Seeing dirty or cracked grout lines and tile can sometimes be so discouraging that we think the only answer is to retile an entire wall or room. But, consider the level of deterioration before making such a decision. There are incremental steps you may be able to take to give your tile and grout extended life. Scrubbing grout or tile may be the simplest answer, but it will likely require a professional grade cleaner or steamer. Since some heavy-duty cleaning formulas employ strong chemicals, be sure to test any cleanser in an inconspicuous spot, while wearing prescribed protection.

If some repair is necessary, it’s worth noting that individual tiles or sections of damaged tile can be replaced without committing to an entirely new tile installation. However, it’s not exactly a do-it yourself job. Presuming you can find replacement tile and grout that matches, such a project requires a skillful professional to ensure a clean and “seamless” installation that does not appear like a patchwork solution.