Which is better mortar or silicone
Mending and replacing tile joints - what to watch out for
Damaged tile joints are not only an aesthetic problem: moisture penetrates the floor through the porous material, which promotes the formation of mold. Renewing unsightly tiles requires a little patience and the right equipment.
As a rule, tiles are more durable and robust than the grout. You should therefore definitely renew the mortar as soon as it becomes porous and begins to loosen. To do this, the entire filling compound must be scraped out. This requires care and the right tools.
No special tools required
In most cases, you do not need any special tools to repair the joints. A spatula or a joint knife is sufficient. A mini milling cutter with a special attachment can also be useful. This means that the mortar can be removed quickly and easily.
Chemical means of removing tile grout is often aggressive and highly irritating. This can damage the material of the tiles or the substrate.
In addition to the optimal tool, you also need the right filling compound. The color is particularly important here. It should be the same as the rest of the tile joints, unless you want to repair the joints in the entire bathroom.
The repair costs are low due to the minimal equipment and the relatively low material requirements.
Preparation: cleaning the tile joints
Before you renew or correct the tile joints, you should clean them and the joints. Because repair compound does not adhere optimally to contaminated surfaces.
Scrape out joints
First, remove the loose bits of old grout. If the joints are silicone, you can use a joint knife or spatula. With mortar, you can use mini milling cutters with special attachments. With them, the joints can be easily scraped out. However, the dust generated during this work is quite strong, which is why you should absolutely wear a respirator and protective goggles. It is best to open a window as well.
It is best to cover objects in the room with foil to protect them from the dust.
If you are renewing the joints on a wall, you should work from top to bottom. This will prevent the old grout from building up in the joints that have already been scraped out.
Then vacuum the joints and tiles. You can also use a damp sponge to remove dust and dirt from the joints. It is important that the sponge is only slightly damp. Too much liquid would penetrate the floor and under the tiles, so that mold can form here.
If the dirt cannot be removed in this way, dissolve a little washing-up liquid in the cleaning water. Wipe thoroughly with clean water to prevent detergent from sticking to the grout. The damp areas should first dry before you start mending.
Danger: Do not use too much water for this either to prevent mold formation.
Find the right grout
Use grout to repair the tile joints. Pay attention to the original color of the joints so that your repair work is not visible later. In order to find the optimal color, you can break out a piece of grout before visiting the hardware store or specialist retailer and take it with you to match.
Important: The wrong grout can impair functionality in wet rooms. If you want to repair joints in the bathroom, use an extra water-repellent material for wet rooms. Connection joints to the bathtub or shower are repaired with silicone because they have to be elastic.
Correctly repair the joints
Smaller holes in tile joints can be repaired with grout and spatula. To keep cleaning down to a minimum, don't use too much mending compound. Put a fingernail full of grout on each of your spatula and pull it evenly over the holes.
Grout can damage the skin. It is best to wear suitable household or rubber gloves for this work.
Use a household sponge to clean the surrounding tiles. Cleaning should be done quickly, as the grout can hardly be removed with water after it has hardened. Make sure that the new grouting does not get wet and then allow the worked areas to dry.
If, contrary to expectations, it turns out after the drying time of at least one day that the color of the new grout does not match the original color of the grout, adjust the repaired areas with tile grout.
Renew tile joints completely
If the joints to be repaired are not isolated, you should consider re-grouting: Use a spatula or screwdriver to scrape the old grout out of the joint. Then clean the tiles and joints with lukewarm water. When you move on to mending, spread the compound diagonally to the course of the tile. Repeat the process until there are no more empty spaces between the tiles.
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