Think You Can DIY It? Every Reason Why the Cost to Regrout a Shower Is Worth Paying
Unsightly shower tiles and grout can be unhygienic and may put off potential home buyers. The cost to regrout a shower ranges from $600 to $2,500, with many homeowners spending $1,500 on average.
- The cost to regrout shower tiles is $1,500, though it’s possible for homeowners to spend between $600 and $2,500.
- The size of the shower, tile type and size, tile spacing, type of grout, labor rates, scope of work, and other factors will determine the final cost of regrouting a shower.
- Shower grout that needs repair will have several obvious signs: stains, cracks, gaps, chips, mold growth, and loose tiles. Repairing these issues before the homeowner sells the property can help the home have better appeal.
- Many homeowners work on DIY grout removal but find the end result doesn’t last. Hiring a pro ensures that old grout is removed and new grout is properly installed without damage to the tiles.
Cracked or moldy grout in the shower is a good indication that it’s time for a good regrouting project. Regrouting is the process of removing old grout and replacing it with fresh grout to improve the appearance and functionality of the shower. According to Angi, the cost to regrout a shower ranges from $600 to $2,500, with the national average around $1,500. Some factors that can contribute to variations in cost include the size of the shower, the condition of the existing grout, and the type of tile.
Additionally, damaged or cracked tiles may need to be replaced, which can add to the overall cost. Shower walls that are in poor condition might also need repair or replacement before regrouting can take place. If a brand-new shower is needed, then a new shower installation cost would be another consideration.
Overall, the cost to regrout shower tile can vary quite a bit, but it is an investment that can improve the durability and aesthetics of the bathroom. For homeowners who are tired of looking at worn-out shower grout or struggling to keep moldy bathroom grout clean, it may be time to consider the costs of tile regrouting.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Regrout a Shower
Several factors go into calculating an average regrout shower cost. It’s important to note that the national average of $1,500 can vary significantly among local averages due to factors such as shower size, tile size and spacing, tile type, grout type, and local labor prices. Another key factor that affects the cost of grout replacement is the extent of the problem. If the shower tiles are only lightly worn, the price will likely be lower than the cost for showers with extensive damage and widespread grout failure. The latter situation will likely require full grout repair.
The size of a shower directly impacts the cost to regrout. The total square footage influences the amount of grout needed, the labor involved, and the duration of the project. On average, a professional will charge between $10 and $25 per square foot for regrouting bathroom tile. The measurements for a standard shower stall are 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep with a height that ranges from 72 inches to 80 inches.
Larger showers have more tiles to rework, and intricate patterns or designs may take more time and effort. More surface area and tiles require more time for thorough cleaning, preparation, and application of the new grout. Considering the size of the shower is important when homeowners are estimating costs since it helps them and the contractor gauge the extent of the project.
|Average Surface Area
|Average Cost (Materials and Labor)
|32 inches by 32 inches
|56 square feet
|$560 to $1,400
|36 inches by 36 inches
|63 square feet
|$630 to $1,575
|48 inches by 36 inches
|70 square feet
|$700 to $1,750
|36 inches by 60 inches
|77 square feet
|$770 to $1,925
|60 inches by 42 inches
|95 square feet
|$950 to $2,375
Tile Size and Spacing
The size and spacing of tiles significantly influence the cost of regrouting shower tile. Larger tiles are generally less expensive to grout since there are fewer grout lines than with smaller tiles. Intricate patterns or designs with small tiles will add complexity to the regrouting process, which can also impact both time and labor.
On the other hand, tiles with wider grout lines require more time and materials to fill the gaps. It’s also important to consider that larger gaps might also pose challenges during the removal and replacement process, which can affect labor time and effort.
Different types of tiles have their own characteristics, which can affect the process of replacing grout in a shower. For example, machine-made tiles are common choices for showers and are generally more cost-effective to regrout. They are durable and relatively easy to work with, resulting in a smoother and quicker regrouting process. Natural stone tiles, such as marble or granite, can be more expensive to regrout due to their porous nature and the need for specialized sealants and treatments.
