When tiling, you place the tiles close to each other, as narrow a joint as possible, that is hip these days. To the delight of my girl, she can no longer see a joint. Broader joint was the trend in the past. Difficult to keep clean and it always becomes disgusting. The solution once was: paint!
She once spent a long evening doing this as an intern on my DIY program, after which I decided that she had failed miserably.
Now tile or grout paint is a very nice solution to give your kitchen or bathroom a simple freshening up or different look, especially if you are not very handy or do not have much time. But if you really cannot get your grout clean anymore, I choose to simply replace the grout. Indeed: replaced.
Removing a joint can be done manually, using a special joint scraper. Equipped with a kind of hard metal sharpening that you use to grind out the joint. You can work very precisely with this, but the disadvantage is that it is a fairly intensive and heavy job.
It can also be done by machine. “With a grinder”, I hear you think. That is possible, but it creates a lot of dust and it is difficult to work precisely with that device. I prefer to use a multi-tool with a grout scraper. Due to the oscillating effect from left to right you keep a lot of control over the machine, so you can remove the joint with great precision. Of course, this also releases dust, but that is easy to limit with a vacuum cleaner.
After removing and cleaning the joint, you can immediately apply a new one.
Grouting tiles again is not very difficult. The first step is to mix the joint mortar. Pay close attention to the mixing ratios. Grout that is too thin will run out and cause a lot of mess, grout that is too thick cannot be finished smoothly and gives a porous end result.
Tip: let the grout stand for a few minutes before using it, so that the grout can bond well.
Once the grout has set properly, apply the mixture diagonally to the tiles with a trowel or squeegee so that the grout is evenly washed. When the grout has dried to the point that it no longer flows, clean the tiles with a slightly damp sponge. During this cleaning, washing out, you also make your joints nice and smooth. Do not rub too hard, otherwise you will wipe the grout out again.
Tip: clean the sponge regularly with water to avoid getting the tiles dirty over and over again.
After cleaning it is wise to rub the surface with a dry cloth. This way you ensure that no grout remains.
You can see exactly how I replace joints on my YouTube channel Mulder Maakt.
We once bought a ceramic built-in soap dish somewhere and when I incorporated it into our existing tile wall in the kitchen, my girl kept calling out that I applied a different color of grout. Stubborn as I am, I ignored her. Unfortunately, she turned out to be right …