant look like paint when your finished? How easy it it to apply? Do you have to be carefull not to get it on the tile or does it wipe off the tile and not the grout?
 
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Old 02-02-05, 06:40 PM
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It gets absorbed into the grout and forms a seal over top of it. Clean up varies by manufacturer. Most of the time a water bucket, sponge and bristle brush are all thats needed. If you let some dry on a tile it would peel off with some coercion.
 
 

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