More intricate or textured tiles may require more meticulous attention during the regrouting process, impacting labor time and potentially raising costs. Understanding the specific characteristics of each type of shower tile is important for an accurate cost estimate.
|Average Cost per Shower (Materials and Labor)
|Floor tile over 12 inches
|$480 to $600
|Floor tile up to 12 inches
|$400 to $500
|Sanded or unsanded epoxy
|$500 to $800
|Handmade wall tile
|$480 to $600
|Machine-made wall tile
|$400 to $800
|$960 to $1,280
|Polished or honed stone tile
|Unsanded epoxy or polymer
|$400 to $600
|Tumbled marble tile
|$960 to $1,280
Standard cement-based grouts are generally more cost-effective than other grout types, making them a popular choice. However, they may be prone to stains and require more frequent maintenance. Epoxy grouts are more durable and resistant to stains and water damage but tend to be more expensive. One reason is that epoxy grouts require more precision during application, which can potentially extend the project timeline and increase labor costs. Other common types of shower tile grout are cement, epoxy, polymer, sanded, and unsanded.
Local labor costs have a substantial impact on the overall cost to regrout shower tile. In areas with a higher cost of living or where skilled labor is in high demand, the labor rates for grouting a shower wall may be more expensive. On the other hand, in regions with a lower cost of living, labor rates may be more budget-friendly.
The impact of local labor costs extends beyond hourly rates—it also affects the overall project estimate, since the best bathroom remodeling companies consider local economic factors, competition, and business costs when determining their pricing. Overall, homeowners can expect to pay between $10 and $25 per square foot or $30 to 40 per hour for a professional to regrout their shower.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When homeowners are calculating the total cost of shower regrouting, it’s important to consider various price factors beyond the basic materials and labor. Additional costs and considerations may include caulking, sealing, full vs. minor regrouting, and regrouting vs. retiling.
While caulking is a separate process from grouting tile, it often goes hand-in-hand with shower repair projects. The average cost to recaulk a shower is around $300, or from $1.25 to $4 per linear foot, but the total price depends on a few factors.
- Caulk replacement. Caulk replacement is often necessary when it becomes discolored, cracked, or compromised.
- Caulking material. High-quality silicone or hybrid caulks may have a higher upfront cost but offer better durability and longevity.
- Labor. Hiring professionals to properly remove old caulk and apply new caulk will raise labor costs.
The application of a sealer helps protect the grout from moisture, stains, and mold, enhancing the longevity and appearance of the newly regrouted surfaces. Applying sealer costs from $2 to $5 per square foot.
- Sealer type and quality. High-quality sealers often come with a higher upfront cost but provide better protection and durability. If a concrete-based grout is used, then an acrylic water-based or solvent-based sealer is needed. If epoxy-based or polymer grout is used, it typically does not need to be sealed.
- Surface area. The size of the shower and the total surface area that needs sealing influence material costs. Larger showers or spaces with extensive tiling may require more sealer.
- Frequency of sealing. Some sealers may need to be reapplied periodically for optimal protection. Knowing how to seal grout can help homeowners extend the life of the grout and tile.
Full vs. Minor Regrouting
The extent of regrouting, whether it’s a full or minor regrouting project, significantly influences the overall cost. Labor, materials, and time required will all play into how much a regrouting job costs.
- Full regrouting. Completely removing and replacing all grout in the shower area requires a larger quantity of grout. Additionally, the labor involved is more extensive. A full regrouting project involves removing all the existing grout, cleaning the surfaces thoroughly, and applying new grout.
- Minor regrouting. If only specific areas or sections of the shower require regrouting, less material is needed, which will reduce costs. The labor involved is also less intensive and the project will take less time, leading to savings in labor costs. If the grout is discolored, a pro might be able to restore it by using an effective method for cleaning the grout and sealing it instead of replacing it. It can cost about $450 to restore 100 square feet of grout.
Regrouting vs. Retiling
The decision between regrouting and retiling a shower can significantly impact the overall cost of the project. In some cases, the damage is too severe and the homeowner will have to opt for retiling.
- Regrouting. Regrouting is more cost-effective than retiling the entire shower in some cases. The average cost to tile a shower is $900, compared to $1,500 to regrout. If the shower also needs some tiles replaced, the cost to regrout can be more expensive.
