McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

How to Re-grout Ceramic Bathroom Tile

Posted by Brian Ciota on Fri, Apr 16, 2010

Ceramic Tile RepairCracked or missing grout not only looks bad but it can cause water seepage and mildew growth. 

To re-grout ceramic bathroom tile, you'll need these tools and materials:

  • Grout saw, which can be purchased at a hardware store
  • Grout float
  • Grout sponge
  • Rags
  • Squeegee
  • Commercial grout cleaner
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer

Follow these steps for a professional looking job:

  • If possible, take a small piece of grout from your bathroom to a home improvement store to match it correctly. Color is important and so is finding the right grout for your project. Ask the salesperson for non-shrinking grout. It may save you time and effort. Grout may shrink as it dries and you will have to re-apply grout to fill grooves.
  • Clean and remove the existing grout. Be careful not to damage tiles. Use a commercial grout cleaner to remove soap scum, mildew and grime. Let the surface dry completely.
  • Remove damaged and cracked grout with a grout saw. The saw has a rough carbide surface which grinds out the grout. Check to be sure that there is no loose material left between the tiles.
  • Dampen the grooves between the tiles with a wet rag. Moisture is needed to assure that the grout adheres properly. Don't over-wet the area. Be sure the surface is damp.
  • Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Apply the grout evenly over the spaces with a grout float.
  • After all the grooves are filled and smoothed, go over the area with a squeegee to remove excess grout from the face of the tiles. You can also use a grout sponge for this step. If you remove grout from the grooves, go back over the area with the grout float.
  • Let the grout dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Re-apply if you notice gaps.
  • When you're satisfied with the grout work, apply grout sealer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. After the sealer dries, take a wet rag or sponge and wipe residue off the tiles. You'll notice a haze. Allow the haze to dry and wipe it off with a dry rag. Your tile will shine and look new again.

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Topics: Bathrooms, How-To Tips, Repair and Maintenance, HomeRepair by McClurg

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