There are times when I do tune in to blogs and podcasts like “Homebuilding and Renovating” and “We Buy Houses Radio” to get inspiration for new renovation projects. One of my favourite entries is the ‘Fix and Flip’ episode from We Buy Houses Radio hosted by Rick Otton. In that episode, Mr. Otton and his guests talked about cheap renovation projects people can do to increase the value of their investment property they wish to sell.
That gave me the idea to write this entry dealing with one of the more common homebuilding projects people do: tile renovations.
Tiled floor, whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, can be some of the most gorgeous flooring in a house.
After years of wear, it can also be the most cumbersome to clean, and the most decayed. Most tiles are connected and sealed with grout, which is a mortar used in households. There are two types: sanded and non-sanded. For larger spaces between tiles (more than .317 cm) you should use sanded grout. For anything smaller than that, non-sanded grout will work fine. When working on property renovation, re-grouting the floor tiles is a good place to start.
The first thing that you should do is collect your materials. As I enjoy doing home improvement projects with my wife, Michelle, we have quite a few of these items lying around the house. If you don’t have them handy, your local hardware store should carry them, for a relatively inexpensive price. You will need a utility knife, a ceramic chisel, a hammer, a caulk remover, tile sealant, grout, a trowel, a rubber grout float, and a tile sponge.
Next you should clean the tiles to remove any excess dirt or grime. When the tiles are clean, remove any existing grout. To do this, you should use the utility knife, chisel and hammer. Removing the existing grout will keep a consistent appearance and prevent future mould growth.
Once the old grout has been removed, apply a tile sealant. Tile sealant will take approximately 24 hours to dry, so make sure that you have enough time when you are beginning your property renovation project. Sealant covers the large pores in the tiles, serving to protect against decay and mould, as well as preventing the grout from sinking into the tile.
Third, you will mix the grout using your trowel and apply the grout to the joints along the tile. You should be very generous when applying the grout, as it is much easier to scrape off excess grout than add in extra grout later on down the road when everything has dried and settled. Pay special attention and go slowly around areas like the bathtub, sinks, and cabinets. It will not help your property renovation costs if you have to re-do the job later on down the road.
Once the grout has been applied, remove any excess grout from the tile edges by using the sharp edge of the rubber grout float. You should move the float diagonally to avoid pulling up the grout that you just laid in the joints.
Lastly, let the grout set for about ten minutes before cleaning up the tile joints. With a damp, not wet, sponge, you should wipe any remaining residue from the tile in a diagonal motion. Again, the motion is important because you do not want to accidentally pull up any of the grout that you just laid. Once the tiles are clean, allow the tiles to rest untouched for at least 24, and ideally 48, hours. Do not step on the tiles or place any objects on them during this time.