How to Restore Grout: An Update

How to Restore Grout: an easy and inexpensive way to restore light colored grout. Totally DIY, this project can be done quickly and without much mess.

Several years ago, I was at the end of my rope with our kitchen counters. They are ceramic tile installed over old Formica. The grout was so awful and no matter what product I used, it just wouldn’t come clean. On one of my trips to Menard’s, I saw a product called Tile Guard.

how to restore grout with tileguard

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

I read the directions and figured even if it didn’t work, I would only be out about $5, so what did I have to lose? When I finally got around to using it, I was amazed at how well it covered. My grout really did look like new. 

restore grout with tileguard after

So…that was two years ago. The grout looked great for quite a while, but two years is a long time and it really did need a refresher. This time around I purchased a large bottle of Tile Guard and put it on very thick. To see how I applied it, check out my post from two years ago. I used the exact same method this time and was so happy with the results.

how to restore grout on kitchen counters

How to Restore Grout: A few thoughts and tips

  • First, I think Tile Guard only comes in white. So if you have a darker colored grout, I’m afraid this method won’t work for you.
  • Second, I’m not sure how it would work on a floor. It would take a long time to apply. However, if you compare the cost of a bottle of Tile Guard and a day out of your life to installing a new floor, I’m sure it would be worth it.
  • I, once again, did not seal mine. However, I would highly recommend applying the Homax Sealer…especially if you are restoring a floor or large space. 
  • Use rubber gloves. They really save your hands from a big mess.

I am definitely not a grout expert. On my last post, some people judged just a little and said I was covering up the dirt. Honestly, I probably was. I cleaned the grout as best I could before I applied the Tile Guard both times. I have older counters and the bottom line was that I just wanted them to look better…and they really do. 

This is real life DIY. I found a solution that I could DO MYSELF and that wouldn’t break the bank. I’m not saying it will work for everyone in every situation. I am saying it worked for me and I highly recommend it.

I’ve wanted to do this post for a long time, so I’m glad I finally made it happen. Check that one off the list! Thanks for stopping by…see you soon.

Update 9/23/2017: Much to my dismay, I still have these tile countertops. I thought I would be rid of them by now, but that hasn’t happened. Before we hosted our Gender Neutral Baby Shower a few months ago, my dad and I once again restored my grout with Tile Guard. And once again…it worked like a charm. 

white subway tile pin with text how to restore grout

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  1. Unfortunately, there will always be those who judge. I used a similar product years ago. My grout was thoroughly cleaned before I used the product, as I’m sure yours was. Grout is easily stained and it is very difficult to remove stains in grout, so they remain stained even after a thorough cleaning. I think it is awesome that there is a product that does such a great job of covering the stains. I have gone the other way and removed the old grout and regrouted and I will NEVER do that again. Your countertops look great!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you so much for this comment Vicki! I think a darker grout wouldn’t show the wear and tear as much, but white grout is such a pain! This Tile Guard is really an easy (but temporary) solution.

  2. Thank you for telling me about this product. My tile grout is in good shape it just has a few stains and areas where it has discolored slightly and is not bright white like it was when new. I’m going to try using Tile Guard as soon as I give it a good scrub.

  3. Dear Ann,
    I loved your tutorial on your countertop tile grout! Can’t wait to try it! And your tile counters are beautiful!!
    Thank you for your many inspirations to get me going!!

  4. Don’t apologize for your tile counters. We spend much too much time worrying about whether the items we have in our house are “up- to-date”. I had tile countertops once, now I have stainless steel. I almost prefer tile over the stainless, it is easy to clean, easy to bleach, and looks great. Your tile looks great and you didn’t spend a mint.

  5. Hi Ann! Your counters look great! I will be trying this in a week or so. Thanks for sharing with us! Michele

  6. Thanks for post on restoring grout. I know I’m in a vast minority, but I’ve always liked the look of grouted tiles on kitchen counters regardless of the need to restore them periodically. The favorite house I ever lived in was in California and was a mid-century modern with grouted tiles all over the kitchen. I say do not apologize for having outdated countertops and those who judge are so way off base as to be ignored for their opinions. Geez – what have we become?