- Retiling. It’s important for homeowners to weigh the price of the new tiles against the value of retiling. Retiling may be added to the cost to remodel a shower, and replacing high-end luxury tiles like granite or marble can significantly increase the price beyond the average cost to regrout.
Cost to Regrout a Shower by Type of Grout
Different types of grout vary in terms of material composition, durability, and ease of installation, which ultimately affects the cost. “In my experience, glass tile is very difficult [to regrout] due to its inherent brittleness,” explains Steve Little, founder and president of Your Home Improvement Company, which serves several states in the northern U.S. “Additionally, certain patterns of tile, like herringbone, can be difficult to regrout due to the complexity of the pattern.”
“Tiles with beveled edges are the hardest to regrout,” adds Korey Gregory, superintendent for ASAP Restoration, LLC, in Tempe, Arizona. “This is because they are much more prone to chipping than other tiles without a bevel.”
|Type of Grout
|Average Cost (Materials and Labor)
|$5 to $7 per square foot
|$8 to $12 per square foot
|$6.50 to $10 per square foot
|$6 to $8 per square foot
|$5 to $6 per square foot
Cement-based grout is an economical option, but it does come with disadvantages. It’s budget-friendly, but it may require sealing and more frequent maintenance. On average, the cost of regrouting a cement-based grout ranges from $5 to $7 per square foot, or $400 to $600 for an 80-square-foot shower. Cement grout isn’t the best option for frequently used showers since it can crack and discolor easily, but it’s an excellent choice as a base for home fixtures and other tile work.
Known for its exceptional durability, flexibility, and resistance to stains and water damage, epoxy is a more expensive option. It’s available in sanded and unsanded options, and both are high in VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This increased performance comes at a higher cost, which ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot, or $720 to $960 for an 80-square-foot shower. Epoxy costs more than average since a pro has to mix it just before regrouting, and it’s not the easiest to spread.
With a wide cost range, polymer makes an attractive option for homeowners. Polymer grout is a blend of cement, fine quartz fillers, and liquid polymers. These polymers act as binders, enhancing the grout’s performance and physical properties. Some of the advantages of polymer grout are its superior strength, durability, and excellent resistance to cracking, shrinking, and color fading. It’s an ideal choice for high-use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Polymer grout runs from $6.50 to $10 per square foot, or from $560 to $880 for an 80-square-foot shower.
Sanded grout is designed for wider gaps. As the name suggests, it contains sand additives that help increase its stability and durability. This component makes sanded grout ideal for filling and securing grout joints in ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles. One of the most significant advantages of sanded grout is its strength. The sand particles act as aggregate, providing stability and reducing the likelihood of cracks or shrinkage. It’s also resistant to stains, water, and chemicals, ensuring a long-lasting and low-maintenance surface. Homeowners with an 80-square-foot shower can expect to pay $6 to $8 per square foot, or $480 to $640.
Non-sanded, or unsanded, grout is made from a mixture of cement, powdered pigments, and chemical additives. The main distinction between unsanded and sanded grout is in the particle size. Unsanded grout typically contains fine-grade sand that will shrink as it dries, while sanded grout incorporates coarser sand. That makes unsanded grout ideal for narrower grout lines that are less than ⅛ of an inch wide. It’s less likely to scratch delicate tile surfaces, and it works well with ceramic, glass, or marble tiles. Grouting an 80-square-foot shower costs from $5 to $6 per square foot, or from $400 to $480.
Do I need to regrout my shower?
It’s important for homeowners to keep an eye on the condition of the shower, especially the grout. Over time, grout can deteriorate due to moisture, mold, or regular wear and tear. Some signs that it’s time to regrout the shower can include staining and discoloration, cracks or gaps in the grout, loose tiles, and mold or mildew growth.
“There are a number of signs, but some of the more obvious ones would be mold and/or mildew buildup, hairline fractures in the grout, and fading or discoloration,” explains Little. “Additionally, when tiles begin to fall off, it’s time to consider regrouting your shower.”
