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How to repair a bad grout job

Have a crack in your grout? Is your grout coming out? Here’s how to repair bad grout and prevent further damage. If the grout in your tile has hairline cracks it is time for it to be replaced. Leaking grout can damage the underlying wall and eventually cause serious problems. If you have any damaged grout, make sure to repair it immediately.

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  1. Make sure you have the proper size chisel to remove the grout. Using a chisel that is too large can result in broken tiles. Set and angle the chisel between the tiles. Using a hammer, make controlled quick taps to the chisel. These taps will crack and drive out the old grout. Note: Get as much of the old grout out as possible. Wipe the tiles and grout-line with a clean dry towel.

  2. Chipping out the old grout is the hardest part of replacing bad grout. The goal is to chip out the old grout without hitting and breaking your tile. Take your time and make slow deliberate moves to prevent damaging the adjacent tile. Also be sure to wear goggles to protect your eyes.

  3. Begin putting in the new grout. In a small plastic container mix (according to directions) enough grout to cover the area being replaced or a few small feet, whichever is smaller. You don’t want to mix large amounts of grout as it will begin to harden before you can complete the job. The grout should be similar to the consistency of peanut butter

  4. Pour the grout over the clean tiles. Using a rubber grout float push the grout between the tiles. Continue going over the tiles with the grout float until all spaces are full of grout. Use the grout float to clean the excess grout off of your tile as you work. Make sure to clean the excess grout off of your float with each pass.

  5. Once the grout areas are full use a damp sponge to finish your grout. Moving diagonally run the sponge across the grouted joints. Clean your sponge after each swipe. Make sure the sponge stays damp, not wet. Wipe any grouting material off the tile surface. Let the grout dry according to instructions, then wipe the tile with a soft dry cloth.

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Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • A hammer
  • A chisel
  • Grout
  • Small mixing bucket
  • A rubber grout float
  • A large clean sponge

About the Author

Health and fitness writer, Janet Smith has 10+ years online writing experience. She combines her healthcare training with her natural passion for fitness and well being to deliver the latest information on all things fitness. Smith says,” I love being able to provide others accurate information on improving health and life by making good fitness choices.” A previous respiratory therapist, she also studied food and nutrition at UNC-Greensboro. Smith counts gardening and home improvements as other favorite writing topics.

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