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Tile undergoing grout repair service in residential home in Norfolk County.

Grout Repair Tips from Your Norfolk County Handyman

We will find grout applications throughout our Norfolk home, whether it’s in the bathroom, kitchen or flooring system. We think the point is to marvel at our tile installation rather than the grout itself, which holds our floors and walls safely in place. But if we look closely, we notice it adds character to the overall appearance.

This is when we become aware that Norfolk grout repair plays a huge role in maintaining our tiles and its stability. Its purpose is to lock tiles tight and resist water. When it stains, cracks or falls out, we panic that the whole system will break. You wonder what’s the first step to take and what to do to fill the void.

Don’t despair if you’re lost or are unsure if you have underlying problems underneath your tile installation, our expert team at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S. Shore is here to help.

What Are The Types?

Before we move on to Norfolk grout repair services, we should familiarize ourselves with the different types available and perhaps that will help you recognize what you use at home.

  • Epoxy: Experts highly recommend epoxy for its durability and resistance to stains and moisture. When handling epoxy, you need to be able to work fast and efficiently because it takes little to no time to settle.

  • Cement-Based: Sanded or cement-based are popular among DIY professionals. When you add sand to cement and water, it becomes more resistant to cracking and creates a stronger bonding effect. Sanded lines wider than 1/8 inch help provide a non-slippery surface and also prevent shrinkage. Unlike epoxy, it sets slower, giving you more room to readjust if needed.

  • Non-Sanded: This is suitable for joint spacing lines of 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch. Without the sand, it’s more prone to cracking. Its sticky components make it work well on vertical walls.

Signs You Need Norfolk Grout Repair And What To Do

Inevitable signs include cracking and crumbling, which you can’t ignore because they will lead to major problems like water damage. Moisture will seep through the cracks and damage your drywall and floorboards.

Signs of water damage include:

  • Water building around tub or shower

  • Musty smells

  • Cracks & holes in grout lines

The only way to determine and see the damage is to remove the tile plates to check.

But this doesn’t always mean you have water damage, but it’s safe to take it into account and have a handyman technician look at it. But as soon as you notice cracks that weren’t there before, you will need to scrape out the old grout and clean the area accordingly before applying a new joint line to fix it. While this is DIY-friendly, we still recommend hiring your local Norfolk handyman to inspect the damage in more detail. They have the right tools to give you a thorough diagnosis and investigate if your walls or subfloors are in good condition. It’s not until they confirm that no underlying issue has caused the cracks that you are finally safe to apply the new layer.

Bathroom grout repair takes patience and precision. If you have nervous hands and are worried about chipping tiles, our local Norfolk handyman is happy to take this burden off your shoulders.

The main causes that lead to shower grout repair are when you didn’t hire a good professional for tile installation in the first place, or you didn’t maintain them well (cleaning, resealing). At Mr. Handyman, we ensure that we provide quality service, which is backed by our done right promise.

DIY Tools

If you have experience with kitchen grout repair or other areas, ensure that you have the necessary tools at all times. It’s best to have pro tools like an oscillating tool with a grout removal blade and a reciprocating saw with a grout grabber blade. But these aren’t tools that Norfolk homeowners use on a daily basis. On many occasions, thin chisels and screwdrivers are effective but require more time than the assigned tools, and we don't recommend them.

Norfolk Grout Repair on Tile Floor

If your tile floor was installed correctly, you shouldn’t see major problems arising, unless you have damaged floorboards that need deeper investigation. But normally, grout on floors gets dirty fast and needs regular cleaning maintenance to stay in shape. If your floor's interior is in good condition but has cracked grout, it will be safe to scrape out the old later and apply a new one.

Shower Grout Repair

Showers are susceptible to grout damage on the walls and around the floor drains. Fortunately, it can be an easy fix if no severe damage is involved, such as structural damage behind the shower wall. If you notice any holes, take immediate action. For pinholes, you might be able to fix them with a quick patch, whereas larger ones require digging out. Try to determine how much you need to remove first and how much you need to reapply.

If you’re uncertain about your shower’s overall condition, your local handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S.Shore can check it for you. Sometimes homeowners are unsure how much grout to remove or how to caulk the corners of their showers. We understand that bathroom grout repair can come with underlying issues that a certified professional should investigate.

Pro Tip: Before applying new joint lines, we recommend using denatured alcohol to clean the edges and remove dust and residue. Give it time to dry.