Staining or Discoloration
“Excessive staining is something that can be a sign of failing grout or excessive mold contamination,” says Gregory. Over time, moisture, soap scum, and mildew can penetrate the grout, leading to unsightly stains. Discoloration often manifests as dark patches or a yellowish tint, signaling the presence of mold or mildew. This not only affects the overall look of the shower but also poses potential health risks. Regrouting becomes essential to remove the old grout, eliminate mold or mildew, and restore the visual appeal of the shower.
Cracks or Gaps in Grout
“Loose or cracked grout is a telltale sign that the grout is failing,” explains Gregory. Over time, grout can deteriorate due to constant exposure to water, cleaning agents, and everyday use. Cracks and gaps compromise the water-resistant barrier, allowing moisture to seep into the grout and between the tiles. This not only breaks down the grout but can lead to more significant issues, such as water damage, mold growth, and weakened tiles. Addressing cracks or gaps in tile grout quickly can extend the life of the shower tiles.
Chipping or Crumbling During Cleaning
Chipping or crumbling grout is a clear sign that a shower may need regrouting. The grout in a shower is exposed to constant moisture and cleaning chemicals, causing it to degrade over time. If it starts chipping or crumbling, the possibility of mold growth and water damage increases. And it may lead to a more expensive tile replacement project, depending on the type of tile in the shower.
Loose tiles are another red flag that a shower needs to be regrouted. Grout plays an important role in holding tiles securely in place and preventing water damage. When grout deteriorates or becomes compromised, tiles may loosen or shift. If the tiles move or create a hollow sound when tapped, the grout has weakened, which affects the structural integrity of the shower. Regrouting is a necessary step to secure the tiles and ensure that they remain in place to prevent further damage.
Mold or Mildew Growth
The presence of mold or mildew is often a result of prolonged moisture exposure and damaged grout. When grout becomes porous or develops cracks, it creates an environment for toxic mold and mildew to thrive. If there are black or greenish patches along the grout lines, corners, or on the tiles, it’s a sign that regrouting is needed. Regrouting not only eliminates the visible mold and mildew but also addresses the underlying issue by replacing the damaged grout, preventing further growth, and restoring a clean environment in the shower.
Aging grout in a shower is a red flag that signals the need for regrouting. Grout naturally wears down due to exposure to water, cleaning supplies, and daily use. Signs of aging grout include discoloration, a rough or gritty texture, and a general deterioration of its original appearance. If the grout appears worn or discolored or no longer has a smooth, protective surface, it may be time to regrout the tiles.
Selling a Home
A well-maintained bathroom enhances the overall appeal of a home to potential buyers. If the existing grout shows signs of wear, staining, or deterioration, then the cost to regrout a shower becomes a valuable investment in improving the visual appeal and perceived value of the home. A freshly regrouted shower not only presents a clean space but also helps create a positive impression during the selling process.
Regrouting a Shower: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The DIY approach to regrouting a shower can be appealing for those looking to save money. By regrouting the shower DIY, homeowners can eliminate the cost of hiring a professional, but there are a few downsides to consider. As Gregory explains, “DIYers can regrout themselves, but it is likely to not look as well done or to last as long as a grout job performed by a professional.”
Regrouting is a time-consuming task, especially for a large shower area. It requires meticulous scraping and removal of the old grout before the new grout can be applied. If a homeowner doesn’t have experience with grouting, there is a higher chance of making mistakes, such as uneven grout lines or improper sealing, which can lead to water damage. If there is mold or damaged tiles, an inexperienced DIYer may not have the expertise to address them properly.
According to Little, “Regrouting is not an easy task, and I usually don’t recommend homeowners tackle it themselves. For the best result, I highly advise hiring a professional for this type of job, as they have the expertise necessary to make sure it gets done properly.”
Professionals have the experience, best techniques, and materials to use, ensuring a long-lasting result. By hiring a professional, homeowners can save themselves the time and effort of doing the project on their own. This can be helpful if they have a busy schedule and find a regrouting project takes much longer than anticipated—and inconveniences the rest of the home’s occupants. Investing in a pro not only ensures a visually appealing outcome but also reduces the risk of errors that may lead to more significant issues down the line.
