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


  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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 ?

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

    • 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.

  13. 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

    • 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!

    • Hi, Mark!
      We can’t answer all the questions we receive due to the high volume (2 million+ monthly visitors), but we sure do our best.
      Selected questions receive a moderator’s answer, as the comments form states.
      Thanks for visiting todayshomeowner.com!


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