Use this method for kitchen tile grout repair. There is no need to remove existing old grout, and it can be done in just a few hours!
Author’s Note: this post was originally published in 2012. I used this tile grout repair method right up until the last month we lived in the Sutton Place house, which was November, 2021. The day before our first showing to sell, I followed the same process that’s detailed below.
I am going to show you an easy tile grout repair method, but first I have a confession.
I really hate grout. Actually, hate isn’t a strong enough word. I detest grout. Even the nasty word itself is hard to say. But at our house on Sutton Place, I had tile countertops that were installed as a “Band-aid” over Formica…and even though I had the best of intentions, the Band-aid never got pulled off.
The biggest issue was keeping the grout lines clean and white. It was nearly impossible. Just when I was ready to give up hope of ever having white grout again, I found this little bottle of Tile Guard at a local home improvement store. Since the price was right, I picked it up. It sat in the cupboard under my sink for months. If I had known how easy it was to apply, I would have tackled the job a lot sooner. The image below shows you where I started, the first time I used Tile Guard.
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Not pretty. My tile was old, and the grout grabbed on to every crumb, all the moisture, and every speck of dust. I wiped and wiped, but the grout sucked the dirt right in, and stains were inevitable.
When I was ready to try the Tile Guard, I first cleaned the countertops with Clorox Clean-Up, and then I began dabbing the Tile Guard on the grout. Very quickly I could see that this method was not going to work. The liquid wasn’t coming out fast enough. So I cut the dabber top off, and just poured the liquid on the grout lines. I used cotton balls to spread it out. The image below shows what the countertops looked like when I was finished applying the Tile Guard.
The manufacturer’s instructions said for best results to let the application dry overnight. This was key in allowing the liquid to set up, and stick to the existing grout. The next morning, I wiped the counters with a damp sponge. The tiles came out very shiny, there was no haze, and the grout was bright white. All in all, the process was completely painless. There was very little mess, and it was fast.
Tips for Easy Application
- I did not seal my grout when I was finished. However, I would highly recommend it. Apply the Homax Sealer, especially if you are restoring a large space or floor.
- Use rubber gloves to apply the liquid. It saves your hands from becoming a giant mess.
- I never worried about cracks or damaged grout. I just applied a heavy coat of Tile Guard and hoped for the best!
- To make this job as easy as possible, I recommend clearing your counters in the evening. Clean your tile, and apply the Tile Guard. First thing in the morning, wipe everything down, and restore order to your kitchen.
- This method will work for porcelain tile, marble tile, as well as natural stone tile. To my knowledge, it will work on any type of grout, as long as it is white.
I am definitely not a grout expert. When I originally shared this tile grout repair method way back in 2012, some people judged just a little, and said I was covering up the dirt. Honestly, I probably was, but I always cleaned the grout very well before I applied the Tile Guard. I had old counters, and the bottom line was that I just wanted them to look better…and the renewed grout always did. It resisted mold and mildew, and grout cleaning was easier.
This is real life DIY. I found a solution that I could DO MYSELF, that wouldn’t require professionals, and that was affordable. I’m not saying this restoration method will work for everyone in every situation. I am saying it worked for me, and I highly recommend it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use this on floor tiles?
Yes…but it would be time-consuming and tedious. However, if you compare the cost of a few bottles of Tile Guard, and a day out of your life, to installing a new floor, I’m sure it would be worth it.
How long does the application last?
I refreshed the tile in our kitchen every few years. It looks very good for about a year, and then the finish slowly begins to fade. That’s when it’s time for another application.
Can you use this on colored grout?
No. Tile Guard is only available in white.
Can you use this method on bathroom counters?
Yes…but definitely apply the Homax Sealant.
Do you recommend using this method in a shower?
No. I have never tried it, but the water and moisture in a shower would definitely lessen the longevity of the Tile Guard.
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