regrout over old grout?

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regrout over old grout?

Postby Jaimesoldshack » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:29 pm

My kitchen counter (surrounding the sink) is probably from the 40's or 50's, with large (2 1/2" wide) hexagonal tile. The grout is not cracking or loose for the most part, but it sits a lot lower than the tile and the tiles are set about 3/16" apart. Water and debris easily get stuck between them, and with no straight line to the sink, it's really annoying. Can I re grout over the existing grout to fill it in to the the height of the tile? I'm probably going to remove the whole thing in a few years and just want to clean it up. Thanks for your help. J
Jaimesoldshack
 

grout

Postby Frank » Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:26 am

You could, but thats not the right way to do it. If you do, a few tips to make it last longer( may last 3-4 yrs): use any sharp, narrow, metal, ( razor knife ,screw driver,ice pick....)and scrape the surface of the grout line down the center.Then clean the tile and grout with a tile and grout cleaner.then grout it.
That is less time consuming than doing it the right way,but it won't last as long.
Frank
 

Postby Jaimesoldshack » Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:49 pm

thanks Jack,
I assume the right way would be to get one of those saws and completely remove the old grout? I think I could that, but do I have to re position the tiles?
Some more questions, (if you don't mind):
- what sort of adhesive should I use for the tiles that are along the edge? They have a squared shape and sit on the front of the counter, one edge on the sink and the other on the wood of the the cabinet. Some of them are loose and it looks like water could get between the sink and the tile at the top.
-what should I use in between these tiles where they touch the sink and the counter? Should I use the same grout? or caulk of some sort?
-lastly (I hope) should I use the ready made grout or the kind you have to mix with water?
Thanks again, J
Jaimesoldshack
 

tile

Postby Frank » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:18 pm

You shouldn't have to reposition any tiles. Sometimes a few might come loose when removing the grout especially if water got underneath.
The square tiles on the front, are they a bull nose tile? One solid tile that sits on the counter top and the face of the cabinet? Any that are loose remove them and clean off the back of the tile and where they go on the counter. If you are going to replace it in a few years, just use liquid nail in a caulk gun to stick them back on, wait at least 5 days before grouting.
A general rule for tile when it meets up against another surface,( tub, sink,floor, ceiling....) is leave a 1/16th- 1/8th gap and don't grout it, caulk it. Any good kitchen/bath caulk will work.
As far as premix or mix your own, I always mix my own. I have never used premix.
I think the premix is just one more thing for the big home improvement companies to use in there 2-4 hr Sat. afternoon, do it youself, look how easy it is classes, to get homeowners to spend money.(Just my opinion)
Frank
 

Grout

Postby Jack Willard » Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:05 pm

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!
Jack Willard
ImageOn the way to California in 1972
http://members.oldhouseweb.com/jack_willard/Index.html
Jack Willard
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 11:05 am
Location: Grass Valley, California

Postby Tom » Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:44 pm

I think you want to caulk where floor meets walls, because most homes, specially old homes, move and cause cracks. So I've been told.....
Tom
Tom
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:10 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Postby Jaimesoldshack » Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:00 pm

Thanks so much for all the advice, it sounds quite do-able to do it right! I see another weekend project coming up...And, I as think about it, I may just keep the counter for a bit longer, it has a nice old feel to it.
Jaimesoldshack
 

tile

Postby Frank » Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:59 pm

Jack, the reason for caulk at a place where tile meets another surface is to allow for contraction and expansion, especially in a kitchen or bath. Thats why it shouldn't be grouted. That silicone caulk is easily removed.
Frank
 

Re: Grout

Postby jingram » Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:38 am

we have purchased a house built in 1928- it was/is in need of a lot of repair.
Before moving in we paid someone to retile the bathrooms- being fairly new at old house repairs, we allowed the plumber to find us a tile man. we are pleased with the appearance of the tile and feel like he did an adequate job- however, I have recently noticed that the grout/ caulk in the corners of the shower stall is starting to pull away from the tile leaving areas subject to leaking onto the newly plasterd ceiling below. My questions are is it grout or caulk in the corners, my thinking is caulk because it is much softer than the rest of the grouted area, and is this common or should I hire another tile man to come correct the problem. we leave in Augusta, GA which is normally a very warm place, winters are very mild however we just experienced some extremely cold weather, could this have anything to do with the seperation? The bathroom wall is on an exterior side of the house. any suggestions are welcome
Julianne





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!
jingram
 

grout

Postby Frank » Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:03 pm

jingram, what you describe is exactly why you use caulk where tile meets another surface. Yes the temperature is causing the seperation, (contraction/expansion). No it is not normal for the caulk to pull away, there are several causes for that: wrong kind of caulk, it wasn't applied properly, the walls and tile subsurface were not secured properly to prevent to much movement. How old is the tile job?? You should reseal bath/ shower tile every 3-5 yrs depending on amount of use and inspect the caulk for signs of failure. Generally with all things being right the caulk should last 5-8 yrs.
Frank
 

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