For Tile And Grout Restoration Problems Help Is A Phone Call Away.

You are welcome to contact me with any tile or grout restoration problems. If your mind is hard set for DIY, I guess there is no stopping you. You might even succeed, but please ask all the important questions first. A short conversation with me could reveal tens of important questions you were unaware of. Calling is way cheaper than an unpleasant situation caused by your lack of technical expertise…

Tiles are easy to damage beyond repair. People keep on inventing new ways to destroy tiles regularly. Some 30% of my work consists of salvaging jobs that have been badly messed up by amateurs. Let’s have a look at the most common ‘repairs’.

1/Grout restoration and bleach

Bleach used incorrectly can severely stain grout. Even white grout is not completely safe. White comes in many shades. Yes, it’s possible to make a white stain on the white surface. I recommend that silicone joints be cleaned with bleach to keep mould at bay. However, there are certain rules to follow. Bleach left on the grout without rinsing will almost certainly discolor it. Such a mistake can only be corrected by colour sealing.

2/ Leaky shower “repair”

This one is trendy. People cover grout joints with silicone. It does nothing except complicate a proper shower leak repair. Silicone DOES NOT adhere to porous substrates that absorb moisture. It is guaranteed to come off the grout surface. When it does, it forms pockets that collect dirt. The grout under silicone becomes much dirtier than in any other places. Cleaning such a mess takes longer than cleaning even the dirtiest grout. It is sometimes necessary to use special materials dissolving silicone.

3/ Cracked grout “repairs”

The second most common nuisance is grouting over existing grout. It always amazes me how grout can be mistaken for an adhesive. This product does not have any adhesive properties. It cannot possibly stay attached to the old grout surface for any decent length of time. If the surface of the existing grout was relatively rough and clean, a new layer can anchor quite well. Unfortunately, why? Well, it only mimics grout. It is doomed to delaminate and fall away after a couple of years at best. The problem is that such a mock-up can perfectly mimic grout. Especially if it is covered with dirt, it might be hard to identify for quotation purposes during a quick inspection.

We guarantee the adhesion of our sealer coat to grout, not to imitation of grout. If you do know that your grout has been improperly re-grouted (as described), you better tell us during our initial inspection. We guarantee the adhesion of our sealer coat to real grout, not imitation. In the event that you know that your grout has been improperly re-grouted (as described), you better inform us during our initial inspection.

How can you tell if tiles have been properly regrouted? Regrouting is the process of installing new grout AFTER removing the old grout. If, at some point, your house was not full of dust and the joint between tiles were empty, someone has just sanded the surface and then put a layer of grout on top. By the way, on top of dust as no vacuuming can remove fine dust from grout pores.

4/ Sealing the grout

Providing the person has a little know-how and is handy, there is nothing wrong with it. This can work ONLY in a situation when the grout is NEW and does not require professinal cleaning (a few days after a tiling job has been finished and untouched). The Internet is full of recipes for cleaning grout. More than half of them are insanely stupid. It is important to distinguish between cleaning to change the appearance of a surface and cleaning to prepare the surface for sealer coating. The first one is achieved with some back pain and stamina. A surface preparation of old grout without specialized equipment is an absolute NO-GO.

The only way to restore a failing sealer coat is to chemically strip it before applying a new one. The process is long, smelly, and expensive. In comparison, regular grout restoration is half the cost. Professionally applied epoxy sealers can last as long as 15 years. You don’t want to do it any earlier than that. Yet, I have repaired a lot of jobs where the sealer coat has failed after less than two years. Do yourself a favour and stay away from sealing or “specialists” armed with scrubbing brushes instead of dirt extraction equipment.