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Shower Regrouting Cost

Shower Regrouting Cost

National average
$800
(regrouting 80sq.ft. of 3”x6” subway tiles with standard grout, applying new polymer grout)
Low: $400

(regrouting 80sq.ft. of large format tile that had improperly cured grout)

High: $2,400

(regrouting a shower with 2” tiles and epoxy grout, reapplying new epoxy grout)

Cost to regrout a shower varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from tile, marble and granite contractors in your city.

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Shower Regrouting Cost

National average
$800
(regrouting 80sq.ft. of 3”x6” subway tiles with standard grout, applying new polymer grout)
Low: $400

(regrouting 80sq.ft. of large format tile that had improperly cured grout)

High: $2,400

(regrouting a shower with 2” tiles and epoxy grout, reapplying new epoxy grout)

Cost to regrout a shower varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from tile, marble and granite contractors in your city.

The average cost of regrouting a shower is $800​.

How Much Does It Cost Regrout a Shower?

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.

Shower Regrouting Costs

Cost to Regrout a Tile Shower
National average cost$800​
Average range$500-$1,000
Minimum cost$400
Maximum cost$2,400

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.

Most Common Grouts by Tile Material

There are always exceptions to every rule, such as some fragile glass tiles requiring unsanded grout or specific tile companies that specify epoxy grout. In general, when installing the following tiles, these are the corresponding grout types:


Type of TileType of Grout
Machine-made wall tileUnsanded
Handmade wall tileSanded
Floor tile up to 12 inches with straight edgesUnsanded
Large format floor tile over 12 inchesSanded
Mosaic tileSanded
Glass tileSanded unless otherwise specified
Tumbled marbleSanded
Polished or honed stone tileUnsanded


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.

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.


White bathroom with new shower grouting


Polymer Additive Grout

Another option to consider when regrouting a shower when you want something longer-lasting is to use a polymer additive grout or acrylic grout. This is a cement-based grout that has acrylic polymers added to the mix. It is stiffer and harder to spread than traditional cement-based grout but easier to work with than epoxy. Some versions are premixed, but you may also purchase them dry. Depending on the brand, it may have no VOCs, but some brands give off a very strong odor.

Polymer additive grouts come in the same colors as standard grout but do not require sealing after installation. They are sometimes referred to as pre-sealed grout. They are more expensive than other grouts - cement-based grout costs $5 - $25 a bag, while polymer additive grout costs $20 - $50 for the same amount of coverage.

Average Cost to Regrout a Shower

Regrouting a shower is tedious and time-consuming work. It requires the old grout to be cut or ground out between the tiles before new grout can be floated in. Depending on the grout type and age, this is done using a grout saw, utility knife, or diamond-tipped power tools. Most professionals opt for the tools because they know how to use them without chipping the surrounding tile, but for some tight corners and small jobs, they may prefer a grout saw.

The grout needs to be taken down to a minimum of half of its previous depth before applying the new grout.

Then, the tiles should be cleaned, dried, and the new grout mixed and floated into place. This takes time, so some tile installers charge by the hour, while others charge by the square foot. It is not uncommon to find fees of around $30 an hour for this job.

Per square foot, there is a very wide range from $4 to $15, depending largely on the tile size and grout type.

The average stall shower is around 80sq.ft. of tile, and the most popular shower tile is the 3”x6” subway tile. The average cost to regrout this shower is about $700 for labor, plus material costs and added fees for cleanup.


White ensuite bathroom in renovated home


Factors Affecting the Cost of Shower Regrouting

Several factors affect the cost of this project from the shower size to the tile size. Large format tiles are easy to regrout because there is little grout compared to the size of the tile, and the joints are easy to reach.

Mosaic tile is extremely time-consuming and, therefore, expensive to regrout, with costs often being double the average for a tile size above 4 inches. For this reason, many companies do not regrout a tile under 4 inches and may recommend color sealing or other methods instead.

If the grout is old and cuts out easily, this results in a lower cost. When removing epoxy grout to change the color, this results in a higher cost because it needs to be completely removed, taking more time than cement grouts.

For some very large jobs, you may be given a flat day rate because the time to regrout a shower is 12 hours or more, depending on the size and condition of the grout and tile.

When to Regrout a Shower

Grout is added to tile in part to be an expansion joint. It is meant to flex because your tiles do not. Eventually, most older grouts become brittle and begin to crack. Newer grouts that were improperly mixed may also become powdery and crack over time. If you have grout that is developing cracks or if pieces have come out, it is time to regrout the shower. Otherwise, water gets through the grout to the wall cavity behind. This causes mold and mildew growth as well as water damage over time.

Regrouting is most commonly done on wall tiles with unsanded grout because sanded grout, epoxy grout, and polymer additive grout rarely crack. If they do, it is easily repairable without needing to regrout the entire shower.

Color Sealing Instead of Regrouting

If you have grout that is not cracked but very stained and unable to be cleaned, a good alternative to regrouting is color sealing. This is a special paint made just for grout that changes its color. So, if you grouted in a color you do not like or the grout is so discolored it cannot be cleaned, color sealing is a good solution.

