You’ll know it’s time for a little shower grout repair when you notice it chipping, cracking, coming out in chunks, or apparently disintegrating gradually all by itself.
Fixing cracked grout or a total grout replacement job can be a tedious, laborious experience, but one most homeowners just won’t be able to get around, unless you’re willing to pay a professional. Of course, there’s that tradeoff: You can pay a pro and leave the headaches to him/her, or you can do it yourself, get the headaches yourself, and save a pile of money. And as we all know, unless they’re related, a really good friend, or in love with you, most tile-repair people don’t come cheap.
An ice pick, chisel, and a dremel tool will be your most-used implements in any grout replacement job. It’s a painstaking job, but just about the only way you’re going to get those grout lines out from between the tiles is to pick it out little by little. Work your way around the shower stall until all grout is removed – or at the least, two-thirds of the grout. It will take this much new grout in order to form an acceptable bond when you apply it.
Next on the agenda is the grout itself. You may be tempted by the handy little buckets of pre-mixed grout of which you simply open up, dip your float into it, and voila! – you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, because of its high water content, this type of grout just won’t do the job of fixing cracked grout or for any grout replacement job, especially in an area of extreme wetness like a bath or shower stall area. Professionals warn against this type of grout and recommend instead the kind of grout that comes in powdered form of which you have to mix with water.
When grouting, make sure you hold the float at an angle and really work the grout into the joints well. This is the main cause of grout failure, outside of not applying a sealer afterward. After sealing (wait two days before you seal), you’re finished. That’s it for another year -and then you’ll want to apply sealer again to prevent having to go through this grout-repair job thing again. So good luck, read these instructions more than once, and get to it.