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Repair Tile Grout

Repairing tile grout is an easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that can give your kitchen or bathroom tile a fresh, new look.

Overhead photo of tile and grout.

Tools & Materials

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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.

Caution

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

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

2.  Use a grout saw to remove the loose or damaged grout. Be careful not to chip the tile.

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

4.  Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's directions.

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

6.  Smooth the joint surface with a rounded stick.

7.  Remove the excess grout with a squeegee or damp grout sponge and rinse the squeegee or sponge periodically. Wipe the area once.

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.

9.  Clean the tile with a damp rag.

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

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

Good to Know

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.