How To Repair Hairline Cracks in Tile Grout Lines
Written by Todd Fratzel.
How To Repair Cracked Grout
For example, where a tiled wall meets a tiled counter top or floor.We have this problem in or master bathroom in a few places on the whirlpool tub surround.
This problem tends to happen more often with new construction due to the drastic changes in moisture content in the framing materials. As the framing materials dry out then shrink, twist and become distorted. As a result the tiled surfaces will move and create cracking at the grout lines.
Repairing the hairline cracks in the grout lines is a fairly easy DIY project. (See below for recommendations on repairing larger cracks in grout using a Dremel 568 Grout Removal Kit).
Repairing Hairline Cracks In Grout
When ever you install ceramic tile you really should keep some of the grout stored in a cool dry place for future repairs. Matching the color of grout later is much easier if you have some. There really are two approaches to this fix. The quick and dirty fix or the complicated repair.
I’m choosing the quick and dirty method because I want to see if this will work. The simple method is to just fill the existing crack with grout. The more complicated method would require removing as much of the existing grout as possible and then re-grouting the joint completely.
The grout that was used for this project was an un-sanded grout which should be capable of filling the narrow cracks. I mixed up some grout on a small paper plate so that I could throw it away afterward. Then I used my finger to apply the grout to the cracked area. I made the grout a little wetter than I normally would so that I could get it forced into the thin crack.
Once I filled the crack the method of clean up is the same as any grouting job. I cleaned off the grout line a couple of times and then washed the surrounding tiles. You want to make sure you get it all off so that you’re not scraping really hard grout off the tiles later. As you can see from the photo the crack is now filled. After the grout completely dries you’ll never know it was cracked before.
Repairing Wide Cracks in Grout
If you have wider cracks in the grout or missing grout then it’s time to consider removing the old grout and installing new grout between the tiles. You can use a simple Grout Removal Kit or I prefer using a Dremel 568 Grout Removal Kit which attaches to my Dremel Tool or the Rockwell Sonicrafter. Once you’ve removed all the old grout then you just install new grout as if it were new construction.
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