  7. Hi Ann,
    I love your countertops with the blue tile around the edge.
    Thanks for the tip on keeping grout white .
    Happy Saturday !

  8. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication says:

    Our bathroom tile is a mess, so I definitely want to look into this!

  9. Hi Ann, You are a woman after my own heart. I have just discovered your blog and pinterest posts and I must say I love your style (I think we may have been cut from the same cloth.):) . I too have cream tile bench tops that covered an old 70’s avocado laminex benchtop. I have trouble with the nasty grout all the time and have not come across a product that cleans it very well. I am from Australia and not sure if this product is available here but I am certainly going to take a look next time I am down town. I will be subscribing to your newsletter and look forward to future posts. Thank you.PS Love your free printables also.

  10. Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane says:

    I have an ugly tile backsplash I will definitely have to try this on. I’m about at my wit’s end with it…

    BTW, we tried out your salad recipe yesterday and LOVED it! In fact, we liked it so much we had it again for lunch today. :-) Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

  11. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    This sounds like a great product….will have to check this out!….

  12. Peggy Zortman says:

    What a great tip! I am going to try it in my shower!

  13. Karen On Bainbridge Island says:

    It looks clean, fresh and beautiful. Brings new life to what I am sure is older tile. This kind of project is so gratifying. You must find yourself going into the kitchen just to look at it!

  14. Ana Maria says:

    Thank you! What a great tip! And congratulations on having the individuality of having tile countertops and not succumbing to the ubiquitous granite.

  15. Thank you for sharing your “real world” DIY tips. I appreciate all the help I can get and love reading your blog.

  16. Looks great! I’m assuming you could use it on vertical areas as well…tub surround? How wonderful to get the “new”look, without it being new! ;)

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh sure Donnamae. It would work great on a vertical surface. I’d probably add the sealer step since it will be getting really wet. Good luck!

  17. That looks great! Thanks for the good idea to tuck into the back of my mind as I look at new-old houses. This could make the difference between replacing or renewing old counter top.

  18. debbiedoos says:

    Your counters look fabulous Ann! I had the same counter in Florida and sure wish I would have known of this product then!

  19. Looks so pretty and clean, worth the time it took!

  20. Barbie Bertke says:

    that’s product not produce!:(

  21. Barbie Bertke says:

    Ann, I have tried everything on grout over the years, with terrible results. I am anxious to give this produce a try. You have the best posts that people can really use.:)

  22. This is just what I need. Can you buy it at most home improvement stores? We don’t have a Menard’s around here. I don’t understand how anyone can say you are just covering up dirt when you have scrubbed and scrubbed. Grout gets stained and looks bad but that doesn’t mean it is dirty. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes Patty I have seen it at Lowe’s. It’s in the floor tile area where they sell the supplies like grout, sealer, etc. Also, you can click on any of the links in the post and order it on Amazon. That’s what I did!

  23. Ann, I just had to pop in to tell you that I used this on your recommendation when you first posted it. I did use it on my floor, and it was time consuming, but it worked like a charm.

    I used it on the white tile floor in our “powder” room on the main floor of our home. It is the one used during the day by guests. I don’t agree at all that you were “covering up dirt”! I know your counters were not dirty, and I know my floor wasn’t dirty. Anyone who has grout knows that it can stain over time with even minimal use.

    It has been quite some time, and my grout still looks great. Thanks for the tip, and I second your recommendation.

  24. edie gottschall says:

    Thank you, Ann . . . another great idea that anyone can do! This would be especially nice for those who rent and are restricted in what they can or want to do. So, critics, unless you have a MUCH better idea, silence yourselves. Your blog always contains good ideas, thank you!!!

  25. Looks wonderful. I’m going to try this on my back splash.

  26. I think they look great andd I am most definitely looking fr this product! Thanks for the advice,