Guide to changing grout
Changing grout runs the risk of damaging adjacent tiles, however when necessary, grout can be changed relatively easily and there are a wide range of tools, tips and tricks that can ensure that any damage is minimised.
How can I change the colour of the grout around tiles that I already have?
Typically, a dedicated grout rake can be used to help scrape out the grout from the joint, however, a Stanley blade is suitable.
Another trusted tool that can be utilised is masking tape. Placing around the edge of the tile helps to avoid any accidental scratching as well as providing some support and guidance for the grout rake/Stanley blade.
If you are looking to change the colour of the grout, then you will need to prep a clean surface for the new grout to adhere to. The first 3mm of old grout should be removed, this will also help to avoid any colour bleeding from the existing grout. Upon the full removal of the grout, a hoover should be used to make sure the area is clean and free from dust.
After cleaning, the new grout can be applied in the same way as if it was being applied for the first time. It is vital to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing and applying the grout.
What steps do I take when changing grout?
- Clean the area so that it is free from dust and remove enough of the existing grout. This should be 3mm but depending on how thick the tile is; it could go up to 6mm as this will offer the grout a firmer base to adhere to.
- Use masking tape to isolate the area as required.
- Take extra caution if the tiles are made of natural stone as they are more brittle than porcelain tiles.
What tools and materials are needed to remove existing grout?
A dedicated grout rake or a Stanley blade is best for removing existing grout. Grout rakes can be both mechanical and electric. Any electric grout rake is usually 240V and has variable speeds.
The Rubi Grout Remover helps to remove grout surrounding ceramic and porcelain tiles. It is usable with 1, 2 or 3 plates depending on the size of the grout joint needing to be removed. With an ergonomic handle and two electroplated tungsten carbide plates, it is highly resistant to abrasion giving it a longer life.
Taping off the area provides a visual guide for removing the grout and gives rigidity to the edge of the tile, protecting it from chipping and damage. Always be cautious when using mechanical and electrical options.
Apply firm and steady pressure with the tool and scrape away the remaining grout to a depth of at least 3mm below the joint. It will be better for the new grout to set if more of it is scraped away.
Never apply new grout on top of old without excavating a minimum 3mm recess.
How do you make up a new grout colour and apply it?
Manufacturers like BAL and Mapei offer ranges of ready-made coloured grouts that can range from white and grey to blues, pinks, greens and yellows.
The new grout should be a dry mix cementitious grout and be mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Best results will be achieved with an electric mixer to ensure a good consistency.
Using a grout float at a 45-degree angle, apply the grout to the joints by pushing it in. Make sure it's applied in a consistent direction to avoid grout being pulled from the joints.
It is important to allow the grout to cure and dry before wiping down. When it comes to this stage, wipe with a clean sponge and water by simply washing down the face of the entire tile surface, making sure that all of the residue has been removed.
In some cases, a dusty residue can be left on the face of the tile even after following the steps above. In this case, allow the grout to fully cure and dry, then wash the tiles down with a grout residue remover such as Lithofin KF Cement Residue Remover.
How do you match grout colour to wall paint?
The internet has some advice around creating your own coloured grout by adding acrylic paint. This is technically possible, however, we don't recommend this as it will affect the integrity and performance of the grout as well as voiding any warranty on products like tile backer boards and on the grout itself.
We hope you have found this short guide on changing grout useful and that it has answered any queries you might have. Why not check out our selection of grouts and tiles below?