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Regrouting porcelain wall tiles in shower and bathroom

Does anyone know if regrouting glazed porcelain wall tile in the shower/bathroom wall is problematic?  Is there a risk of breakage and chipping?

Thanks!
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Posted 2018-01-07T22:06:26+0000  by ginna123 ginna123
 
Hey ginna123,

Thanks for your question and joining us here on the community.

There will be an issue of grout failure if you fail to take out the existing or damaged grout that is already there. 

Depending on the severity of the grout will determine if you can repair, replace, or simply recoat it via a grout renewal system. 

If you decide it needs to be regrouted due to damage, you'll need to remove as much of the existing damaged grout as possible via a grout saw or oscillating tool. Simply putting new grout over existing grout won't hold up and will fail within a short amount of time, not to mention it leaving a big mess.

If the grout is just dirty, ugly, or discolored from years of misuse, you can also opt for Grout Renew. It's sold at your local Home Depot's tile aisle, and is easy to use.

It's basically a high quality paint colored to match grout colors and seals the grout itself once it is dried. That can be an easier option versus full on regrouting if it is in good condition but not in appearance.

Let us know which option you choose, and if we can be of further assistance,
Joseph
Posted 2018-01-08T15:27:07+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

I am late to this party, but will add a bit to Joseph's comments for those coming along after me.


As Joseph_HD_ATL mentioned, you must remove the old grout completely. A rotary tool, such as a Dremel, with a grout removal bit will probably give you the most control with the least amount of labor (talk to the hardware department at your local THD for the Dremel and Grout Removal kit). Grout saws and carbide grout removal scrapers are going to require a lot of elbow grease. With a practiced hand, the oscillating tools can be used as well with the appropriate blades.


If it is just dirty, start with the least caustic approach possible. Check out some of the enzyme based cleaners, they're not as strong as ones I will mention next, but no reason to over do something if you don't have to. If the enzyme based cleaners do not work, you have to other options. In the THD flooring department, you'll typically find heavy duty cleaners in the same bay as the grout sealers. These are basic options, meaning they are at the base end of the pH scale. Think bleach like. They're incredibly strong and are meant only for situations like yours. Used regularly, they will eat grout. Another option is found in the THD cleaning aisle in the garden department. There you'll find an acidic grout cleaner. This product by Zep is based on an acid. Vinegar and lemon juice are also acidic. Like the heavy duty grout cleaners in flooring, these acidic cleaners are meant only for situations like yours. Used regularly (including vinegar), they will eat grout.


If any of the above mentioned cleaners work for you, the next step will be sealing the grout. Sealing will help you maintain the grout by making it easier to clean. Just don't use bleach or vinegar, not only will they eat grout, but also the sealer if used on a regular basis. You should be cleaning with a neutral cleaner. Like the shampoo for you hair is pH balanced, so too is a neutral cleaner. These are super concentrated so a little bit goes a long way, 1:128 or 1:200 are some common ratios you'll see for neutral cleaners found in your neighborhood THD. Neutral cleaner or neutral floor cleaner, they're the same thing.


As for grout paints, they do have their purpose. They have a drawback though. Most people like to scrub in a tub or shower setting. If you do, you will scrub that paint right off. Grout paints are a cosmetic solution and require that the grout be very clean to begin the process. You want as good of a base as possible for the grout paint to adhere.

Posted 2018-05-03T23:59:02+0000  by Paul
 
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