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Is Regrouting Worth It?

Is Regrouting Worth It?

Regrouting is an option you can choose to improve the look of your tiles, but is regrouting worth it or is it better to start from new?

Depending on the condition of your tiles and your reason, regrouting may very well be worth it. Although, there are times when it’s better to completely re-tile instead. Regardless, either option is going to leave you with a refreshed look that is far cheaper than a full renovation.

Over time, grout tends to attract moisture and stains, even becoming a breeding ground for mold or mildew. Or, maybe it’s just been several years since the tile was put in place, and it’s time to refresh the look. Before you take the time to regrout or stretch your budget to entirely re-tile or renovate, first understand what grout is and which method is best for you.

What is Grout?

Grout is a cement-based mixture that comes in varieties of sanded or un-sanded. Un-sanded has less of a gritty texture and is the best only for thin tile joints. It is used to fill voids and seal joints between tiles and is an important part of any tiling job.

By regrouting, you give your tile a fresh new look without the cost of a full-out renovation. Even if you have been meticulous about keeping your tile and grout clean, even the best grout job will only last about 10-15 years. Some even suggest that regrouting or re-tiling is necessary every 3 to 5 years. So, it may be time to regrout.

Benefits of Regrouting

Some benefits of regrouting include:

  • Fixes cracked grout to prevent water damage
  • Gives a fresh new look
  • Gets rid of dingy, moldy, old grout
  • Prevents mold and mildew growth
  • New grout protects your tile

Regrouting vs Re-tiling

Regrouting is going to replace old, dingy, and cracking grout and give the tile a fresh new look. Re-tiling removes and replaces the grout and the tile too.

If grout has been cleaned improperly, it can begin to crumble. If the grout is starting to crack or is stained, regrouting could save you a ton of money versus re-tiling the entire area.

Completely re-tiling will look amazing and last longer than regrouting. However, if you are looking for a fresh, new look on a budget, and if your tiles are still in good shape, regrouting is the way to go.

When Do You Need To Re-tile?

Re-tiling is also a good option if you are planning on selling your home but don’t want to do a complete renovation. New tiles will spruce up the room and give the appearance that it is like new.

If you notice that several tiles are chipped, broken, or loose, you may be better off re-tiling the entire area.

How Much Does Regrouting Cost?

To regrout a 120 sq. ft., 11.15 sq. meter area, expect to pay between $250 and $1,000, £184 and £735. However, a professional may charge between $1,429, £1050, and $3552, £2610.

The average cost per square foot is between $11 and $29, £8-£21. If you do it yourself, you may get by on between $1.70 and $5 per square foot, £1.25, and £3.68 per 0.3048 sq. meter.

Included in the grouted tile cost are supplies, equipment, and basic labor costs. If you do it yourself, you may save on labor costs, but the entire process is time-consuming, so you will still need to account for that time in terms of cost.

Additional cost considerations are those imposed to remove the grout and dispose of it properly which is not included in this cost estimate. Also, any permit or inspection fees may be extra as well.

What Tools Do You Need For Regrouting?

You can swap out some of the grouting tools for a power tool of choice, like a Dremel, but the basic tools you will need to regrout include:

  • Cordless drill or driver
  • Utility knife
  • Grout float
  • Grout spreader
  • Flat scraper
  • Trowel
  • Tile sponge
  • Bucket
  • Grout finishing tool
  • Soft cloth
  • Protective sheets/dust sheets
  • Grout, either powdered or ready mix with a stiff bush paint mixing paddle

If you opt for using power tools, you will need an oscillating multi-tool, a rotary tool, a grout grabber, an angle grinder, a grout saw, a hammer, and a screwdriver.

Additionally, make sure you wear safety goggles, protective gloves, and a dust mask.

You should also make sure you have a dustpan, brush, and a shop vacuum ready to remove old dust and grout at the end of the project.

Regrouting Step-By-Step Process

The process of regrouting is time-consuming and can be labor-intense depending on the condition of your grout:

  • Make sure you are wearing safety equipment, such as goggles, gloves, and a mask. Prepare the room by making sure it is well ventilated. Place dust sheets to cover the entire area of the floor.
  • First, you will need to work vigorously to remove the grout that is currently set in place between the tiles. To do this, use a grout remover tool, like a grout rake for smaller areas or an electric grout remover for larger areas. The tool is designed to fit into the tile joints and help you rake out the old grout.
  • After all the old grout has been removed, clean the surface using a damp cloth.
  • Using a trowel, mix the new grout to create a thick paste with no lumps. Only make as much grout mixture as you will use in 30 minutes since it will dry very fast.
  • Apply the grout to the tiles with a grout spreader or grout float for larger areas. Spread the grout across the tiles, allowing it to fill in the jointing gaps.
  • Wipe the tiles with the other side of the spreader to remove excess grout.
  • Use a damp sponge to clean the tile surfaces. If any grout comes loose from the jointing while you are wiping up the surfaces, use a spreader to reapply.
  • Allow the grout to dry for about 30 minutes, and then use a grout finishing tool.
  • Leave the grout to dry for at least 24 hours. As you see a dusty film beginning to form after a few hours, remove it with a soft, clean cloth.

If your tiles are in overall good shape, and you want to save a ton of money compared to doing a complete renovation, then rerouting is the way to go. When properly regrouted, it should last between 10 and 15 years.