Shower Grout - Removing Old / Tough Grout

Old 04-19-15, 11:29 AM
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Shower Grout - Removing Old / Tough Grout

Hi, I have a home which was a model home. Sounds cool, right? Well the model homes have a lot of facades but many things are not built well. So this house has had a lot of surprises. That would be the subject of a whole other thread!

I have a tile shower which I want to regrout at the bottom. The grout line is about .25 inches or a little more - which seems unusual to say the least. I have seen some discoloration and deterioration along the edges which I want to repair. On a plus note - this is a second floor bath and there is no evidence of leaking. So I'm thinking this is a relatively simple regrout.

The problem:

The grout is very tough. I can't tell if it's some builder shortcut that was taken, such as using something other than proper grout or if it's just the nature of the beast. I tried a grout saw and I was powerless with that. So I'm moving up to a Dremel grout blade for a oscillating tool. That is coming thanks to Amazon.

So my questions are:
1. Does this look like grout that I can simply replace around the bottom edges of the shower? (Photo attached)

2. My plan is to remove old, add new and possibly seal with bath silicone caulk. Any suggestions on otherwise sealing? Clear or colored?

3. I'm not great with color - does this look like a standard "white" grout or does it look like it has a tint? The photo is at chest level but is representative.

4. Does all grout need to be removed or can it simply be Dremel'd sufficiently to hold additional grout then filled? If this stuff chews up my blade being shipped, I'm "hooped".

I've grouted some kitchen tiles but am no expert when it comes to grout.

Thanks for any tips!

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Old 04-19-15, 12:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That looks like white grout.

The new oscillating saw with the grout blade will do a great job. I used one and it was fairly quick and easy. I blocked the bathroom doorway off and put a fan in the window to draw the dust out. You want to at least remove the loose grout.

The only place you need to use silicone is where the tile joins the tub or shower pan.

As far as sealing the grout after completion..... absolutely in a shower.
Old 04-19-15, 12:42 PM
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Get some grout color charts to determine if is is white or an off white (more likely). The cracking is fairly common as you are not supposed to use grout where there is a plane change with tile. So, in the inside corners where tile from one wall meets tile from another wall, a flexible caulking should be used. Also, where the wall tile meets the floor tile (or base), flexible caulking should be used. The reason you want color charts is, that all grout has a color matched corresponding flexible caulking. That way, it looks like grout, but it is not grout but caulking. The caulking will not crack as it will move with the walls. The grout, however, will not flex, and therefore cracks with movement. You will not need to remove all the grout, especially on a grout line that thick. Just widen the crack up so you can get some into it.

The oscillating tool will do well to help you do this. Take your time and make sure you don't touch the surface of the tile or it will leave a mark on the tile that will not be able to fix.
Old 04-19-15, 04:16 PM
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Thank you all so much. Yes, there is grout where the planes meet so it looks like that was a flub on the builder's part. To clarify - the shower is tile floor and tile walls - all of the type in the photo. The grout around the perimeter where floor meets wall is the part to be fixed.

To confirm - does this mean I can just rip that old grout all out and simply caulk it in rather than worrying about grout at all?

Note that there is some hollow space there so I won't be able to fill in solid - I'd just fill the gap. There is a part outside the shower which meets the drywall which is more than .25 inch which I need to fill too - it might look better with grout but it would be part of the water-prevention "system". So maybe I caulk it outside the shower too?

Thanks again everyone.

PS - If any of my comments don't make sense I can take another shot or two.

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