How Much Does it Cost to Regrout Shower Tile?
One of the most important things homeowners can do for their showers is to regrout the tile. It's not always necessary to replace the tile in the bathroom. Sometimes, tile can be saved by simply regrouting it. See all the costs and benefits associates with regrouting shower tiles.
If you need help with your regrouting project, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four bathroom remodeling contractors near you!
Table of Contents
- Regrouting Shower Tile Cost
- Regrouting Shower Tile Cost Factors
- Regrouting Shower Advantages
- Regrouting Shower Disadvantages
- When To Regrout Shower
- How To Increase Life Of Shower Grout
- Types Of Grout
- Grout Maintenance
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Materials Needed
- How To Regrout Shower Tile
- Find A Pro
Regrouting Shower Tile Cost
Regrouting a shower is not a difficult project, but one that does take time. The material cost is not a lot, but when factoring in labor, the price does rise.
- Minimum Regrouting Shower Cost: $10 per square foot
- Maximum Regrouting Shower Cost: $25 per square foot
Regrouting shower tile requires a lot of special tools. This is why most homeowners are able to save money by hiring a bathroom professional to regrout their bathroom. Contractors bring their own tools and the materials needed to regrout the shower. The basic material costs run between $180 and $420, depending on the quality of the grout and caulk purchased. The higher-end project cost also includes adding stain to the grout to color it.
The cost for labor is what can get expensive. This is not because grouting is a hard process. It’s very time consuming. Homeowners are not just paying for the contractor to put in new grout. You are also paying them to remove all of the existing grout. Doing this can take hours and is usually done with a utility knife or grout remover. Although removing the existing grout is time consuming, it’s a very necessary process to make sure that the new grout has a watertight seal with the tile. Labor costs will be based on the time it takes a pro to finish the job.
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 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 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 of the old grout does and can be quite messy as well.
When To Regrout Shower
You’re going to regrout the tile in your shower at some point. However, it’s tricky to determine the right time to regrout. Some grout will last longer than others, so there is no specific timeline for when a homeowner needs to regrout. Homeowners should look for mold buildup on the grout. If this mold is not easily removed with household cleaners, it may be time to regrout.
You should must also pay attention to tiles that are becoming loose. This is an obvious sign that the grout in between the tiles is breaking down. Last but not least, always pay attention to areas of the shower where there could be water leakage. If homeowners think that an area of their shower is leaking or that water is getting in between the tiles, it may be time to regrout.
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.
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.
Types Of Grout
If you’re regrouting your shower tile, you have to determine what type of grout to use. Fortunately, there are many options on the market, all offering their own set of pros and cons. The most popular types of grout are listed below, but if you want to ensure you install the right type of grout, we highly recommend contacting a local bathroom remodeling contractor.
- Non-Sanded Grout: This grout is used on small tile joints. It should be applied on dry surfaces. Needless to say, most showers do not use non-sanded grout.
- Sanded Grout: For larger tile joints, sanded grout is ideal. It does not shrink after it dries, unlike non-sanded grout, and typically lasts longer. It’s perfect for heavier stones or tiles. But, do not use sanded grout on polished stone.
- Epoxy Grout: For a tough and durable grout, go with epoxy. It resists acidic chemicals, making it much easier to clean. It’s waterproof and mold-resistant, two very important features for any shower grout. As you might expect, epoxy grout tends to be more expensive than other options discussed.
- Cement Grout: For quick and easy installation, cement grout is your answer. However, cement grout requires much more maintenance than epoxy grout. You’ll have to seal it immediately after it cures and dries.
For specific types, the following grouts have all garnered terrific reviews:
- Spectralock Pro Premium Mini Parts A&B From Laticrete
- E873 Tile Grout From Elmer’s
- 0438 Tile Grout From Red Devil
Most grouts are made from water, sand and cement. As such, grout is extremely porous and attracts grease and dirt faster than tiles. Therefore, you need to maintain and clean your grout to keep it looking like new for years. You should clean your grout every month using the tips above, but if you rather have the pros handle, professional grout cleaning costs range from $80 to $250.
Other grout maintenance tips include:
- Clean as often as possible
- Avoid harsh chemicals
- Seal cement grout once it dries
- Inspect for loose tiles and fix if necessary
- Fix leaky shower heads
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Any homeowner with minimal DIY experience and 1-2 days to spare can regrout their shower tile. It’s not a complicated process, but one that that requires a good amount of time and elbow grease. While most homeowners opt to hire the pros, others look forward to the DIY challenge.
The basic materials needed for grouting include grout and caulk. However, a number of tools are also needed to regrout a shower correctly. Below is a full list of the tools that most professionals use when they regrout a shower:
- Utility knife or grout remover to remove existing grout
- Grout float or spreader
- Grout finisher
- Dust mask to avoid inhaling mold and other dust while removing existing grout
- Shop vacuum to clean up the existing grout that is removed
- Caulk gun
- Safety glasses
- Stain, if you want to color the grout
How To Regrout Shower Tile
If you’re ready to take on the project alone, you’ve come to the right place. Using all materials above, the below list should get you on your way to a beautiful regrouting shower:
- Cover all floors and drains with a sheet or towel.
- Starting in the middle, use your utility knife or grout remover and apply pressure as you move your way across all grout. If you’re removing a lot of grout, you may want to buy an electric grout remover.
- Remove the vertical grout before the horizontal grout.
- Be careful not to damage the tile. If you do, you may have to replace existing tile.
- Clean all tiles and remaining grout with a damp cloth.
- Time to regrout. Mix the powder if your grout calls for it. Do not mix too much as it may harden before applying.
- Apply grout to your grout float or spreader and smear across the tile.
- Work quickly, as the grout can harden within 20-30 minutes.
- Clean off any excess grout once finished applying.
- After all grout dries for 30-40 minutes, use your grout finisher and go through all grout lines.
- Clean off excess grout.
To visually see how the pros do it, please watch the video below:
Find A Pro
Regrouting your shower tile adds new life to a neglected bathroom. It will not only make it look cleaner, but also feel cleaner. If you need help with this demanding home improvement project, ImproveNet can help you find up to four bathroom remodeling contractors in your area, free of charge.
Last updated on Mar 1, 2017
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