Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Repairing Grout

I love the idea of brick floors, but I am torn on whether I would do them again. I certainly would NOT put them in a bathroom again. They are in our powder bath and mom’s bathroom as well as at each entrance/exit that has a door to the exterior. My first mistake was that I did not by the sealed version of brick. You could get them pre-sealed. I bought the unsealed because I thought the sealed were too shiny. I tried to seal the brick after installation and did many many many many coats, but it was worthless. They are so porous and it did no good.

The installation of the brick floors is when our tile guy got up and left us. He quit. It was too hard. I ended up grouting some of the brick and it was a pain! Especially since I bought the unsealed brick. After grouting, I had to use muriatic acid to clean the grout off the brick. Another pain!

Immediately after moving in, pieces of our grout were falling out! This was only where we had the brick flooring. The cause could be anything… joint too wide, using the muriatic acid, poor installation job… who knows. I was learning to live with it and thought it made the house look old to have it falling apart (haha). But I wanted to try and fix it.

When I first started noticing the grout damage, I looked up how to repair grout. I read that you could not simply just patch the hole in the new grout as it wouldn’t adhere properly. If I wanted to replace grout, I had to remove the old grout. I took this as possibly meaning that I could remove just enough that touched the length of a tile and put new grout down the length of the tile. Surely I didn’t have to remove ALL the grout in the entire floor?I ended up just vacuuming the "holes" and didn't remove any more grout.

Dirty in Hole


I had left over grout so I mixed some and patched the holes. If this method didn’t work then I would chisel out the old grout around the one tile and see how that works.

So far, so good and no more holes in the grout. I still expect more holes to top up, as they always do, but I had over 20 holes in the grout, so this is a good improvement.

When it started to dry, I noticed that the grout color was not matching! I guess I didn’t mix it properly? No clue. The swatch color matched the color of my floor.

I have no holes, but there is white grout now! I then bought the Mapei Grout Refresh in my correct color and painted the new grout. I may have mixed the grout wrong, but I thought I could fix it by painting over it. The color on the bottle matched my grout when I held it up to the floor. But it did not change the color of the grout! I even pulled away my buffet in the foyer to see if the untouched grout was lighter. It wasn't.
My guess is that our grout has gotten that dirty over the years, or the sealant did something?? Still not sure. I bought a new sealant that I was going to try and use, but now I don’t want to seal in the color imperfection!
I’m going to see how the grout refresh holds up on these thick grout lines and go from there. I may even rub some dirt in it! I'm happy I have no more holes, so if I had to choose one imperfection over the other, I choose no holes. 

Time to get the grout dirty!

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