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Grout can discolor in time if not maintained properly. When you shower or bathe, water is splashed inside the shower and bath area and is mixed with soap, your body oils and minerals that are found in water itself. When you mix them all together, a dirty film can develop over the tiles, grout and tub. Grout can also diminish and crack in time if you use bleach or ammonia. The best way to maintain tiles and grout in your shower and bath area is to mix water, baking soda and clear vinegar in a pail or basin and wipe your grout and tiles.
TIP: Use a small cloth or sponge daily to remove excess water from tiles, shower glass doors and tub prior to you leaving the bath tub area after you showered or bathe.
Grouting Floor Tiles
Grouting floor tiles can be very tiresome on your back and knees. Always wear protective knee pads and a back rap when grouting a floor. Use a grout floater to install grout between the floor tiles. In most cases you will use sanded grout for 1/8 inch space or greater between the floor tiles. For a space smaller that 1/8 inch, use a non-sanded grout. With your grout floater push the grout into the space between the tiles only. Make sure that all the space is filed with the grout. You may add a little water if the grout becomes dry and hard to move around.
When the grout appears to be dry between the spacers of the floor tiles, start sponging up the excess grout on the floor tiles before the grout becomes too hard to remove. You may need to rinse a second time with clean water. Wait tile tiles and grout is dry (2 – 4 hours) before using a cloth or paper towel to remove the haze from the floor tiles.
First remove old grout with a utility knife or a grout saw. This is a hands-on job; do not use a machine to remove grout. Take it slow when using the utility knife or grout saw when removing the old grout, you do not want to extend beyond the grout line and scratch the tile. It is better that you remove as much of the old grout that you can in the shower and tub area. You want to re-grout an entire area so it doesn’t look like a tile repair job.
TIP: If the remaining grout between the tiles is black, this can be a sign of mold. Use some bleach to remove the mold in the remaining grout of the tile before you apply new grout.
I like to use powdered grout because it’s easier to apply and remove. You can use a polymer modified grout (just mix with water) or regular grout which you should mix with an acrylic latex additive. You can purchase a grout floater which will spread the grout onto the tiles. Mix the grout until it’s easy to move but not too watery or dry. Place a small amount of grout on your floater. Work the grout between the tiles not over the entire tile. The object is to fill in the area between the tiles and avoid spreading grout all over the tile.
TIP: Work a small area at a time. Wipe the excess grout off the tiles with a sponge and clean water before grout hardens. Wear plastic gloves when you grout.