Fix Cracked Grout to Breathe New Life Into Your Bathroom or Kitchen

by Barbara Lane 08/29/2021

Photo by Brett Hondow via Pixabay

You love your tiles. But they don't seem to do your bathroom justice anymore. Ask yourself, is it the tiles themselves, or what's in between that makes you cringe? Is the grout cracked, faded, yellowish or gray? 

Breathe new life into a dirty-looking bathroom tile floor, kitchen backsplash or tile shower by simply re-grouting the tiles and polishing them. Here's how to do it.

What you'll need

  • Margin float
  • Earplugs (if you're using a rotary. It's loud!)
  • Two sponges
  • Safety glasses
  • Two buckets
  • Manual grout removal tool with a carbide blade 
  • Rotary tool or reciprocating saw (not needed for small jobs)
  • Grout
  • One cup vinegar (for polishing)

Step 1: choose the right tool for the job

A rotary tool or reciprocating saw is faster. But you'll have to be extra careful not to damage a tile. And if you don't have a rotary tool, you'll need to buy or borrow. For these reasons, generally, you'll only want to go to this option if you have a larger space to re-grout like a master bathroom. 

On the other hand, removing grout manually can be tedious and slow at times. *Pro tip* For smaller jobs, start with a manual tool. You can always switch to a power tool if you find you don't have the patience.

Step 2: remove the existing grout

Start by putting on your safety glasses and ear protection if using a power tool. Whether using a manual tool or electric, slowly guide your instrument through the in-between, cutting out the grout. *Pro tip* Start in a less seen area of the room like behind the door or toilet. That way, if you do make a mistake (break a tile) when learning how to use the tool, it's less of a deal-breaker, and you won't feel you must replace the tile.

Step 3: mix & apply the grout

About the Author
Author

Barbara Lane

I am a professional realtor with several years of experience representing buyers and sellers. Selling homes, condos, villas, new construction and land. A member of the National Association of Realtors, St Charles Board of Realtors for residential and commercial, as well as my CRS designation (Certified Residential Specialist) and currently working on my PSA designation (Pricing Strategy Advisor). I also have a back ground of mortgage lending, was a loan officer for local banks and brokerages firms. Processed Conventional, FHA, VA, MHDC, home equity line of credits and First Time Homebuyer programs. This knowledge is very helpful in understand the process as well as negotiating and supplying the proper paperwork to the correct parties of the transaction. Hobbies include, volunteer at my local church, playing golf, bowling and rooting on the St Louis Blues and St Louis Cardinal teams.