You can clean your shower all you want, but eventually, there comes a time when you’re going to have to remove your old shower grout and replace it with brand new shower grout.
Grout is the material that locks tiles together and keeps moisture from penetrating your expensive tile. It is used throughout the house, but mainly in the bathroom, all over your shower and tile floors. Over time, grout starts to peel and become dirty. Cleaning does help, but fortunately enough, you can also regrout your shower without a big financial debt.
Below, I will show you how to regrout a shower and all the materials you need to complete this time-consuming, yet effective home remodeling project.
Materials Needed To Regrout
Like any project, there are basic materials and tools one needs to complete the job and others that make the job easier to complete. For any regrouting project, make sure you purchase:
- Utility Knife
- Grout Remover or Grout Rake
- Dusk Mask
- Masking Paper
- Grout (waterproof)
- Grout Spreader or Grout Float
- Mixing Bucket
- Putty Knife or Grout Mixing Tool
- Sponge & Cleaning Supplies
Now, there are certain tools that can make your regrouting project easier and less time-consuming. In addition to all the materials above, I recommend purchasing:
- Electric Grout Remover
- Caulk Gun
- Stain (Color Grout)
- Grout Enhancer
- Grout Saw
- Scrub Brush
- Grout Sad
How To Remove Grout
Over time, your grout has undoubtedly settled into place and formed a very hard surface in between all your tiles. As such, if you use a standard grout removal tool, the project will be labor intensive. In fact, that is why hiring a professional is so expensive. The labor charge makes up a majority of the invoice. By comparison, according to our shower regrouting cost estimator, materials for a regrouting project ranges between $180 and $420.
To cut down on the intensity and labor of the project, you could purchase an electric grout remover. Its high-speed bit effortlessly chews away old grout and guides you between the tiles, preventing expensive tile repairs.
Nevertheless, no matter what tool you are using, start by putting on your goggles, dusk mask and rubber gloves. Then, cover the tub and surrounding areas with masking paper. If you are working near the drain, cover that as well. Grout and plumbing do not get along. Also, turn on your bathroom fan and open all windows and doors.
Take your grout remover (whether it be electric or not) and place the blade tip directly on the grout. For a standard grout remover, the blade tips face one way, so only move in one direction. Firmly, move across the grout as if you were butterflying a big piece of chicken. Start in the middle of your shower and move your way out. Do the vertical lines first, before moving onto the horizontal lines.
Remember, the grout is going to be tough. In order to remove your shower grout, a little elbow grease will be needed. Just be careful not to cut any of your existing tiles. For larger grout lines, I highly recommend an electric remover. It’s not only faster, but makes the job much easier to complete.
Once you have removed all the old grout, clean the tiles with a damp sponge and your chosen cleaning supplies. For more tips on grout cleaning, please see tile and grout cleaning costs.
Regrout Your Shower
Before you choose a grout, make sure you take an extra piece of tile, or a picture of your tile, to your nearest hardware store. Talk with a pro to find out what type and color go best in your shower. More than likely, you will choose the same color you had before (white or gray) and a waterproof grout designed for showers and bathrooms. Additionally, you should use sanded grout for wide joints (1/16 to 1/8 inch) and unsanded for narrower joints.
Once the entire area has been cleaned, you can start mixing your grout. Some grouts will come in ready-mixed forms. If you are mixing grout yourself, only mix the amount you think you will use in 30 minutes. Otherwise, the grout may hard and won’t be able to transfer.
You can mix the grout with water or grout enhancer. Grout enhancers can improve its durability and stain resistance. Mix using your putty knife until you form a creamy paste. Do not over mix and create air bubbles. Once mixed, it’s time to apply to the shower.
Place a chunk of grout on your grout float or grout spreader. For larger showers, a grout float is recommended and it will undoubtedly save you time and energy. Use whichever tool you chose to work the grout across the tile. Apply the replacement grout at a 45-degree angle. Work it thoroughly into the spaces between tiles so there are no air bubbles or gaps. You may have to use the edges of a grout spreader to push the remaining grout into its appropriate spots. Cover the entire surface and work at a steady pace. No breaks as the grout can harden in 30 minutes or less.
Once all grout is added, clean off all excess grout with a wet sponge. If you accidently remove any wanted grout while cleaning, you can add some back using your finger or putty knife. If you wish, you can now apply new caulk to the outskirts of the shower. New caulk makes sense when regrouting a shower.
Let the grout harden for 30 minutes and then use your grout saw to give it an even appearance. Let the grout sit for another three hours and then take some wet paper towels and wipe off the powdery film that usually remains