Regrouting your shower wall and floor can be necessitated by the current grout being discolored, dirty, infected with microorganisms such as bacteria and mold, or looseness. Whatever reason you have for regrouting your shower wall and floor, you can do so in six simple steps given the right tools.
Regrouting can be done with simple tools and in a few DIY steps. On average, it’ll cost you about $150 to regrout your bathroom wall.
You’ll need the following items:
- Grout (sanded grout for wider joints between 1/16 to 1/8 inches)
- Grout spreader and shaper
- Piece of cloth
- Mixing bucket
- Putty knife
Before heading to the shop, make sure you’ve measured the size of your bathroom wall to know how much of each item you’ll need. The tools needed have their mechanized versions which can make your work easier but increase the cost of regrouting significantly.
Some precautions to take note of include:
- Protect your hands with gloves and your eyes with goggles. Cover your mouth and nose against any toxic fumes that come from the process with a face mask.
- Mix the grout to a medium consistency. It should be thin enough to allow for manipulation, and hard enough not to flow away instead of staying within the tile joints.
- Mix as little grout as you will need for a given section of the wall and floor. Too much of it mixed at a single time will likely lead to wastage as the grout starts hardening after 30 minutes. If not used by then, it’s a waste.
With these tips, head over to the next section for the steps on how to regrout a shower floor and wall.
How to Regrout a Shower Floor
Regrouting gives your bathroom a new look, prevents further damage and helps you get rid of infections by mold and bacteria.
Here’s how to regrout a shower floor yourself:
1. Remove the old grout
The grout in between the tiles needs to be removed at least half the thickness of a tile using a trowel or razor blade scraper tool. If the grout proves too hard for whatever tool you have, do not apply excessive force as you may end up damaging the tiles. Rather, apply a small amount of acetone to soften the grout for ease of removal.
It is easier and more effective to remove the grout from the vertical lines followed by the horizontal lines.
One aspect you need to be careful with is the differentiation of grout from the caulk. Typically, caulk is used where there can be movement between shower surfaces or corners. Grout should be used on the walls or floors and on the flat sections.
At times, however, the plumber can use the two materials in different sections. You can test each by pressing a sharp object in a given section of the space between tiles. If it goes in as if pressing in jelly, that’s caulk. Grout is chalk-like and hard in nature. Make sure to replace the grout with grout, and caulk with caulk.
2. Apply fresh grout
Ensure that the whole shower is dry before applying new grout since applying it on a wet surface compromises its quality.
Mix some grout with water to create a paste with medium consistency then press it in parts on the regions between the tiles. Ensure you obtain a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. Use a trowel for this task. It’s okay if the grout spills over to the tile surfaces since the aim is to obtain grouting that’s flush with the tiles.
Force the grout to fill up the spaces between the tiles tightly for the best results.
3. Remove the excess grout
Use a wet sponge to wipe away any excess grout from the tiles. The aim is to fill the regions between tiles with grout thus the wiping shouldn’t be too rough. This can instead remove the grout between these areas.
Only slightly wet the sponge as too much water weakens and eventually removes the grout between the tiles.
4. Shape the joints
After the grout has hardened up a bit, move the grout sharper along the joints to obtain one continuous and neat finish. If you do this and gaps emerge in the joints, add some more grout and shape it again till you obtain the desired result.
5. Polish the surface
With a soft and dry piece of cloth, wipe the surface in continuous motions to clear off the powdery film (grout haze) that forms on the tiles.
6. Seal the grout
To prevent the growth of mold and mildew, you can add a coat of sealant on the grout and caulk 48 hours after removing the haze. A silicone sealant does the job quite well.
You’re free to use the shower again at least 24 hours after applying the sealant. As you use the shower, keep an eye out for any loose parts such as tiles or grout. It is always safer to repair such parts than be forced to rebuilt the whole bathroom wall due to damage by water.