How to Regrout Tiles

By Sian
Last updated 22nd September 2020 - Reading time: 14 mins

This article explains with the help of images, how to regrout tiles. We explain everything that you might need to know about tools, materials, maintenance, safety equipment and we also answer some of the most frequently asked questions for homeowners looking to regrout their tiles.

how to regrout tiles

What is Tile Grout?

Grout is a mixture of cement, water and sand. Apart from providing an appealing aesthetic look, this material also plays a vital role within the entire tilling process. This thick fluid is then used to fill and voids and seal joints between tiles. This mixture will then dry creating a fluid concrete, which will subsequently keep your tile structure in place.

Grout is an integral part of any tilling job, as it keeps the moisture from damaging the wall, keeps tiles straight, and stops tiles from connecting and cracking.

Do My Tiles Need Regrouting?

Over the years grout attracts algae and moisture and can become stained and unsightly. If you have cleaned your grout and aren’t happy with the results you might want to remove the old grout and replace it.

Perhaps your tiles are looking a little grubby or mouldy, maybe you are looking to replace one of your cracked tiles or they are coming loose, then this is the time to regrout. Even if you clean your grout on a regular basis, you’ll still be required to replace your grout every 12-15 years.

Ready to get a price for your job?

What Tools Do I Need to Regrout Tiles?

Now you’ve decided to take on the DIY task of regrouting the tiles in your home, it’s now imperative that you have all the tools to allow you to do the job correctly and efficiently.

You will need the following:

  • Grout Float
  • Grout Spreader
  • Flat Scraper
  • Trowel
  • Tile Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Grout Finishing Tool
  • Soft cloth

Removing grout can be a messy task, we know you’ll be using protective sheets, but it’s also advised you have a dustpan and brush or vacuum handy at the end of the process to remove any old grout and dust.

What Safety Equipment Do I Need to Regrout Tiles?

As we have stated previously, the grout removal process can get messy and dusty. It’s essential when undertaking any home projects, such as regrouting your tiles, that you take the appropriate safety measures first before mastering the art of how to regrout tiles. We advise that you purchase the following:

  • Safety Goggles
  • Protective Gloves
  • Dust Mask

We also advise that where possible, you keep the room as ventilated as you can, open any windows to allow for dust to escape. Please wear your safety goggles and dust mask when removing grout to prevent any dust and dirt inhalation or coming into contact with your eyes.

You will need to wear protective gloves if you are handling your grout remover. Ensure you always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

What Materials Do I Need to Regrout Tiles?

To regrout your tiles, you will need the following materials:

  • Protective Sheets/Dust Sheets
  • Grout (powdered or ready mix)

We also advise that you check the date on your grout, if you have previously used this before, you wouldn’t want to use any products that are out of date.

How to Prepare for Tile Regrouting

Before beginning to remove the grout from your tiles, you’ll need to prepare the room you’ll be working in. Firstly, take your dust sheets and cover the whole area of your room, this will help collect any old grouting and dust, which will make the clean-up process a little easier for you.

We strongly advise that if you are in your kitchen or bathroom to put the toilet seat down and also put the plug in any sinks as you don’t want any old grout clogging up your drains. After all this has been done, you should be ready to remove the grout.

Regrouting Tiles - Step by Step Guide

You should have all the correct tools and materials needed, so let’s look step by step of how to regrout wall tiles:

Step 1

When grout dries it forms into a hard, dense material, so you need to work vigorously to remove the grout between the tiles. Luckily there are tools you can use to help you with this process.

how to regrout tiles 1

You could consider using a grout remover (grout rake), this tool has been designed to fit into the tile joints and rake out the old grout. When purchasing this tool, we advise you also get some spare blades, as they can become blunt when you are removing the grout.

This process can get messy and dusty, so please ensure you wear the correct safety equipment and keep the room ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible. If you don’t have access to any of these, we advise you wear a dust mask to stop any inhalation of dust.