Color sealing is usually done on sanded grout that is in otherwise good condition. A few small cracks may also be repaired at the same time without issue. The only minor drawback to this process is that the final color may be slightly shiny or have a sheen to it. Most people do not notice it, but others may not like it as much as standard matte grout.

Color-sealed grout does not discolor again as quickly because it is designed to repel stains. Costs for color sealing start at around $500 for a shower.

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.

Best Grout for Showers

Ultimately, the best grout for your shower depends on several things - the tile type, the size of the grout joint, and your comfortability working with it. For this reason, ask your installer for their recommendation on the best grout. Using the wrong grout voids the warranty on some tiles and causes damage to others.

In general, op for a polymer-based grout or an epoxy grout for better results. If you choose to use a standard grout, seal it with an impregnating sealer 24 - 48 hours after it dries to help impede staining.

How to Clean Shower Grout

Different grouts require different cleaning methods to keep them looking their best. Pre-sealed and epoxy grouts keep stains on the surface where they are more easily wiped away using your preferred bathroom cleaner.

But cement-based grouts that have not been modified absorb stains if they are not given a sealer. Even then, they may still absorb stains. Before cleaning your grout, make sure that the cleaner does not damage your tile - stone tile requires a pH-neutral cleaner.

The best cleaner to use on grout is an oxygen bleach. It pulls stains to the surface and works on most tiles. However, for some stubborn stains, a bleach pen may also be used but keep it on the grout and not on the tile if possible.

Use a small brush and gently agitate the grout and tiles to clean them. Rinse well with water. It is a good idea to clean your grout regularly to help prevent stains from building up and becoming harder to remove.

Shower Grout Repair Cost

Sometimes, shower grout is repaired if the crack is small or only confined to a small area. Keep in mind that sometimes it is hard to match grout, so if the rest of the grout is discolored, it may not be possible to match the grout on the repair. In that case, you may want to color seal the entire shower or regrout to match.

If you make a decent match in color between the repaired area and the rest of the shower, there is a range of associated costs for repair. Most installers have a minimum cost for this job of $50 - $100. After that, costs are determined on an hourly basis with most repairs having an hourly rate of $30 - $35. Expect average repairs of $150 - $200 if the problem is not extensive.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Change the Grout Color

The most common methods of changing the grout color are to regrout or to color seal. However, if it is a very small area, use a grout paint to change the color. Applied with an artist’s paintbrush, these paints are very bright and colorful, and some even contain glitter. Keep in mind that many flake over time, particularly in the shower. Grout paint costs around $20 a bottle.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Grout lasts a long time if you take care of it properly. Keep it clean and apply sealers regularly to impede staining. Treat discoloration as it occurs before it has a chance to set.
  • The process of dry cutting any material like grout that contains cement and silica may cause health problems if inhaled. Always wear a mask and eye protection when mixing or cutting out old grout.
  • There are many ways to change the color of grout. Color staining is one method that absorbs the color into the grout. It may only be applied to unsealed grout. Once you seal your grout, your choices for changing its color become more limited.
  • Any time you grout a shower, use caulk in the corner joints around the tub and shower basin. This helps improve the flexibility of the walls and allows for expansion.
  • Some installers do not seal the grout, leaving this to the homeowner. If you are not using a pre-sealed grout, apply an impregnating sealer within a few days to impede staining.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to regrout a shower?

The average cost to regrout a shower is around $800 for 80 sq.ft. of tile.

  • Can you put new grout over old grout?

No, this causes cracking. You need to remove the old grout and then apply new grout.

  • How often should you regrout your shower?

This depends on the grout. If it is in good condition, it does not need it at all. If it is cracking a lot, then it needs to be regrouted.

  • How hard is it to regrout shower tiles?

It is not difficult, but it is very tedious and time-consuming. Expect it to take at least two to three days if you do it yourself and 12 hours for a professional.

  • Should I caulk over grout in a shower?

No, caulk goes in the expansion joints at the corners of the installation, and grout goes between the tiles.

  • Is grout waterproof in showers?

Grout is water-resistant. It absorbs some moisture. However, epoxy grouts and polymer additive grouts are non-porous and are waterproof.

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Cost to regrout a shower varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albany, OR
-13%
Alpharetta, GA
+9%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Aston, PA
+26%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Beaverton, OR
+15%
Boston, MA
+40%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Edmond, OK
-8%
Euless, TX
+5%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Houston, TX
+24%
Irving, TX
+10%
Joppa, MD
-8%
Key West, FL
-24%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Plano, TX
+24%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Reno, NV
0%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
Sanford, FL
-1%
Santa Clara, CA
+33%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Troy, MI
+26%
Ventura, CA
-1%
Warren, MI
+13%
Washington, DC
+23%
Wichita, KS
-13%
Yakima, WA
-31%
Labor cost in your zip code
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