How to Repair Floor Tile Grout

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How to Repair Floor Tile Grout

Grout is an important element of tile floors. The grout holds the tiles in place and adds to the overall decorative look of the tile. Unfortunately, grout often becomes damaged over time. Exposure to water may cause grout to swell and lose its cohesion, and if the foundation beneath the floor shifts rapidly, this may cause grout to crack or fall apart. Cracked or missing grout can compromise the integrity of a tile floor and make it look unattractive. Fortunately, with the right tools, grout is easy to repair. With a little bit of time and effort, you can make your grout look as good as new.

Choosing the Right Type of Replacement Grout

When repairing grout, it is important to choose the correct type of replacement grout. There are a number of grout types, and it is important to pick one that is compatible with the spacing and material of the tiles.

Type of Grout

Important Features

Sanded grout

Ideal for larger spaces between tiles (more than 3 mm)

Unsuitable for marble tiles because it may scratch them

Unsanded grout

Suitable for spaces less than 3 mm wide

Tends to shrink as it dries

Acrylic latex grout

High colour retention

Very durable

Works for small or large spaces between tiles

Epoxy grout

Suitable for any sized space between tiles

Waterproof and stain resistant

After deciding which type of grout is best for the job, the next step is choosing between pre-mixed ready-to-use grout, or powdered grout that you mix yourself. Ready-to-use grout usually comes in a tube, and it is very easy to apply. However, it is difficult to get an exact colour match. For grout that is a standard colour like white or black, ready-to-use grout might be ideal. For custom colours, such as various shades of beige, many people prefer to mix their own grout by doing a colour match. When performing a colour match, save a piece of the original grout for comparison.

Removing Damaged Grout

Before adding new grout, remove any loose or damaged grout. The first step is to clean the damaged grout with a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part water. This removes small pieces of debris. Next, use a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Once the area is dry, use a grout saw to remove damaged grout or loose pieces of grout. When using a grout saw, it is important to use small, gentle motions in order to avoid cracking or damaging the tiles. Most damaged grout should break apart with relatively little pressure. Once you completely remove the damaged grout, use the vinegar and water solution to rinse the area once more.

Putting in New Grout

The next step toward repairing floor tile grout is to put in the new grout. With ready-to-use grout in a tube, this is easy. Simply squeeze the grout out of the tube into the cracks between the tiles, and use a grout float to smooth it out. If you mix the grout yourself, follow the mixing directions on the package exactly. Once you thoroughly mix it, use one corner of the grout float to push the grout into the cracks. Then, use the float to smooth it out. Some people choose to smooth it out even more by using the rounded end of a craft stick. Once it is completely smooth, use a paper towel or rag to wipe any excess grout from the tiles.

Protecting New Grout

In order to protect new grout from water damage or cracking, apply a coat of grout sealer once the new grout dries completely. This provides a protective coating to the grout, which helps maintain its colour and keeps it looking new. Most grout sealers come in aerosol cans, and you simply spray them over the grout. If your sealer does not come in spray cans, apply the sealer with a paintbrush or paint roller.

How to Buy Supplies to Repair Floor Tile Grout on eBay

eBay is a great place to find the supplies you need to repair floor tile grout. To find what you are looking for, simply type keywords that describe the product into the eBay search bar. For example, you could start by searching for "sanded grout". If the search results are too broad, you can narrow them by adding more keywords, such as a specific brand name.

Damaged floor tile grout is not attractive, and it can even cause tiles to come loose. Fortunately, repairing floor tile grout is a quick and easy process. With the right tools and some new grout, you can make your floor tiles look as good as new and ensure they do not come loose.

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