How much does it cost to regrout a shower?
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Shower Regrouting Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
If you have an old tile shower that is in good condition except for the grout, regrouting may allow you to keep it and prevent an expensive replacement, and make it look cleaner and brighter than before. This is the process of digging out and removing old grout and replacing it with fresh new material. 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 price to depends on the size of the project, grout type, and age of the material.
The national average price of regrouting ranges from $560 to $880. Most people spend around $700 to regrout an 80 sq.ft. shower of 3” x 6” wall tiles, replacing the old material with a new stain-resistant polymer additive grout. On the low end, you could spend as little as $400 on regrouting using unsanded grout. At the high end of the spectrum, some people spend as much as $2,400 to regrout and recaulk a shower and bathtub.
Shower Regrouting Price
|Shower Regrouting Cost|
|National average cost||$700|
Shower Regrouting Cost by Grout Type
The average price of regrouting a shower is $400 to $960 depending on the type of grout. The type impacts the price, with most professionals suggesting a polymer-based or epoxy one for the best results. If you choose to use a standard grout, it must be sealed with an impregnating sealer 24 to 48 hours after it dries to impede staining. The type used varies depending on the type and size of the joints and the complexity of the removal and regrouting process. For this reason, ask your installer for their recommendation on the best type. Using the wrong type voids the warranty on some tiles and causes damage to others. In the table and subsections below, we will look at the various types, their applications, and the price when used to regrout an 80 sq.ft. shower.
|Type||Price per Shower (Labor Included)|
|Unsanded||$400 - $480|
|Cement||$400 - $600|
|Sanded||$480 - $640|
|Polymer||$560 - $880|
|Epoxy||$720 - $960|
The average price to regrout a shower with unsanded grout ranges from $400 to $480 or $5 to $6 per sq.ft., including labor and materials. This is a material that is typically used on joints that are smaller than ⅛”. Using it in a wider joint could cause it to shrink too much as it dries, leaving gaps. It is what you usually find in bathrooms, but this depends on the type of tile you have. White and light gray ones have the lowest price, while specialty colors have the most expensive price.
Grout cement has a price between $400 and $600 for labor and materials. This is the most common type on the market. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and comes in a wide range of colors. However, they are not recommended for showers because it almost always cracks over time, while all unsealed or unmodified cement grouts eventually discolor or develop mildew staining.
I has a price between $480 and $640 to regrout a shower using sanded grout, typically having a price between $6 and $8 per sq.ft. with labor included. It is the same base mixture as unsanded grout but with added sand, making it thicker and stronger. It fills wider joints more easily and is less likely to crack. For this reason, it needs to be regrouted far less often than the unsanded type.
You can expect to spend between $560 and $880 on polymer grouting for 80 sq.ft. of coverage. When you want something longer-lasting, you can use a polymer additive or acrylic grout. This cement-based grout has acrylic polymers added to the mix and can be sanded or unsanded. It is stiffer and harder to spread than traditional cement-based one but easier to work with than epoxy. Depending on the brand, it may have no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but some brands give off a very strong odor. Polymer additive grouts come in the same colors as the standard ones but do not require sealing after installation. They are sometimes referred to as pre-sealed grout. They are more expensive than other types.
The price of regrouting a shower with epoxy is $720 to $960. Epoxy-based grout is one alternative to basic cement ones, and it is the preferred material for some glass tile manufacturers. This epoxy resin-based grout is smoother and can be sanded or unsanded. 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 epoxy instead of cement. 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 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 unless you want to change its color because it is not color-sealed like sanded cement grout.
Shower Regrouting Cost by Tile Type
The average price of regrouting a shower is $400 to $1,280, which varies depending on the type of tile and the space between the tiles themselves. Floor tiles, for example, will do better with a durable epoxy, while wall tiles may be good to use a polymer grout. In the table below, you’ll see an overview of the most common types of tiles used in bathrooms, the grout required for them (sanded or unsanded), and an average price range. Keep in mind that if you choose a standard grout, you may have to pay an additional cost for sealers to finish the job, whereas some higher-end ones have additives included.
|Tile Type||Grout Type||Cost per Shower (Labor Included)|
|Machine-Made Wall Tile||Unsanded polymer||$400 - $480|
|Floor Tile up to 12 Inches||Unsanded epoxy||$400 - $500|
|Polished or Honed Stone Tile||Unsanded epoxy or polymer||$400 - $600|
|Handmade Wall Tile||Sanded polymer||$480 - $600|
|Floor Tile Over 12 Inches||Sanded epoxy||$480 - $600|
|Glass Tile||Sanded or unsanded epoxy||$500 - $800|
|Tumbled Marble||Sanded epoxy||$960 - $1,280|
|Mosaic Tile||Sanded epoxy||$960 - $1,280|
Labor Cost to Regrout a Shower
Of the average $560 to $880 to regrout a shower, approximately $360 to $480 of the cost is attributed to labor, with the other $200 to $400 being spent on materials. This works out to about 45% to 60% going to labor and 40 % to 55% going toward material costs. This cost includes a labor rate of $30 to $40 per hour and 12 hours to complete the job.
