Loose and missing grout is more than an eyesore in your tub and shower walls. In time, water will get behind the tile and cause damage to the point that tiles will loosen and fall out…and may even cause a leak in the room under it (and special for apartment dwellers… an angry neighbor who calls and yells at you every time you take a shower). Not to mention, mold and mildew growth from the moisture build up behind the walls… never a good thing.

The fix is pretty simple but will require drying time so your tub time will be off-line for 24 hrs. As for the grout, buy a non-sanded matching color (either premixed or you can mix it yourself—the consistency should be like moist peanut butter). Also, keep in mind that when grout dries, wiping it down will create dust, so cover up or remove exposed towels or whatever needs protecting from grout dust.

Here’s what to do…

1. Put a rag or tape over the drain so no debris falls in.

2. With a grout saw, scrape out all the loose grout.

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3. To fill in grout lines, use a grout float to press the grout into the joints of the tile lines. It’s best to hold the float at an angle and pass over the area firmly in a diagonal direction.

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4. With a large damp sponge gently wipe away the grout that remains on the face of the tile. Rinse the sponge as you work so keep a large bucket of water with you.

FIF_grout (7)5. As the grout dries a powdery residue will form–gently wipe it away with a soft clean rag being careful not to wipe out any of the grout.

6. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before getting it wet. Allow the grout to continue to cure for 3 days, and then use a spray grout sealer per the product directions.

I love when we can head off a big problem with an easy little fix like this one!

Norma sig

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Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.