What to Do About Worn-Out Grout

The grout in our tile floor has worn down in some spots and shrunk in others. Can I apply new grout over the existing grout? -Nancy

While it’s possible to apply new grout over existing grout, the results are usually less than satisfactory. Since the layer of new grout would be very thin and vary in thickness, it may not adhere well and the old grout could show through.

Removing grout from a tile floor is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. Inexpensive oscillating and rotary tools are available with grout removal attachments that can make quick and effortless work of removing old grout.

Once you’ve removed the old grout, vacuum up any remaining loose grout and dust before applying new grout to the tile. Use a sponge and clean water to remove any excess grout or grout haze on the tile.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


Please Leave a Comment

17 Comments on “What to Do About Worn-Out Grout”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    February 24th, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Hi, Karen,
    One option is to remove the grout between existing tiles, grout just those spaces, and stain the grout to match the surrounding grout (or to stain all the grout on the floor for a match).
    However, taking up the floor may be necessary if there’s a problem with the subfloor.
    A tile professional can inspect the area and offer tailored advice.
    Good luck!

  • Karen Witt Says:
    February 23rd, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I have grout cracking and between some of my kitchen tiles. How can I replace it without re-doing the floor. I have been told I may have to take the floor up and replace. It’s only a few tiles with the problem

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    November 28th, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Hi, Stephanie!
    Selected questions will receive a moderator’s answer on the same page. (Just like you see here. :D)
    It’s not possible to answer all the questions we receive, due to the high volume (we receive 2 million visitors a month), but we sure do our best!
    We encourage open conversation and members of the TH community are welcome to share their advice, on what worked for them, with other members.
    Thanks for your question.

  • stephanie marr Says:
    November 27th, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Your “solution” for grouting over existing grout in a tile floor is to rent some tools. How is that helpful? Tell us which tools to rent/acquire and show us how it’s done. And if you’re not going to help people with their questions in the comments, why allow comments at all?

  • Nancy Wood Says:
    October 29th, 2018 at 7:07 am

    I laid down the small ceramic tile about 10 years ago in small bathroom..probably didn’t put enough I tried bleaching, etc on most of it but dark places will not go away. My question I regroutoup over the old grout?

  • Nancy Judd Says:
    September 23rd, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Over the years, the sealant where the tile flooring and shower come together has cracked, discolored and pulled away from shower base. How do I remove sealant and replace?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    August 24th, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Hi, Felipe,
    Staining the grout is another option.
    We recommend checking out this video: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-stain-grout/

    Thanks for your question!

  • Felipe Says:
    August 22nd, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    We grouted over 18 yr old grout with Mapei gray Saltillo grout. Some areas came out darker than others? Is there a fix besides the options below?
    Steam cleaning?
    Painting with grout refresh?
    Digging out grout/starting over?

  • Rosalie Mueller Says:
    August 16th, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    on repair of sanded grout – can I just add a thin layer over existing grout – the depth of the repair would be about 1/32 & over all grout lines on one wall of shower ?

  • Fred Says:
    August 12th, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    We had new tile floor laid by a professional(?) throughout kitchen, living room and hallway of very open floor plan. Installer forgot to add dye to the grout in large section of living room (about half). Now we have mismatched grout (mocha vs plain grout). What is the best fix. Try to stain plain grout to match grout or have them remove plain grout and regrout with matching mocha grout?

  • Cheryl stromme Says:
    December 30th, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I wiped off too much grout when I laid a pebble shower floor. Can I lay over more grout? It hasn’t been sealed but is definitely dry.

  • Susan Waters Says:
    September 15th, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I need to replace the grouting at the Base of my shower. Do I need to remove the silicone that surrounds the shower tray or is it possible to grout up to the silicone seal. Will this be sufficient to prevent water seepage?

  • Anna Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    How much grout do I have to take out of my tile so I can regrout

  • Lisa Says:
    November 30th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I had a similar problem of a dog urine smell at the landing of my basement steps. The former owner must of had a dog who went there. Time and time again I would try to use every cleaner I could find. Eventually I would clean it with vinegar. Eventually the smell would come back. So I soaked it with vinegar. Once it dried I painted the wood. When the paint dried I was able to lay tile that matched the adjoining kitchen tile. The smell has never returned. I believe the vinegar then paint did the job

  • Frances Scott Says:
    September 29th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I am planning on doing it your self and adding a bathroom to my attic. I need to know if there is a space requirement or adjustment for the floor jousts between the second floor and attic for the plumbing to fit….never added new just worked on existing.

  • Bonnie Thomas Says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    How much grout between tiles needs to be removed before re-grouting? All of it; 1/2 of it? Don’t want to have to redo again.

  • Anthony Says:
    September 15th, 2013 at 6:04 am

    We just bought our home, there had been some toilet leak on main floor that damage a bit the subfloor under it, and made the ceiling in unfinished basement smelly. Every time we go to our basement in laundry room where this damage occurred the smell is strong. We know we need to replace that piece of subfloor. But for now can we do anything to neutralize that smell? Can we clean the plywood? What would you recommend? I am working 6 days a week and have 2 small children that for now I don’t have time to fix the problem.
    Thanks Danny

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.

 characters available

What to Do About Worn-Out Grout