If you have an old tile shower that is in good condition except for the grout, regrouting may allow you to keep your shower, prevent an expensive replacement, and make it look cleaner and brighter than before. Regrouting is the process of digging out and removing old grout and replacing it with fresh new grout. Grout is responsible for protecting the edges of your tile from damage and helps keep water out of your walls. If it is cracking, it should be replaced to prevent serious damage to the tiles or studs.
The cost to regrout depends on the shower size, grout type, and age of the grout. The national average range is $500 – $1,000, with most people paying around $800 to regrout 80 sq.ft. of 3”x6” wall tiles, replacing the old grout with new stain-resistant polymer additive grout.
For larger jobs, expect to spend anywhere from about $10 to $65 for a 25-pound bag of dry grout. Pre-mixed grouts come ready-to-use and require no mixing, but their pricing can vary widely, from $12 to $160.
Grout is a cement-based mixture that comes in sanded and un-sanded varieties. Un-sanded grout has a less gritty texture than sanded grout. However, un-sanded grout is best for thin, 1/16-inch joints. If your grout joint is 1/8 inch or greater, you’ll need to buy a sanded grout. Most designs use a 1/8-inch joint width. We have a wide range of property Melbourne regrouting services at Hitch Property Constructions.
How much coverage you can get out of a 25-pound dry bag depends on the width and depth of the joint and size of the tile. Smaller tiles (between 4 and 12 inches) with larger joints (1/4-inch or greater) will require more grout for a 100 square-foot job than a job with larger, 16 to 20 inches, tile that only has 1/16-inch joints. Because of these factors, a 25-pound bag may cover a space as small as 60 square feet or one as large as 200 square feet.
How to Regrout a Shower
Regrouting a shower is not a difficult job, just a long and tedious one. If you choose to DIY this process to save on the labor fees, use a grout saw and not a power tool. While power tools are faster, they damage your tile if you do not use them properly. They also require special diamond tips or blades to cut through efficiently, and these tips and blades require frequent changing. Leave the power tools to the professionals.
A grout saw is designed to fit between the tiles and cut away the grout. It works just like it sounds – put it between the tiles and saw. A utility knife with a very fresh blade also works. The key is to dig out the grout on either side at the tile so that the center pulls free.
Cut away the caulk as well in the corners and at the bottom. Use a utility knife for this because the caulk is soft and pulls free easily.
Wash everything well and dry it thoroughly. Grout comes dry or premixed in tubs because poor mixing causes it to crack. Unless you have a lot of experience with mixing grout, it is advised to purchase the premixed material. It is more expensive but ready to use.
Scoop up a blob of grout about the size of a baseball onto the end of the grout float. Hold the float at about 80 degrees to the wall and scrape the grout over the joints. Push the float close to flat as you pass the joints to press the grout into place. Scrape excess grout off the tiles with the side of the float and press it in again from a different angle. Keep this up until all the joints are filled.
Let them set a few minutes and get a grout sponge lightly damp. You do not want the sponge dripping water. Rub it over the tiles in small circles to remove the excess grout. Rinse the sponge thoroughly and wring it out completely each time. If a slight grout haze remains, buff it off with a dry cloth once the tiles are dry. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before using the shower.
It takes a professional with experience and the right tools 12 hours to regrout a shower. The time it takes for you to do it yourself is considerably longer, so while you save on labor, you pay in the time spent.
Sanded vs Unsanded Grout for Showers
Most grout comes in one of two forms known as sanded or unsanded grout. Grout is a mixture of Portland cement with additives for color and binding. On its own, it is fairly smooth and has some degree of flex to absorb movement in the home and prevent the tiles from cracking.
Unsanded grout is most commonly used on wall tiles where the grout joint is ⅛” or smaller. Using it in a wider joint could cause it to shrink too much as it dries, leaving gaps. Sanded grout is the same base mixture but with added sand, making the grout thicker and stronger. It fills wider joints more easily and is less likely to crack. For this reason, sanded grout needs to be regrouted far less often than unsanded grout.
Unsanded grout is what you usually find in the shower, but this depends on the type of tile you have.
Both grout types range in costs from $5 – $25 a bag, with white and light gray grouts costing the least and specialty colors costing the most. Grouts with additives also cost more.
Epoxy Grout vs Cement Grout
Cement-based grout is the most common grout type on the market. It is inexpensive, easy-to-use, and comes in a wide range of colors. However, unsanded cement grout almost always cracks over time, while all unsealed or unmodified cement grouts eventually discolor or develop mildew staining.
