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Old 10-23-2009, 08:45 PM  
Staci_25
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Default regrout hex flooring

Currently the hex tile floor in our bathroom has white grout (thats been there since 1950).... is there a way to regrout the floor with black grout without digging out every single bit of grout around those itty bitty tiles?



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Old 10-23-2009, 10:47 PM  
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Staci:

It's just not feasible to regrout a mosaic tile floor because of the tremendous amount of grout that you'd need to remove. It is however, possible to retile over your existing ceramic tile.

But, before you do anything, is it possible for you to open an account at www.photobucket.com or any of the other free internet image hosting web sites, borrow a digital camera and get a friend or computer geek to upload photos of your floor so that you can provide links to those pictures so that we can see it.

You see, I bought an apartment block about 22 years ago, and at the time I bought it, it was cheap because it was in very poor condition. Most of the bathrooms had deteriorated plastic tiles on them, and those that had ceramic tiles were poorly done and were covered in mildew. But, I found that I was able to clean up that mildew quite well so that those bathrooms looked quite nice again. And, I have since torn down all that old plastic and ceramic tiling and redone all of the bathrooms in new ceramic tile.

What I'm thinking is that if I could see the progress being made by your posting pictures of the floor after each step, it may very well be possible to restore the appearance of the floor to an acceptable level so that it wouldn't be necessary to regrout it. Or, failing that, to restore the appearance as much as possible, and then seal the grout so that it doesn't deteriorate from that level any further.



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Old 10-24-2009, 08:10 AM  
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its not so much a necessity as a desire.... the white will continually need to be cleaned and the black makes the tiles "pop" so much more.... one of those things I want to do but I'm still weighing the desire against the work!

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Old 10-25-2009, 12:03 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staci_25 View Post
the white will continually need to be cleaned and the black makes the tiles "pop" so much more....
No, the white grout won't continually need to be cleaned. Once you clean it well, then you "seal" it with an acrylic grout sealer. That acrylic grout sealer forms a clear plastic film over tiles and grout alike. That clear plastic film prevents mildew from growing on the grout from then on.

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one of those things I want to do but I'm still weighing the desire against the work!
If I were you, I'd clean a small area (say 1 square foot) of your floor with a phosphoric acid based toilet bowl cleaner using a nylon bristle scrub brush to open up the surface porosity. Clean up the acid with water and allow several days to dry. Then, scrub the cleaned area with bleach straight out of the jug. Allow ample time for the bleach to penetrate into the grout, and repeat if it appears to be whitening the grout. See what you think of the way the floor looks then.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:55 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
N...............
If I were you, I'd clean a small area (say 1 square foot) of your floor with a phosphoric acid based toilet bowl cleaner using a nylon bristle scrub brush to open up the surface porosity. Clean up the acid with water and allow several days to dry. Then, scrub the cleaned area with bleach straight out of the jug. Allow ample time for the bleach to penetrate into the grout, and repeat if it appears to be whitening the grout. See what you think of the way the floor looks then.
As always, good advice from Nestor. Make sure that you wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when working with bleach or acid bowl cleaner.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:49 PM  
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Also, never mix the bleach and the acid; use the two separately.

If you mix bleach (NaOCl) with an acid, the gas that comes bubbling off is chlorine gas. In tiny quantities it's not gonna hurt you, but in larger quantities it can do serious damage to your lungs. As long as you rinse the acid off with water before applying the bleach, the amount of chlorine gas produced is gonna be miniscule. Even if you don't rinse the acid off with clean water, the amount of chlorine gas is gonna be small, but don't play with this because you might start having lung problems later on in life if you mess with it too much.

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Old 10-26-2009, 08:32 AM  
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Staci - Its been suggested to tile over the old with new tile and grout with your desired look. This can be a good approach and not too difficult. it does create a step up into the bathroom and will nesecesitate a special extender under the toilet. You may also have issues with vanities and other aspects of the bathroom. My preference is to remove the old tile. This too can create challenges. If its set into a mortar bed it can be be quite a job. I have been there.

I wonder if the grout could be dyed? Sure enough a google search turned up this Home Page I know nothing about dying grout but it seems it may do what you want. Good luck.

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Old 10-26-2009, 04:11 PM  
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pics to follow tonight of the entire apt

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Old 10-26-2009, 08:09 PM  
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Pics are up now... all the "pre" pics of the apt... as the previous tennants left it... we've got a mess on our hands Apt remodel -

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Old 10-26-2009, 09:25 PM  
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Staci:

I still see some "white" (?) grout on the left side at the closest end of the tub.

Here's how to clean the grout:

Get a rubber squeegee, a nylon bristle scrub brush (a brush for cleaning dentures works well and is available at any pharmacy) and some phosphoric acid based toilet bowl cleaner with a phosphoric acid content between 15 and 20 percent (approx.).

In an inconspicuous area (like behind/under the door) squirt some toilet bowl cleaner down on the floor and spread it with the squeegee so that the toilet bowl cleaner is removed to the grout lines. Scrub the grout lines and re-squeegee to put the toilet bowl cleaner back in the grout lines. Keep doing that until you see the tile coming clean. Then, when clean, wipe up the toilet bowl cleaner with a sponge, rinse with clean water, and wipe up the rinse water with a sponge.

To clean the tile surfaces, use a Magic Eraser dipped in a solution of Mr. Clean in water:



Before you do anything drastic, like start regrouting that tile floor, or tiling over that tile floor, I'd give that tile floor a good cleaning as described above, and see what it looks like then.



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