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How to renew tile joints

renew tile joints


In the course of the years, tile joints no longer look beautiful and the question of renovation arises. We will show you how to renew tile joints and what tips you should take into account. In addition, you will learn in which cases you can use different methods without scratching are promising.

1. Renew tile joints – different joint types

If you want to renew joints, there are different possibilities. These depend on the material on the one hand, and on the nature of the respective joint on the other.

In general, there is a difference between the following two joint types:

  • Cement joints
  • Silicone joints

In addition, wear plays a crucial role. If a joint in the bathroom is mouldy, you can no longer repair it, but you should remove it and completely renew it.

On the other hand, refreshing is only useful if the substance of the cement or silicone joints is still in order.

2. Renew tile joints made of cement

renew tile joints

If the simple refreshment is out of the question, because the cement joints are already crumbling or mould spots are increasingly forming, the tiles must be re-jointed.

To do this, you must first remove the old joints in the bathroom. The easiest and very clean way to do this is to mill out the joints.
However, you need to work very precisely so as not to damage the adjacent tiles.

Since there is a lot of dust in this work, cover all the furniture in the bathroom as well as the floor and open the window.

If, after the rough preliminary work, there are still residues in the tile joints, remove them with a cutter knife and suck away the dust.

Then wipe the entire surface with a damp cloth to eliminate even smaller dust particles.

Next comes the stirring of joint mortar. Nowpress the joint mass into the joints with a rubber board.
Walk over a place several times to fill the joints completely.

Then use a sponge board to remove the residues on the tiles. However, wait a few minutes and work with little water to avoid washing out the joints.

Tip: Completely resistant and dried,the cement joints are only after about a week. Sharp cleaners or cement veil removers should therefore not be used beforehand.

If there are only a few smaller areas that you want to repair, scrape them out carefully with a cutter knife, clean the area and only re-gher in this area. However, this approach only makes sense if the remaining joints last for a while.

3. Silicone: replace, don’t renew tile joints

Good to know: The joint colour can set interesting accents. In general, however, it makes sense that the joint is darker than the tile, as dirt becomes less visible in this way. 

Nothing can be improved with silicone. If the old joints in the shower or bathtub have become mouldy, only an exchange will help.

This means that you can first remove the old or torn silicone. It is best to use a sharp knife. Many rough residues can be eliminated quite well with a cutter.

However, since fine residues also interfere with silicone re-injection, you can use a silkon remover. However, make sure that it does not attack their tiles. Alternatively, you need a little more time and patience to remove even finer residues.

Afterwards, clean the affected areas best with glass cleaner,so that not only dust, but also grease residues are eliminated and new silicone can stick well.

Always use sanitary silicone in the bathroom and also in the kitchen, as it is resistant to mould. As a rule, the shelf life is about 5 years. Depending on care and stress, this period of time may also be shorter or longer.
In addition, there are some silicones that are antifungal.

4. Refresh joints instead of renewing them

renew tile joints

Sometimes a joint pen is enough to achieve good results.

It is not always necessary to replace the joints in the bathroom or the kitchen immediately. If the joints are still reasonably fine, you can achieve good results even with simpler methods.

Try one of the following methods if you want to save some time when renovating or if you still want to renew the joints:

  • Soda: Mix the soda and water together, gently brush this mixture on the affected joints and leave to act for at least 30 minutes. Even if baking powder has a similar effect, it is better to avoid it, as it serves as food for mushrooms, unless it is completely removed afterwards.
  • Vinegar: Clean the joints with a joint brush and a little vinegar. Afterwards, rinse everything thoroughly with water.
  • Alcohol: High-percentage alcohol (e.g. spirit) helps to fight mould particularly well.
    It is best to leave this effect for several hours before rinsing the joints.

If there are no more mold stains visible, but the joint still appears a little grey or brown, you can use joint white to improve the appearance and increase resistance to mold.

5. Key Questions and Answers – FAQs

Do tenants need to renew joints?

renew tile joints

As a tenant, you don’t have to accept everything.

Basically, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure a perfect condition of the apartment. This also applies to the joints in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. However, tenants have a maintenance obligation, so you need to clean the bathroom regularly to avoid premature renewal of the joints. 

However, since it is normal that joints suffer after a few years and have to be renewed, the landlord bears the costs of re-routing.

How often do I need to renew joints?

A flat-rate specification is difficult, because joints are exposed to very different loads and different good silicones or joint mortar are used.

On average, however, you can expect a silicone joint in the shower to have the best days after 5 years at the latest..

How much does it cost if I commission a company?

Many companies pay hourly wages. Try to negotiate a flat rate instead, as it takes longer to renew silicone or cement joints in case of doubt.
For the removal and re-grouting of silicone joints, you can roughly expect costs of 10 to 15 euros per meter.

Since the removal of cement joints is much more complex and the effort is also highly individual, you will usually have to settle here after hours. In many cases, it is cheaper for you to completely re-tile.

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