Step 2

To prepare the room, you’ll need to place dust sheets to cover the entire area of the floor, as we’ve mentioned previously, this will get a little messy. We also advise that when you are working over a sink or bath that you put the plug-in place before you begin, as you don’t want any grout going down the drains, they could get clogged.

how to regrout tiles 2

Step 3

To remove the grout between your tiles, use your grout rake, you will need to apply pressure and start in the middle of two tiles. Moving the tool, allow the blade teeth to sink into the grout. The teeth of the blade only face in one direction, so don’t try moving the tool back and forth, only work in one direction.

how to regrout tiles 3

This tool is simple to use but requires much time and dedication and can be rather tiresome. We would advise you to use this tool when you have a smaller area of grout to remove.

Step 4

However, if you have a larger area then we would recommend investing in an electric grout remover, which is much easier to use, and does half the job for you. As before, when using this tool, start in the centre of two tiles and not the ends, as you don’t want to risk damaging or scratching the tiles.

how to regrout tiles 4

We advise removing all the grout vertically first and then continuing horizontally between the tiles with this tool, back and forth. This way you can ensure you’ve covered all the areas. Your aim is to remove the grout to the thickness of the tile.

Step 5

Once all the grout has been removed you will need to ensure you clean the surface. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt remaining.

how to regrout tiles 5

Step 6

You should have already selected the type of grout you wish to use, so it’s now time to start preparing the adhesive. Remember that the type of adhesive you require will depend entirely on your wall surface type and the overall style and colour you want the finished product to look like.

how to regrout tiles 6

Grout now comes in a variation of colours, so ensure you do your research first. Please ensure you follow manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions before preparing your adhesive.

Step 7

To mix, will need to follow the correct measurements on your packaging guidelines. You’ll need to take your trowel, to create a thick paste, with no lumps. Make sure you only make as much as you will need to use in roughly 30 minutes, as grout dries extremely quickly. Making little and often is key.

how to regrout tiles 7

When you mix the grout, don’t overwork the paste as this creates air bubbles, and you want to avoid that before applying.

Step 8

Now you can between to start grouting between your tiles. When it comes to applying the grout, you will need a grout spreader or a grout float (used for larger surface areas). Start by using your trowel to place a small amount of grout onto your spreader. Simply spread this across your tiles, allowing the grout the submerge into the jointing gaps. Then wipe the tiles with the other side of the spreader to try and remove any excess grout.

how to regrout tiles 8

Use a range of different directions to ensure that all the jointing between the tiles have been successfully filled with grout. The grout will begin to Harden after 20-30 minutes, so ensure you work at a good pace.

Step 9

Whilst the grout is drying, use a damp sponge to clean the tile surfaces, ensuring you don’t over saturate the sponge. Should you accidentally remove any grout from the jointing, use the spreader to reapply, or use your fingertip to fill the area.

how to regrout tiles 9

Allow your grout to dry for about 30 minutes. Then in order to achieve a really professional finish, use a grout finishing tool. Use this over the grout, pull down over the jointing, in one continuous swift movement. Be prompt with this, as your grouting hardens quickly. Then repeat this process between all of the grout jointing.

Step 10

You’ll now need to leave the grout to dry according to your manufacturer's guide. After a few hours, a dusty film will form over your tiles. To remove this, take a soft clean cloth and polish it over the tiles. This will remove any dust and give you a professional looking finish to your work.

how to regrout tiles 10

What Grout to Use

There are several options when it comes to choosing grout type. Choice will firstly boil down to the room you are choosing to regrout. If it’s a bathroom or kitchen it’s important you choose a waterproof or mould proof.

There are four types of grout that you could consider for your project:

Cement-Based Grout (non-sanded)

This type of grout is the most popular for DIY tile projects, as it’s easy to work with. It is weaker than epoxy grout. You should consider this type of grout if the jointing between your tiles is smaller than ⅛ inch.

The reason for this is the type of grout is known for its shrinkage once dried. Using this with a gap wider than that would leave you with exposed areas and gapping, resulting in an unsuccessful regrout. If you have natural stone/ceramic/polished marble tiles, then this grout is ideal.

Epoxy Grout

This type of grout is a little more expensive than other types, due to the fact it is very effective for tiles that require that high degree of water resistance. You would choose this type of grout for your bathroom project. If you choose this type of grout be prepared to work fast, as this dries incredibly quickly.

Epoxy tile grout

We recommend dividing the grout into sections, as using it on small areas at a time. One great advantage about this product is it comes in a range of colours; this is ideal if you are looking to match your grout to your tile colours or choosing a contrast colour to create added design interest to your room.

