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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.

Tools & Materials

Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.

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Match Your Grout Color

While regrouting tile isn't complicated, matching grout color can be tricky. Get sample chips from Lowe's and find the closest color match. If the original grout color is lighter than the color you chose from the chips, 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 as sanded or unsanded. 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 grout.
  • Never use sanded grout with metal, glass or marble tiles. The sand will scratch the surface. Instead, use an unsanded grout.

Acrylic latex grout is comparatively easy to work with, but requires sealing. Epoxy grout is highly resistant to stains and doesn't require sealing, but is more difficult to apply.

Learn more about choosing grout and mortar.

Repair the Grout

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. Be careful not to chip the tile. Remove any debris from between the tiles.

Step 3

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

Good to Know

For epoxy grout, make sure the tiles are completely dry before application.

Step 4

Hold the grout float at an angle and spread the grout, filling the joints completely. Clear away excess grout with diagonal motions of the float.

Good to Know

A non-stick, gum-rubber float works best for epoxy grout.

Step 5

After 15-30 minutes, remove any additional excess grout with a damp grout sponge. Rinse the sponge periodically and moisten with clean water.

Good to Know

With epoxy grout, you may need to use a scrub pad. Drip or mist some water onto the joints and lightly scrub the tile. Wipe the haze away with a single pass of a clean, damp sponge.

Step 6

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to allow the grout to set firmly. Allow it to dry until a haze appears on the tile. Polish the tile with a dry towel.

Step 7

If necessary, use a haze remover to get rid of any remaining residue.

Step 8

If using acrylic latex grout, apply a sealant after the grout dries completely.

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.