A Guide to Regrouting, Retiling, and Grout Cleaning
When it comes to any home project, your first train of thought should be to analyse the situation. This allows you to carefully evaluate your options and pick one that best suits your needs. The same thing applies to tiled floors where you’ll eventually be facing a decision of whether to regrout, retile, or to get a professional grout cleaning service. The question now is, how do you know which of these three options fits your current situation?
In this article, we’ll be discussing when you should regrout, when to retile, and when to call the experts for help on grout cleaning services.
When to regrout
Regrouting is the process of removing the old grout and replacing it with a new one. This helps to prevent inconsistencies between tile sizes and protect the tiles from getting damaged by moisture. There are a couple of telltale signs that indicate your tiled floors need a regrouting service and these are:
- The grout is crumbling apart – This is a clear warning sign that the grout needs replacement. Grout starts to crack due to age and in some cases, due to improper grouting. The process of regrouting is fairly simple and the contractor will have no problems removing the old grout since it’s already crumbling apart.
- The grout is discoloured – Despite the grout having no signs of cracks or crumbles, you still might want to regrout them if they appear discoloured. This is because old grout tends to lose its colour and become susceptible to cracks and chips. Grout discolouration also occurs when spills have been left untreated or there’s just a lack of regular cleaning on the tiled floors.
- There’s visible mould growth – Cracked/damaged tiles create gaps where mould/mildew can take hold. If you notice an emergence of mould in your bathroom or kitchen, it’s because moisture has seeped underneath the tiles through the damaged grout.
When to retile
Retiling is a different story in and of its own. Most homeowners do it as part of a renovation project, but there are instances where you’ll need to retile your bathroom/kitchen floors due to unforeseen circumstances. Retiling is more labour intensive than regrouting since it requires removing all the tiles and replacing them altogether.
You can tell that your tiled floors need a new replacement by observing the following signs:
- The tiles are damaged – Depending on the extent of the damage, you will need to replace a section of your tiled floors it not the whole flooring itself. In most cases, minor tile issues can be addressed without the need for a major retiling.
- You want to switch things up – Perhaps you want to install a new layout or try a new tile pattern. If you wish to change things up, then you will need to retile your flooring. Some people choose to just lay down the new tiles over the existing one for convenience, but this can cause major problems down the line if the old tiles have existing damages that weren’t addressed.
- Water damage has crept up – Constant moisture buildup underneath the tiles can weaken its underlayment and compromise the once water-stable base that your tiles have been laid on. You can tell a tiled floor is suffering from water damage when the tiles begin to shift loose and out of position. Excessive mould/mildew growth also means your tiled floors are bound for a replacement.
When to get grout cleaning services
Grout cleaning is different from regrouting and retiling in the sense that you don’t have to repair or replace anything. As the name suggests, grout cleaning is about removing the dirt, grime and stains from your tiled floors to make them look new again. We all know how difficult it is to keep grout clean, especially if there was no sealant applied after the routing process was completed. Keep an eye out for these signs to know if you need a professional grout cleaning service:
- Excessive limescale – Limescale is basically a buildup of calcium and magnesium, two minerals that are present in hard water. This creates a white, chalky film on top of your grout that’s not only unsightly but is also difficult to remove.
- Untreated spills – Kitchen backsplashes are prone to all kinds of stains such as oil stains, food stains, and the like. These stains can be a pain to remove once they’ve dried up. In this instance, a professional grout cleaning service is the best way to remove the stains and protect them from future spills.
The grout is unsealed – If the grout was not applied with a sealant after the installation, then it will absorb stains like a sponge. Grout cleaning services typically include a sealant application after the grout has been thoroughly cleaned. Some sealants come in coloured versions to alter the colour of the grout according to your preferences.