View Full Version : Regrouting tile bathroom wall

10-07-2011, 02:08 PM
Since I have never done tile these might be simple questions to many.

Basically I'd like to regrout the tile bathroom wall. The current grout color is dark grey/black and I want to change to white, as the tile color is white.

One thing I notice is that the tiles are stacked against each other. These are Daltile tiles and the tiles have built-in spacers along the edges. I suppose the installer didn't bother to allow more space for grout and just placed them all against each other.

The question is first then how to remove the old grout--the grout lines are mostly like 1/32" thin. I have not found a grout remover with a blade size that small.

Should I try using a Dremel tool--would the blade be thin enough to remove the grout and not damaging the tile?

Is there such a small size grout remover blade available in some tile shops?

Another probably simple question to many is that if tile cement/grout material is left on the tub and dried out, say on the tub surface, is there a way to remove the material?


10-07-2011, 07:11 PM
SOme tile are designed to be butted against each other's spacer. It's really tough to get the grout out from those. I think any power tool you tried to use would end up scratching the tile, or leaving an uneven edge. You might try a utility knife. Unsanded grout can be cut out - you'll need a pack of blades as they dull. But, being black, you may have trouble trying to install white grout as any leftover black grout you may leave behind will tend to color the new stuff.

The magic with cleaning grout is don't let it cure before cleaning up! But, depending on the surface, you might be able to use a grout cleaner to get it off. Plain white vinegar can work if you let it sit long enough. The acid disolves the calcium in the grout, and what's left is the filler (sometimes it's sand, or similar fairly inert material).

10-07-2011, 10:28 PM
It's about 100 sq ft of area to regrout. Someone also suggested regrouting wouldn't work as the new grout won't stick to the old grout (if any left) and eventually there'd be a water leak. So just tearing off the whole tile out and redoing the whole tile wall is much better.

Is it true that the new grout won't stick to any old grout underneath properly and lead to water leak?

I am trying to see if it make practical sense to try to remove the old grout (if that can be done successfully on 1/32" thin grout lines) and regrout vs. just complete tear-out and redoing the whole tile wall around the tub then... .

Just a poll--anyone has ever successfully removed old thin 1/32" grout lines w/o side-effects (chipped/scratched tile pieces) at all?


10-08-2011, 05:27 AM
Completely tearing out a tile job just for the grout is a drastic step. I would check in with our friends on the tile forum www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com)
Someone there will have good advice for you.

10-08-2011, 05:50 AM
Should I try using a Dremel tool--would the blade be thin enough to remove the grout and not damaging the tile?

Is there such a small size grout remover blade available in some tile shops?
I assume you mean the Dremel oscillating tool and not their rotary tool. AFAIK, the Fein Supercut has the thinnest (3/64ths) grout removal blade on the market. The tool would/could also grind down the self-spacer nubs. None the less, it would be a tedious job and I think you would be better off using a grout paint.


10-08-2011, 01:53 PM
The real problem with grouting over the new grout is that there is NOTHING for it to grab to. It would be a very thin layer sitting on top of the old grout but there would be none of the tile surface for it to bond to. Most power tools which would remove the grout would also have a tendency to damage the tile, especially if they started bouncing around and did not stay right in the grout line..

10-08-2011, 02:25 PM
Perhaps it's more sensible to use color grout seal/grout paint then to try removing the thin grout lines which is not easy to do w/o chipping/scratching tiles.

I noticed Custom Building Products PolyBlend 'Grout Renew':


Just a product I can pick up conveniently from a local store.

Anyone has tried it--is it good like the Grout Perfect?

Also, I'm changing from dark grey to white. I'd need two coats to cover the dark grout color enough?