“Another benefit to hiring a pro to do the job is that their work is licensed, bonded, and insured,” adds Gregory. “This means that you can rely on it and not worry that it will fail within the year. Moreover, if it does fail, it will be under warranty if done by a professional—that’s worth a lot in peace of mind.”
How to Save Money on the Cost to Regrout a Shower
If you’re looking to spruce up your shower but don’t want to break the bank, regrouting can be a cost-effective solution. Here are some tips to save money on the cost to regrout a shower.
- Get multiple quotes. Homeowners will want to get at least three quotes from reputable professionals in their area to find a price that will work with their budget.
- Choose cost-effective materials. It’s recommended that homeowners choose budget-friendly grout options without compromising on quality for a more economical solution.
- Schedule during off-peak times. Homeowners can plan the regrouting project during off-peak seasons when contractors might offer lower rates due to reduced demand.
- Combine renovations. If possible, homeowners can bundle regrouting with other bathroom renovations to potentially secure package deals or discounts.
- Perform regular maintenance. Implementing routine cleaning and sealing to prolong the life of the grout can reduce the frequency of regrouting.
Questions to Ask About Regrouting a Shower
Asking the right questions when homeowners are regrouting a shower is important to ensure a smooth and professional outcome. Before starting the project, homeowners are encouraged to ask about the installer’s background and credentials to make sure they’re experienced.
- Are you experienced in regrouting showers?
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- What certifications do you have?
- Can you provide references from previous regrouting projects?
- What is the estimated timeline for completing the regrouting project?
- Do I need a permit for the regrouting project? If so, who is responsible for obtaining the permit?
- What kind of disruptions to my home can I expect during this project?
- Is there anything I need to do to prepare the shower area before regrouting?
- What type of grout do you recommend and why?
- Do the tiles need to be sealed?
- Can you explain the regrouting process and the techniques you will use?
- How long do I have to wait before using the shower?
- Are there specific care instructions or maintenance tips for the newly regrouted shower?
- How often should I schedule grout services?
- What should I do if I notice grout issues in the future?
- How can I leave a review of your work?
Regrouting a shower can give a bathroom a fresh, clean look while also preventing water damage and mold growth. Before beginning the process, many homeowners have questions about the cost to regrout a shower.
Q. Do I have to remove all the old grout before regrouting?
When it comes to regrouting tile, it’s important to remove the old grout with the best grout removal tools for long-lasting results. Merely applying new grout over the existing grout will not work.
“You can regrout over most existing grout, but it is nearly a waste of time,” says Gregory. “Regrouting over old grout without removing it properly will lead to a failure of the new grout in a short time frame—most likely within a year of the new application.”
When asked whether it’s wise to grout over existing grout, Little agrees with Gregory. “Absolutely not,” he says. “At best, grouting over existing grout is a short-term fix. I always advocate for the existing grout to be removed, as it also makes for a more aesthetically appealing final result.”
Q. What is the lifespan of grout in a shower?
If a shower was properly grouted the first time, it should last for 10 to 15 years. By cleaning the grout regularly and taking care of it, homeowners can extend the lifespan. If the grout is crumbling and falling apart, regrouting will be needed much sooner.
Q. Can shower water leak through grout?
Yes, shower water can potentially leak through grout, especially if the grout is damaged, cracked, or improperly sealed. Grout is a protective barrier between tiles, preventing water from seeping into the substrate, or the area behind the tiles. Over time, grout can wear down, develop cracks, or become porous, allowing water to penetrate. Properly maintaining and periodically resealing the grout helps reinforce its water-resistant nature, reducing the risk of water leakage and damage.
Q. How long does it take to regrout a shower?
On average, it takes a professional about 1 to 2 days to regrout a shower.
Q. Do grout pens work?
Grout pens can be a quick and easy way to temporarily rejuvenate the appearance of grout lines. These pens are designed to cover stained or discolored grout, giving it a refreshed and uniform look. It’s important to note that grout pens are a cosmetic solution and will not be as durable or long-lasting as a complete regrouting.
Sources: Angi, Fixr, HomeGuide, HomeAdvisor