Epoxy-based grout is one alternative to basic cement grouts, and it is the preferred material for some glass tile manufacturers. This is an epoxy resin-based grout, so it is smoother and does not contain sand. It is mixed right before being applied and gives off very strong volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is expensive and difficult to spread, so expect to pay more for labor if you use an epoxy grout instead of cement grout. However, epoxy is flexible, so it does not crack over time. It also resists staining and discoloration because it is completely non-porous. Cement-based grout absorbs stains while epoxy grout does not. Looking for regrouting services Melbourne on property maintenance? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Not every tile installer has worked with epoxy, and some may choose not to. If you already have epoxy grout, you do not need to regrout your shower unless you want to change the grout color because it is not color-sealed like sanded cement grout.
Epoxy grout is usually more expensive than cement-based grout. Cement-based grout costs $5 – $25 a bag, while epoxy grout starts at $50 – $75.
Regrouting Shower Tile Cost Factors
While the cost above represents the average tile regrouting cost, there are ways to lower your project estimate. Keep all in mind as you search the perfect bathroom pro near you.
As said above, the majority of your shower regrouting cost will come from labor. This is hard work and professional contractors have a right to charge you what they deem as fair. For some, that cost is simply too much.
On the other hand, if you’re ready for a simple, yet demanding DIY project, you could cut your tile regrouting budget in half. Just beware, screw-ups can be costly. If you break a tile or the drywall behind it, the tile repair cost will hurt.
As you would expect, larger showers take more time to regrout than smaller showers. They don’t only require more materials, but more time to complete. Your regrouting professional will most likely charge by the hour so luckily, you’ll be able to see exactly how much more it costs for a bigger shower.
With any home materials, it pays to buy extra the first time around. The same can be said for grout. If you have extra grout from a previous project, you should utilize what you have left (if still good). If not, you’ll have to buy a bucket or bag of new grout from your nearest department store. Sadly, this is easier said than done, as most homeowners can’t distinguish shades of the grout. If you don’t have a label or receipt from your first grout purchase, it won’t be easy to match up. Thus, buying extra the first time around is always ideal.
On the other, if you’re changing your grout color, you don’t have to worry about matching your existing grout. Still, expect to spend a bit more on materials, as you’ll have to regrout the entire shower.
Stated above, bathroom contractors charge by the hour. The faster they finish the project, the less expensive your tile regrouting project will be. Therefore, you should make it as easy as possible to access the shower tile. Remove any towels, shower curtains, or mats before your contractor comes out for a bid. Show them they’ll have more than enough space to get the job done as quickly as possible.
As a bonus, tell them you can happily use another bathroom for two or three days. Contractors like space, both literally and figuratively. The more space you give them, the less your regrout tile project will cost.
Regrouting Shower Advantages
When it comes to regrouting a shower, homeowners have a few options. In fact, you can choose to retile your bathroom instead of just regrouting. In the process of retiling the bathroom, the old grout will be removed and new grout will be put in. That being said, there are advantages to regrouting.
The major advantage that comes with regrouting a shower is that it saves money in the short term. Instead of spending a lot of money on buying new tiles and redoing everything, you’re able to just remove the existing grout and put new grout in. Regrouting also helps keep the seal between tiles watertight. This will prevent water from leaking between the tiles and causing mold buildup. Regrouting can also help increase the value and visual appeal of any bathroom. You can even choose to add color to the new grout to change the entire look of the shower.
Regrouting Shower Disadvantages
Although regrouting is cheaper than retiling, it does not last as long. While it might save money in the short term, retiling usually turns out to be a better investment in the long run. In addition, with retiling, you can choose a completely new look for your shower by picking out new tiles. Regrouting does not allow for this much change.
Regrouting is also a very long and tiresome process. Installing new grout does not take very long, but removing the old grout does and can be quite messy as well.
How To Increase Life Of Shower Grout
Regrouting is a process that takes a long time. As such, homeowners want their existing grout to last as long as possible. Regardless of whether it’s new grout or old grout, there are a few things you can do to help protect your new grout. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of regrouting services.
First, you should avoid using harsh chemicals to clean the grout and instead, look for chemicals that are safe to use on grout. Bleach, for example, can break down grout quicker. Most chemicals will have a label on the back to inform the purchaser if it is safe to be used on all types of grout or not. If the product does not say on its label, homeowners can look it up online. There are many online communities dedicated to helping consumers learn which products are safe to use on grout and which ones are not.
Also, homeowners should avoid using hard scrub brushes when cleaning grout. Such tough brushes slowly wear down grout over time. Scrubbing hard is also very tough on grout. Although scrubbing hard may be the only way to remove mildew stains from grout, homeowners should come up with another way to keep these stains at bay. For example, cleaning the grout more often but less vigorously will help increase the life of the grout. At the first sign of discoloration, homeowners should take action and clean it.