Sanded Cement Grout

This works similarly to your cement grout but has more water resistance qualities. This type of grout is ideal for bathrooms or to be used around kitchen countertops. If your tiles have grout lines larger than ⅛ inch, then this product is ideal. This means that there is no risk of the grout shrinking, due to the presence of sand used within the grout. This will provide extra strength to the joints between the tiles and make your structure long-lasting.

If you have stone/ceramic tiles, then this grout would suit, we would recommend avoiding this type of grout on marble tiles as it could damage. The downside to this product is it can attract dirt, so regular cleaning would be needed.

Caulking Grout

This grout is perfect for those tough to reach corners, as it can be squeezed from a tube, or you could use a caulking gun.

Tile Grout Repair & Maintenance

It may come to a time where your grout becomes damaged, this is usually due to cracking. There are two ways you can repair your grouting to remove those unsightly cracks.

Using Caulk To Fill Gaps

We mentioned this type of grout a little earlier. If you choose this method, you should start by removing any loose grout with a grout saw. Then, apply the caulk gently over the cracks, use a plastic spoon to smooth this down. Or you can wet your fingers and smooth over. You will need to allow 48 hours for this to dry. Caulk comes in a variety of colours, so choose the one that best matches your previous grouting.

Regrouting The Damaged Area

If the area of damage is slightly larger, then this should be your method of choice. Firstly, begin by cleaning the area with warm water and one-part vinegar ratio. Use your grout saw to remove all of the damaged grout, then remove any dirt and dust from the jointing area.

Next, dampen the tiles with water, and use a paper towel to remove any puddles that lie in the gaps. Mix your chosen grout adhesive and apply at an angle using the grout float to fill the gaps completely. You’ll need to clean away any excess grouting and leave for 15-30 minutes.

After this time, you should take a damp sponge to remove any excess grout from the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s guide and let the grout set firmly. After this, use a dry cloth to polish off any residue on your tiles as you have done previously.

How to Clean Tile Grout

Tiles may be easy to keep clean, but grout can be a little trickier to keep on top of. This is because homeowners have to contend with mould and mildew or perhaps staining if your tiling is in the kitchen, so it’s important to keep on top of your cleaning.

Cleaning your grout requires minimal products, all you will need is a bucket of warm water and an old toothbrush. Start by scrubbing the grout with the brush using small, circular motions.

clean tile grout

If the staining is a little tougher, then we suggest using equal parts of vinegar and water to try and battle the trickier stains and mould. Again, using your stiff brush in circular motions to remove the mould.

We recommend keeping on top of cleaning your grout at least once a week to keep it looking fresh and tidy. To do this, take a spray bottle and add your one-part vinegar and water. Spray this onto your grout and wipe your grout down with a clean cloth. You can also try spraying a small amount of alcohol onto the grout to keep mildew and any mould at bay. This will really help with keeping up the appearance of your home and your new grout feeling and looking fresh!


Can I Regrout Tiles Without Removing Old Grout?

You would need to check the manufacture’s guide on the grouting already in place to see if this is possible. You will need to properly clean the grout area first, this will allow the new grout to bond with the old, keeping your structure secure. Your current grouting needs to be deep enough so that grout will fill and stay in the joint.

How Much Tile Grout Do I Need?

We suggest using an online grout calculator to work out how much grout you will need. Firstly, you will need to measure your tile length, tile width, joint depth and joint width. Once you have these measurements input them on the online calculator. We advise measuring everything in mm, and also adding 10% extra onto your final total.

How Long Does It Take For Grout To Dry?

In most cases, we suggest allowing 24 hours for the grout to dry completely. Check with your manufacture's instructions to get a more definitive answer.

How Long Should Grout Last Before Cracking?

With the right type of grout chosen for your specific room and type of tile, your grout should last for a minimum of 10 years before cracking.

What Is The Best Tool To Remove Grout?

We recommend using an electric grout remover, as they are easy to control, compact and lightweight. This tool is far less labour intensive than a grout rake, and perfect if you have a larger area of grout to remove.
Ready to get a price for your home improvement project?
Get started

Over 1 million homeowners and over 50,000 tradespeople
use MyJobQuote nationwide each year