How to refresh tile grout

Scummy grout is the bane of many a bathroom, but the answer needn’t be demolition. Apply some D.I.Y. know-how to get your bathroom like new again.

Start by getting rid of grotty grout

Ceramic is one of the most robust materials around, but while your tiles might look as good as the day they were laid, grotty grout could be the unsightly blot that ruins the whole look of your bathroom. Cleaning or redoing your grout is no picnic, but the reward is an as-new space for the bargain price of pocket change and perspiration.

maxisil A product

First, we clean

The best tool here is elbow grease, but a useful grout-cleaning kit can help you out. Before you start, remember your safety gear, including safety glasses, gloves and a respirator kit – filthy grout is stubborn and requires some heavy-duty chemicals to shift. Give the tiles a good wipe before spraying on grout cleaner and leaving it to soak in. Use a stiff brush to scrub the grout, concentrating on mouldy areas.

If the grout is still a bit discoloured, you can use a grout pen like White Knight’s to refresh the look. Simply draw along the grout lines to give your tired tiles a fresh outline.

colour grout product

Back to base

If your grout is stained beyond repair, chipped or crumbling, the only option may be to start again. For smaller jobs, try a grout rake for easy removal, or arm yourself with a multi-tool if you’re doing the whole room. Re-grouting also gives you the opportunity to explore new colours, which can change the whole look of your bathroom.

Grouting tiles is a fairly straightforward job with a bit of know-how. The top tip from the pros is to swipe diagonally across the tiles to push grout into the gaps. Check out our video on 'how to grout wall tiles, then go forth and grout with confidence.

grout product

Seal the deal

If your tiles have been laid with epoxy grout, they do not need to be sealed. For other grout, however, sealing is a laborious job worth doing, as it prevents bacteria and mould from growing and will ensure your grout looks good for longer.

If you’re applying sealer to existing grout, make sure it’s clean and dry. If you’ve just regrouted the bathroom, leave the grout to cure for at least 72 hours before sealing. Apply sealer according to the manufacturer’s directions; some sealants can be used over both tiles and grout, while others can only be used on grout. Set aside time to do this once a year and your grout will keep its good looks for longer.

laundry tiles with grout

Get grouting

Head into your local Bunnings to get all the tools and materials you need to grout your next project.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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