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Any Hope For Old Grout?

Hey all -- new here. Undertaking a full remodel of a 1918 apartment-condo in fits and starts, with some professional help but trying to DIY what I reasonably can.

Current problem: tile floor in my bathroom -- tiny hexagonal tiles, patterned. Believe it's original to the building, so circa 1918. The grout looks original too -- it's wretchedly filthy, totally black. Have tried bleach mixtures as advised by some veteran home-reno folks, but it accomplished nothing.

My preference would be to rip the tile out and put a new floor in, but some folks around here have strongly advised me to try and clean it up instead for the character value. I'm willing to see if it looks better with clean or new grout.

Any advice on how to fix this mess? Is there a more powerful way to clean the grout and refresh this floor? If not, how would you suggest handling it?

A. Spruce
Re: Any Hope For Old Grout?

The perfect way to clean grout is with a household steamer such as the SteamFast SF275. You can clean and sanitize at the same time, without the use of caustic chemicals such as bleach. The SF275 comes with many attachments to clean any heat tolerant surface, for your tile I would recommend one of the nylon scrub brushes. This really gets ground in dirt and oils to release from the grout. Once the grout is clean and dry, you can apply a sealer that will help to keep the grout clean and protected.

The great thing about this particular steamer is that it not only works very well, it is very reasonably priced at only about $100, so you can get to know what steam cleaning is all about without a huge investment. If and when you're ready for a bigger and better machine, I can recommend one of those as well.

Re: Any Hope For Old Grout?

Another option would be to remove the old grout and apply new.

There are different ways of removing old grout. One is to use a grout scr aper (one word) and some elbow grease. Another is to use a power grinder (a bit dusty and could damage tiles if not experienced).

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