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Repair Tile Grout Guide

Tile Image

Repairing tile grout is an easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that can give your kitchen or bathroom tile a fresh, clean look. Project time will vary based on the grout manufacturer's instructions for drying time.

Tools & Materials

Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.

Match Your Grout Color

While regrouting tile isn't complicated, matching grout color can be tricky. Get a sample chart from Lowe's and find the closest color match. If the original grout color is lighter than the color you chose from the sample chart, lighten the new grout by adding more water when you mix it. If the original grout color is darker, use less water.

Always wear eye protection when removing old grout.

Grout Types

Grout is available in four types: sanded, unsanded, acrylic latex or epoxy. Choose the correct type of grout based on the width of your tile joints and where the repair is being done.

  • Measure the space between the tiles. If the space is larger than 1/8 of an inch, use a sanded grout. If the width is 1/8 of an inch or smaller, use an unsanded, acrylic latex or epoxy grout.
  • Never use sanded grout with marble tiles. The sand will scratch the marble. Instead, use an unsanded or acrylic latex tile grout.

Repair the Grout

If the grout continues to chip or crack after you repair it, the tile underlayment may be uneven or exposed to moisture. Have a professional check the underlayment and repair it if necessary.

Step 1

Clean the broken grout area with a 1-to-1 vinegar and water mixture.

Step 2

Use a grout saw to remove the loose or damaged grout. Don't chip the tile.

Step 3

Dampen the joints with water. Use a paper towel to absorb any water that puddles in the grooves.

Step 4

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's directions.

Step 5

Use a grout float to spread the grout, filling the joints completely. 

Step 6

Smooth the joint surface with a rounded stick.

Step 7

Remove the excess grout with a squeegee or damp grout sponge. Rinse the squeegee or sponge periodically. Wipe the area once.

Step 8

Allow the grout to set firmly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you're repairing grout in a bathroom, seal the grout with a grout sealant after it dries completely.

Step 9

Clean the tile with a damp rag. 

Step 10

Allow it to dry until a cloudy haze appears on the tile.

Step 11

Polish the tile with a dry towel to remove the haze.