Grout cleaning in NYC
February 11, 2009 12:01 PM   Subscribe

I live in a small NYC East Village apartment. I have very bad grout in the kitchen and bathroom. I don't have a problem doing maintenance on it myself, but think it wise to have it done professionally first. How much can I expect to pay, and how can I find a decent service?
posted by aletheia to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Do you need to clean it or fix it? In either case, it's not rocket science.

If you just need to clean it, get some Tilex and be done with it.

If you need to repair it, that sounds like the landlord's problem. He may not want to do anything about it. You might negotiate taking care of it yourself and getting a discount on your rent.

Fixing grout is slow, aggravating work, but there's no technique to it. There's no reason to pay someone else to do it except to avoid doing it yourself (which would be reasonable).

1. Buy a grout saw. Buy two, they're cheap.
2. Saw out all the old grout. This will take at least 30 minutes per square foot, depending on your tile size. Perhaps you can bribe a friend to help. It's a total pain in the ass.
3. Buy grout mix.
4. Mix it. Wipe on, wipe off. This will take about 30 minutes total.

The only wildcard is if your grout is not white—that is, not meant to be white. If so, you'll need to get some grout colorant to match your existing look.
posted by adamrice at 12:41 PM on February 11, 2009

You shouldn't have anything like that done without knowledge and permission from your landlord.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2009

If it needs repaired rather than just cleaned it's the landlord's job to take care of it. The super or maintenance guy will be able to do the work.

Your landlord, though, maybe isn't too concerned about smaller-scale repair duties. If you need to light a fire under their ass, if you can make a claim that you're worried about leaks and nastier water damage due to the poor condition of the bathroom grouting, that should help.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:38 PM on February 11, 2009

Response by poster: While I generally don't disagree on the landlord issue, getting the landlord to do anything here is trickier than it sounds, as I have experienced all too many times. I always try to get something done when I'm able to myself. They're well aware of it at this point.
Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by aletheia at 5:14 AM on February 12, 2009

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