Evenly colored, clean, well-mixed grout without cracks can be the difference between a tiled floor or backsplash looking like a million bucks or downright dreary. While some grout problems are easy to fix—we like a simple baking soda and vinegar mixture for cleaning—cracked, unevenly colored, and powdery grout can be difficult to fix. Here are 4 common grout problems, and when you should call a professional.
Cracks in grout have a number of causes—but there is a worst-case scenario. The subfloor underneath the tile may be loose. Tap the end of a broomstick on the tiles, and listen for a hollow sound. If the problem is with the subfloor, a professional can remove all loose or hollow tiles and fix both the grout installation and the subfloor issue.
Pinholes have a much simpler solution than major cracks. The small holes are caused by soupy grout. Simply wet the holes with water, and push a new mixture of grout into the pinholes with a finger. Wipe off any extra grout with a sponge, and let the area dry.
Grout that feels powdery or flaky is caused by not using enough water when mixing the grout. Unfortunately, the only solution is to remove all of the powdery grout with a grout saw and replace the grout.
Uneven color is a common grout problem, especially with the tile was installed by someone with little experience. The uneven color usually comes from how the grout was mixed. If water is added to rehydrate grout, or the grout is mixed from different bags, the color can be inconsistent. The grout will need to be removed with a grout saw, and replaced with an even mixture.