How to Replace Cracked and Peeling Grout in 60 Seconds

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Alure Home Improvements Chief Operating Officer Doug Cornwell shows how easy it is to fix unsightly bathroom tiles with new grout in a recent installment of “Alure’s 60-Second Fix.”

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Few things are more annoying around the home than having to stare day after day at cracked or missing grout in your bathroom tiles. Those problems are right there, practically glaring at you, taunting you.

But you know what? You don’t have to take that abuse another second. Because in this informative episode of our ongoing series, “The 60-Second Fix,” Doug Cornwell, the chief operating officer of Alure Home Improvements, shows us how to fix these unseemly flaws like a pro—all in a matter of minutes.

“Grout is that funny kind of material that fills the spaces between the tiles,” explains Doug, in a recent episode titled “How to Replace Cracked and Peeling Grout in 60 Seconds.” “Every now and then, through contraction or expansion, some of that grout may actually shrink away or fall out from the tile.”

Step one is to make sure you match the existing grout with the new grout you get from your local hardware store. There aren’t that many choices to choose from so it’s not too hard to get the proper color. Just make sure you go to the store with the right hue in mind, whether it’s dark, antique white, creamy white or bright white. If you’re uncertain, take in a sample or a photo on your smart phone.

Before you start to fill in the cracked grout yourself, Doug advises that you squeeze a little of the new grout into a paper cup. Then add just enough water to give the mixture the consistency of toothpaste. As you can see from the video, Doug stirs it around a bit with a plastic spoon so he can dispose of the spoon later once he’s done with the repair job.

Next, dip your finger into the mixture in the cup and put a dab on your fingertip. This way you have the greatest control over where you want the new grout to go.

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Spread the grout smoothly over the cracked or missing area on the tile. Pack it right into the trouble spots. Then wipe away any excess from the tile borders with a disposable rag or a paper towel so only the new grout is left where the grout belongs. You don’t have to worry about being too messy with the application because the new grout will only adhere to itself, not the shiny tile surface. But you don’t want to let it go unattended because the streaks won’t look nice on the tile and they’re easier to wipe off before the grout has dried.

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So, after you have tidied up the new grout, wait a few minutes.

“In about five minutes it will haze over again,” Doug advises.

This is your cue for one more go-round.

Take a damp cloth or a moist paper towel—or even a wet sponge, but not soaking wet—and rub it over the newly repaired area. The point of this process, as Doug puts it, is to introduce a little bit more moisture to the grout so it will settle in firmly and securely.

There you have it. You can face your bathroom tile with your pride restored.

“Problem solved!” says Doug proudly. And he ought to know.