Jack Willard wrote:Re-grouting is not THAT hard or expensive. If you would like to do it up right, purchase a grout line scraper / removal tool for like $8 at the hardware store. It is like a screwdriver handle with a triangle shaped tip. Scrape the existing grout lines with this tool to remove as much as you can. Or, considering the hexagonal shape of your tiles, you might want to use a rotary Dremel type tool to carefully remove the existing grout. If so, use a face mask! The scraper works best on straight grout lines.
Using a plastic mop bucket (easy to just water rinse clean in the yard), mix up just enough dry powder grout and water to apply in less than say 30 minutes, before it starts to harden up. Mix it up good with a drill motor and mixing blade. The consistancy should be about that of a thick pea soup, so it can be easily push floated into the grooves. You can buy a pre-colored bag of dry grout at Home Depot or Lowes to match or contrast with your existing tile.
Rubber float the grout mix into the grooves using a figure eight movement. Push it into the grooves and fill flush to the top of the tiles. When the grout is still damp and started to harden, in like twenty minutes or so, use a just dampened grout sponge to remove the excess grout. A lightly pressing circular motion works well. Rinse the sponge clean very often. And, dump the sponge rinse water often (not down the sink!) and refill. Let it dry overnight.
The next day, remove the grout haze from the tiles with a pretty wet sponge. Rinse the sponge clean very often. It will take two or three times to get the haze off. When it is clean and thoroughly dry, don't forget to apply a grout line sealer, or later you will wish that you had.
As for the previous suggestion to caulk at adjacent surface meeting areas, why? It is just easy to grout to them and then it all matches. And going back to try and fix where someone has used that silicon-based caulk is a real pain. It's very difficult to get that stuff out of what should have been a grout line!
On those loose countertop edge tiles, get a bag of fast setting mortar mix. It hardens in about forty-five minutes. You won't need much of this mortar mix, but you can use the rest later when you replace the countertop. Mix up just enough, to a not-runny but certainly wet paste consistancy. Remove the loose tiles and clean off the old mortar. Re-mortar them well and press them back into place, using pennies to hold the spaces between tiles. Remove the pennies before the mortar sets-up completely and don't fill the grout lines with this mortar. Let the mortar dry overnight before grouting.
I had to scrape the grout lines and re-grout eight rooms of floor tile. The PO had not fully filled any of the grout lines! Then, I sealed every single grout line to prevent dirt build-up and dis-coloring. All of the tiled floors and grout lines are cream colored. Now it looks great. Well, okay, I would not have picked a cream color myself, or have even tiled most of those rooms. But once they have been tiled, you are pretty much stuck with it. All of the other room floors, and the stairs, were done in engineeered laminate hardwood planks(1200sf). Now THOSE areas look REALLY good!
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