That bathroom tile once looked terrific, so newly laid contrast between tile and grout. You were so proud to show it off to all your guests.
But over time, grout becomes dull, stained and chipped. Tiles fade and look dated. When they do, it's time to refreshen or replace tile and grout.
If you love the tile, keep it. Refresh the grout to make that tile job look sparkling and new. If not, replace the flooring too. Here's how to refresh or replace tile and grout.
What you'll need
- Margin float
- Earplugs (if using power tools)
- Safety glasses
- Rotary tool (required for big re-grouting jobs)
- Manual grout removal tool with a carbide blade (for smaller spaces)
If also replacing tiles, you'll need:
- Tiles (measured and cut as required)
- Floor scraper
- Drop sheet (for debris)
- Notched trowel
- Thin-set mortar
And we're ready to do this!
Cut away the grout
First, put on your safety glasses. Now use your rotary tool or grout removal tool to loosen the grout between each tile. It should chip away and pull right out.
In either case, work slowly to avoid damaging your tiles. If at any point you feel you've taken on more than you can handle, contact a professional.
Mix & apply grout
Mix your grout in a bucket. Then apply it using your margin float. Let it set for 10 minutes. Then clean the tiles with your moist sponge.
And you're done. Don't your re-grouted tiles look fantastic! It really is that simple. But what if you want to replace the tiles? You'll add some extra steps in front of mix and grout.
Remove your tiles
After removing grout as described above, use a hammer to break a tile to remove it. Be careful not to cut yourself. Now use the chisel to remove the remaining tiles. The floor scraper helps you crack and lift the adhesive underneath.
Do a dry run
Here's a pro tip! Always place your tiles out dry to make sure they fit. Then make any adjustments.
This seems like a waste of time. But unless you've tiled hundreds of bathroom floors, adjustments are almost a certainty. And once you lay mortar, you'll have a limited time to work.
Apply your mortar & place tiles
Apply a thin layer of your thin-set mortar to a small area using your trowel. Then lay each tile over it, evenly spaced. Press down gently but firmly.
After laying tiles in a small area, repeat and lay more tiles until all tiles are laid. Wait 24 hours. Then mix and apply grout as described above.
Enjoy your new floor! And follow our blog for more home maintenance and repair tips.
45 FIELDSTONE LANE, Billerica, MA 01821
45 FIELDSTONE LANE, Billerica, MA 01821
Investment in real estate rental properties has many upsides. You can make great money long term. But as with any business, there are risks. Before you turn your condo or townhouse into a rental or invest in a house or duplex, consider the ramifications and consult professionals.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Do set up a legal entity to own your rental properties for you. This may be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation or Partnership. Don’t hold the property in your own name. This protects you from lawsuits and judgments.
- Don’t overspend on the property. Don’t overspend on upgrades or refurbishing.
- Do take care of the major systems such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roofs, in-ground sprinklers and garage doors.
- Do get the property inspected to make sure there is no hidden damage or problems you’ll need to fix.
- Don’t buy your first rental without looking at it.
Dealing with Tenants
Owning a rental property does not guarantee you’ll have immediate profits. If you go several months unoccupied, you still must pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance. If you don’t know how to go about getting tenants, consider using a property management service. The small monthly fees you pay usually make up for months with no rent or bad renters.
Another advantage of using a service is that they vet your tenants for you. They run the credit checks and make the phone calls to employers and banks. The only thing worse than no tenant is a bad tenant. Bad tenants damage property, renege on paying their lease payments, and cost you money if you decide to evict them.
As with any home, there’s no actual way to anticipate all the things that could go wrong. Sometimes, one failing system causes problems with other systems. For example, electrical malfunctions can damage the water heater, leading to plumbing failure. A leaky roof might trigger the AC to go out. Don’t run your rental business on a shoestring. Keep funds available to fix anything that goes wrong so that you don’t lose your investment.
If owning rental property is your goal, talk to an experienced real estate professional. They can guide you toward profitable properties, introduce you to property management companies and help you on your way.