Nothing leaches the sheen from tiles faster than grimy grout. Though we use grout to embed the spaces between tiles, securing the tile to its base, over time the grout can become dirty. This makes it a breeding ground for mould and aesthetically unattractive. Without appropriate maintenance, tiles can quickly take on an unsatisfactory, unkempt appearance that detracts from the beauty of a bathroom suite.
There are various ways to remove grout, either by acquiring the help of a professional, or by taking the matter into your own hands. Here is one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to return your tiles to their spick and span former glory:
Prepare your tools
A highly efficient way to clean away old, discoloured grout is to scrape it away. Grout scrapers and saws are useful to clean away the build up of grout on a frequent basis as they enable precision when it comes to extraction. Grout saws can be used to create incisions between tiles and the scraper does the job of extracting the grout accumulated there. You simply need to dig the scraper in and drag it along the length of the grout. Chisel and hammers can be used in place of saws and scrapers but the latter is preferable because the process is easier and more accurate, enabling you to strip away old grout effortlessly. For larger tiles, power tools may be necessary, but work in much the same way. They simply allow you to make more of an impact more quickly. Smaller jobs work well when tackled with hand held tools allowing you accuracy and full control.
Grout is a stubborn substance and is also very hard. When it is removed, it tends to fly in all directions. Ensure your eyes and mouth are protectively covered with goggles and dust masks. It’s also beneficial to cover appliances, fixtures and accessories that may be damaged during the removal process. Tiles can also be damaged an accidental meeting with a scraper or saw. Using tape to cover the edges of tiles ensures you don’t accidentally scuff them in the process.
Ensure all of the grout is gone
No matter how effectively you scrape, small remnants of grout may remain. An easy way to do so is to use a hammer and chisel to knock out persistent grout that refuses to be scraped away. Remember that persistence is key. Some grout is a little unrelenting, but there is always a way to shake it lose.
Keep the lines clean
Now that your tiles are grout free you’ll want to wash them down with water to ensure that all debris and residue is well and truly gone. If the tiles are inside your shower you might want to hose down your tiles or elsewhere in the bathroom scrub them with a scouring pad. Make sure you do a thorough job of cleaning away any excess. Wipe down all tiles because they do tend to take a bit of a battering. Grout residue is so effective at securing tiles because it hardens so quickly, but you definitely don’t want it to harder over your newly de-grouted tiles.
Remember that the tiling process doesn’t stop after application. You will always need to maintain the health and look of your tiles with frequent de-grouting to prevent discolouration. It’s quite an easy process once you start but you can always enlist the assistance of a professional tradesman if necessary.