Shower regrouting is typically done by a tile installation professional or a bathroom repair/renovation expert. Some plumbers will also do this work, but this may only be if they install new fixtures for you. Regardless, the average rate for this type of work is $30 to $40 per hour for labor, or $5 to $12 per sq.ft., including materials, with several factors affecting the cost you pay for your specific job.
Regrouting a shower is tedious and time-consuming work. It requires the old grout to be cut or ground out between the tiles before the new material can be floated. 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. However, 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 material. Then, the tiles should be cleaned, dried, and the new material mixed and floated into place.
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 expensive to regrout, with costs often 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. Removing epoxy to change the color results in a higher cost because it takes more time than cement. For some very large jobs, you may be given a flat day rate because the time needed is 12 hours or more, depending on the size and condition of the grout and tile.
Shower Grout Repair Cost
Most installers have a minimum cost for this job of $50 to $100. You can expect to spend between $150 to $200 on minor repairs to shower grout. Sometimes, it 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 material is discolored, it may not be possible to match the material on the repair. In that case, you may want to color seal the entire unit or regrout to match, which will add to the final cost.
When to Regrout a Shower
Grout is added to the tile in part to be an expansion joint. It is meant to flex because your tiles do not. Eventually, most older ones become brittle and begin to crack. Newer ones 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, epoxy, and polymer additive grout rarely crack. If they do, it is easily repairable without needing to regrout the entire unit.
Costs for color sealing start at around $500 for a shower. 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 previously had grout done in a color you do not like or the material 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 material. Color-sealed grout does not discolor again as quickly because it is designed to repel stains.
How to Clean Shower Grout
Professionals typically charge about $0.75 to $3 per sq.ft. or $30 to $40 per hour to clean shower grout and tile. This can seem a bit pricey to some, but it guarantees that you get the best result and the right cleaning method for your specific type of material. Different materials 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.
Cement-based grouts that have not been modified absorb stains if they are not given a sealer. Even then, they may still absorb stains depending on what is spilled. Before cleaning it, make sure that the cleaner does not damage your tile - stone tile requires a pH-neutral cleaner. It is recommended to use professional cleaners designed for use on your surfaces only or leave the job to professionals.
The best cleaner to use on grout is 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 it regularly to help prevent stains from building up and becoming harder to remove.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
The average cost to regrout a bathtub is $800 to $1,200. If you are regrouting the shower tile, you will usually also regrout the bathtub and any other nearby tile that may need a little regrouting. You could choose only to upgrade one or the other. However, if the tub has matching tile and grout, you will likely want to update it all at the same time. You may also be able to get a discounted rate for having more work done at once.
Change the Grout Color
Grout paint costs about $20 per bottle, while color sealing is a process that costs around $500 for the average shower. The most common methods of changing its color are to regrout or to color seal. However, if it is a very small area, you can use 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 humid space.
If you choose to re-caulk the shower in addition to regrouting the tile, you can expect to spend $150 to $300. The exact cost depends on how many seams you have that need caulking, the type of caulk you choose, and the difficulty of accessing the areas. This is often done in addition to regrouting to provide a fresh, clean look and a fresh seal to protect from water damage.
Silicone Grout Sealer
It costs about $1 to $2 per sq.ft. to seal the grout in your shower. After regrouting, you will want to apply a silicone sealer to protect it from water and other damage. Several different types of sealers are on the market. The quality of the one you choose impacts the price that you pay for materials. You may spend more if you have more square footage that needs to be sealed. Some professionals include sealing as part of the total cost of the project.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. While it is not complicated, regrouting a shower is a time-consuming and tedious task. While you save money, you will spend a lot of time on this since it usually takes a professional about 12 hours to complete the job. Plus, you will have to invest in the right tools for the job, or you could create a bigger mess in the end. Ultimately, this is usually a job best left to the experts.
- Maintenance. 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.
- Health and safety. 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 the old material.
- Color options. There are many ways to change the color of grout. Color staining is one method that absorbs the color into the material. It may only be applied to unsealed grout. Once you seal it, your choices for changing its color become more limited.
- Caulking. Any time you grout a shower, use caulk in the corner joints around unit basin. This helps improve the flexibility of the walls and allows for expansion.
- Sealing. 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.
- Is it worth regrouting a shower?
In several cases, it can be a great idea to regrout a shower. It provides more protection from water damage and gives it more life for a fraction of the cost of retiling or replacing the unit.
- Is it cheaper to regrout or retile?
It costs about $2,620, on average, to retile a shower, which is more than three times the cost of regrouting.
- Is regrouting expensive?
Ultimately, the cost that you spend on regrouting depends on the type of grout used and how much you need, but it doesn’t have to be that expensive. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than the damage repair that will be needed if it is left in poor condition.
- How much does it cost to regrout a shower?
The average cost of regrouting is around $700 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 material.
- 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 and polymer additive grouts are non-porous and are waterproof.