View Full Version : Tub Tile Regrout

Wes Bischel
10-05-2005, 6:56 PM
I was wondering if anyone has regrouted the wall tile in their tub surround? If so, any tips to pass along? Our '50's vintage tile is in great shape - nothing coming loose, but the grout has seen better days.

Will we need to take it all out, or just take it back enough to trowel in the new grout?

What tools do you/did you think work best for removal?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Wes

Loy Hawes
10-05-2005, 7:48 PM
They sell grout saws. If your grout lines are too tight to use a saw, try a utility knife.Get out as much grout as you can.

Andrew Ault
10-05-2005, 7:54 PM
I used a homeade steel tool with sort of a hook that I pulled through the old grout to scrape it out (had to regrind it a few times). I've noticed that there are grout removal tools out there. Then, I cleaned everything, regrouted and sealed. This is not hard, but fairly messy work. However, the results are great!

Here's a bit for a recip saw that looks pretty useful:


- Andy

Lou Morrissette
10-05-2005, 10:21 PM

I just finished doing one and used an attachment for a Dremel tool that is designed specifically for that job. It did a great job. It consists of a carbide cutter in an angular sleeve that is adjustable for depth. I think I paid around $18. for it at HD. It did the trick for me.


Ernie Nyvall
10-06-2005, 12:14 AM
Wes, make sure you get one of those rubber trowels for spreading and mashing the new grout in between the tiles, and then a big sponge for wiping it down as it dries. You do need to get the old grout out as deep as you can.The edges of tiles are grainy and that helps the grout adhere to the tiles and stay in the cracks.


Wes Bischel
10-07-2005, 10:53 AM
Thanks to everyone for the help. I'll give a look-see at some of the tools - right now we've been using the grout saws, utility knife and a linoleum cutter (hook knife) and it is slow going. I guess the grout was in better structural shape than it looked. :rolleyes:

Thanks again for your help and guidance,


Michael Gabbay
10-07-2005, 12:47 PM
Wes - I'm in the middle of a complete bath remodel so tiling is something I'm familiar with. What everyone has said above is good advice. When you use the dremel be careful not to hit a tile. You might want to try the grout saw first to see how loose the grout is. Also, get a good float. I have found the ones with a smooth face do a much nicer job than the cheaper ones. Finally, once you clean out the old grout vacuum out the area and wipe it down. If you had mold you might even want to clean it with a mold cleaner and let it dry for a few days. Once you've regrouted, make sure to seal the grout with a sealer.

Good luck! This is not a really fun job! :)


John Pollman
10-08-2005, 10:22 PM
I've got a nice variable speed Dremel and the grout removal attachment. I vote for going that route. You do need to remove some grout but not all of it. I did my tub/shower walls about a year and a half ago and it wasn't that hard and looks great still. I also agree with getting a good float. I do a lot of tile work and I invested in a good one quite a while ago and am still using it to this day. It's got a wood handle, a nice smooth rubber "face", and a softer foam layer between the metal plate and the face. It works great and makes cleanup a lot easier.

Good luck !


Wes Bischel
10-18-2005, 12:40 AM

Well, I picked up a Dremel and grout attachment at Lowes last week. I haven't been too impressed by Dremel tools in the past, so I made sure I put the receipt in a special place for quick retreaval - you already guessed it - after about 20 minutes of non continuous work, the bearings seized. So I went to get the all important recipt. Well an hour and a half later I found where LOML filed it. Now all I have to do is return the stinker and get another! (While I'm there I'll pick up a good float and grout - positive thinking on my part!) I'll get through this job if it takes 20 of these little buggers!:eek:

Actually it worked well while it did work. Thanks for the input - a lot easier than the utility knife grout saw route. I was surprised how light a cut needed to be taken so the motor didn't bog down. I suspect it was a dud from the beginning.

Hopefully I'll be back to making a mess of the bathroom tomorrow night.:rolleyes:

Thanks again,

John Pollman
10-18-2005, 7:21 AM

I'm surprised to hear that. I've only owned two Dremels in my life. But that's due to the fact that the first one I ever got was given to me as a gift when I was about 10 I think (and I'm forty-one now). I have used the heck out of that thing and it's still going ! The only reason I bought another is that I found a sale on a nice Dremel kit with all the bells and whistles and it came with the flex shaft also which came in handy for a particular job I was doing. Both of these have been workhorses and are fine tools. Better luck on the next one !