Grout Repair Joint Sizes

Some DIY professionals struggle with joint sizes. The last thing they want is a sloppy-looking job. The thinnest joint line that we recommend is 1/8 inch, but that mainly suits tiles with rectified edges, which means they are ground, polished and sharp.

In most cases, larger sizes require bigger joint lines to become less visible, and it can also facilitate the installation process. But joint lines shouldn’t be larger than 3/16 inches.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend paying close attention to your tile size as it will highly depend on that and whether it’s for the floor or wall.

Expert Tips

  • When you have your mix ready to go, let it set for about 15 min. This process is called “slaking” and allows the mix to absorb all the moisture properly. Afterward, give it another stir and even add more powder and water if needed.

  • Use your float and apply the grout to the wall with upward strokes.

  • Hold your float at a 45-degree angle and fill the joint lines by pushing the grout in

  • Your float should have a rounded corner that allows you to shape the joints.

  • Use a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess residue.

  • Remove any grout from inside corners (using a utility knife) to apply caulk.

  • Remember to apply spray sealer on floor tile and porous stone “before” you grout! Otherwise, it will stick and be a nightmare to clean.

Frequently Asked Questions About Norfolk Grout Repair Services

Can I Put A New Layer on An Existing One?

To an extent, yes. If you notice small cracks and holes, we recommend that you carefully remove and scrape out the dirty grout from the surface and wipe off the dust and debris. Afterward, it should be safe to apply a new layer. You might be better off using epoxy over cement. If you’re worried about causing more damage to the existing cracks, your local Norfolk handyman will do it for you.

Can Water Leak Through Tile?

Yes, and this is a risky one. Grout failure is often the result of shower leaks and a plumbing specialist should investigate the shower wall. If you notice leaky tiles, shut off your water immediately and call for assistance.

What Type of Grout Should I Always Use?

Good question! The type you choose can actually determine your tile’s lifespan, but it also depends on where you apply it to. Usually, we recommend epoxy as it’s most durable, resistant to stains and water damage. If you use strong cleaning materials, we suggest low-acid.

Do I Need To Seal My Grout?

Definitely, especially if it’s an area with a high moisture level like your bathroom, and you’re using cement-based. Besides, grout is porous and won’t stay waterproof if you don’t seal it. You might want a sealant that soaks through appropriately and creates an effective barrier. On the other hand, epoxy is sturdy enough to hold against moisture, it’s practically pre-sealed, and therefore, won’t need sealing.

Is Grout Color Important?

Material-wise, no, design-wise, yes. We understand there are many options, and pairing your tile with the corresponding color can be challenging. Keep in mind that dark colors hide stains well, but they can fade over time and also stain light-colored tiles. It’s safest to stick to neutral if you prefer to avoid color-matching issues.

What Is Grout Release And Should I Use It?

It’s a temporary water-soluble pre-grout coating that protects against mortar and stains. It’s designed to make cleaning up easier after your grout repair and prevents stubborn stains from settling on the tiles. While it has served wonders for professionals, it’s not a required process unless you’re working on porous materials like natural stone.

My Grout is Discolored. How Do I Clean It?

If a regular cleaning agent doesn’t help, you can try a spray-on product with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

What are the Chances of Mold Growth?

You shouldn’t have any mold problems for at least 15 years if you’ve had a proper installation service, where everything is well-sealed and caulked. If you are unsure or your shower gives off a musty smell, you should call the pros.

How Is The Application Different From Kitchen To Bath?

There is no difference in application but in location. The grout is more exposed to water in your bathroom, whereas your backsplash isn’t. Still, both need regular cleaning and maintenance to remain in good shape.

What Are the Preventative Measures That I Can Take To Keep Tiles Clean?

Regular cleaning is the way to go. You can never go wrong with combining vinegar with mild dish soap and hot water. But if you want to maintain your ceramic tile grout and have it last longer, adding some bleach will help keep the natural colors. It’s never a bad idea to have a certified handyman inspect the tiling system’s overall condition.

Get Professional Massachusetts Gutter Installation Service!

Whether you're in Walpole or a nearby area of Massachusetts, such as Marshfield, Duxbury, or Braintree, you can rely on the certified pros at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S.Shore for quality workmanship and outstanding customer service. Our handyman team prioritizes customer satisfaction to ensure you have a safe, hassle-free experience.

Give us a call today at 508-465-2092 to request service or chat with our friendly customer service representatives. Let us know how to enhance your home and make your life easier!