Cracked 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
- Commercial grout cleaner
- 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.