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DIY or Not?: Regrout ceramic tile

If you have a ceramic tile floor or walls, you know it's a hard-working surface. But if the grout becomes stained or cracked, it can lose its holding power and damage the underlayment. You can fix the problem by removing the damaged grout and then applying new grout. You can hire a tile installer or handyman to do the job, or invest in a few tools and materials and do it yourself. • Choose a latex caulk or one specified for the type of tile you're repairing. To do the job manually, use a utility knife and grout saw to remove the old grout, or get a multitool or drill attachment designed for the job. The job involves removing the old grout, cleaning out the grout joints, applying the new grout and then smoothing the joint. A glaze appears on the tile that should be wiped off. To complete the job, caulk all the openings to seal them. Figure the job will take about two days because the grout needs time to dry and the caulk needs another day to cure. • For 80 square feet of ceramic tile, a handyman service will charge $188 to remove old grout and apply new grout. You can do the job for $40, the cost of a multitool and material, and save 79 percent. — Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services

Pro

cost DIY

cost Pro

hours DIY

hours DIY

savings Percent

saved

$188 -- $40 -- 6.0 -- 8.0 -- $148 -- 79%

Pro

cost
DIY

cost
Pro

hours
DIY

hours
DIY

savings
Percent saved
$188$406.08.0$14879%
Source: Tribune Media Services

DIY or Not?: Regrout ceramic tile 12/18/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2009 3:30am]

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