Everyone will know exactly what I am talking about when the grout between your bathroom tiles starts to turn black and smell. It can be unsightly, leave an odour and cause serious water ingress leading to serious damage and leaving you out-of-pocket. In the 8 years of being a plumber/tiler, mouldy grout and mouldy weak silicone is the leading cause for serious leaks and water damage to flats below.
When the grout in your shower or around your bath gets this mouldy and black, cracks start to form and will be letting in water to the plaster board behind, which will then suck it up like a sponge and create more damage as well as costing you A LOT more money.
This can go unnoticed for years if you do not know the tell-tale signs and smells, by which time it’s too late and the down stairs ceiling has fallen in. I have seen it SO many times and I feel most people don’t realise how much damage it can cause or realise how easy it is to fix. These two main points are why I’m bringing this to your attention and have included a few ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos to show you exactly how it can not only save you money but completely transform your grubby, smelly bathroom back to how it first was all those years ago.
I feel a lot of people waste a heap of money on completely re-tiling the areas in question. Re-grouting is a cost-effective D.I.Y. strategy to alleviate the problem and leave your bathroom much easier on the eye and nose. There are many reasons why re-grouting is a preferred option over re-tiling, including cost, time frames, and the time the shower would be out of action while works being completed.
The re-grouting process is simple, takes a few hours, leaves it 100 percent watertight, and makes your bathroom look and smell brand new again, all for under £100. Sound good?
Well in this article we will be examining exactly how to carry out this project and the key benefits it has including the reasons why hiring a professional could actually save you money in long run.
Tools required (all can be bought from your local DIY store)
- Grout float
- Waterproof anti mould grout for showers and wet rooms
- Mixing tub
- Mixing knife or mixing attachment to drill
- Bosch 180e multi cutter with grout cutter attachment
- Tiling sponge
- Anti mould silicone (if sealant looks black and mouldy)
- Grout spray sealant from any good tile store
- Dust mask
- Silicone (anti mould)
- Silicone gun
- Masking tape
How to do it
Before commencing work you want to put on your dust mask, gloves and goggles. Safety at work is everything.
- So to start off you want to begin by attaching your grout removal blade to your bosch or dremel multi cutter and slowly cut up all the affected grout lines cutting away the grout until you can see the original colour again, or if you choose you could cut out all of affected grout back to the plaster board depending on severity of condition.
- Wipe down all the dust from the cutting making sure to get the sponge right into the grout lines removing all dust and debris as the grout will not stick if left alone.
- Mix up your grout following manufacturers guidelines. Using your mixing knife scoop some grout onto the end or side of grout float and start working in a diagonal sweeps pushing the grout into the lines needing renewed going over each line a few times to make sure has filled the full depth of line. Not filling the full depth can result in cracking and water ingress.
- Leave for 10-15 minutes depending on manufacturers guidelines, then wipe down with rough side of grout sponge also can run finger down lines to make nice and smooth.
- Leave to dry for 24 hours, before finishing off with a translucent spray sealant to leave it 100 percent water proof for years to come.
Renewing your silicone sealant around bath or shower
- Remove all old silicone using Stanley knife to cut the mains lines out then a single blade to scrape out the rest. Personally I have found this to be the easiest way to remove old silicone.
- Masking tape off top and bottom where the new lines are going to go
- First cut off the top of the silicone tube, attach nozzle, gauge how thick you think the bead needs to be and cut a 45 degree angle on the nozzle.
- Hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and while slowly compressing the trigger move slowly along the lines clicking off the gun whenever needing to stop. This in its self is really tricky but the masking tape stops the bead from going everywhere.
- Remove masking tape and lick your finger making sure it’s completely wet run your finger slowly along the silicone line, stopping and re licking if any silicone starts to stick to your finger. This should leave a nice smooth water tight seal.
Why to get a professional
There are many reasons why you should get a professional to carry out the work. First off is cost as they will already have all the tools required to do job, which saves you over £100 easily. Second is simply the fact that they have probably completed the exact same job over 100 times and will typically guarantee their work, giving you the peace of mind that no neighbour from downstairs will be knocking at your door shouting about their ceiling falling in. The professional’s experience also leaves the project with a higher quality finish. Convenience is also a major reason. Hiring a professional allows for you to relax and there’s no need for you to add another stressful project to a busy schedule, as the professional will give you a specific time frame to when the re-grouting job will be completed. Although working with grout sounds simple enough, it can be tricky knowing when to wipe down the grout after placing it, possibly leaving you with unwanted grout covering the face of the tiles permanently.
So now that you know the basics to re-grouting, I suggest you take a look at your own bathroom and work out if you feel you have the confidence to take on the job. If not, have peace of mind that it can be completed for a reasonable cost and call a professional.
Be sure to get in touch if you would like a no obligation quote.