If you have an older tile shower that is in great condition except for the grout, regrouting it may allow you to keep it as-is and prevent an expensive replacement while making it look brighter and clearer than it was. This is where you dig out the grout and replace it with new, and the cost to regrout shower is usually less than replacing the whole thing. Grout is responsible for protecting the edges of your tile from damage while keeping the water out of the walls. If it’s starting to crack, you want to figure out the cost to regrout shower and whether or not you should do it yourself or hire a contractor to prevent damage to the studs or tile. The price will depend on the grout type, size of the project, and the age of the material.
The national average price for regrouting your shower starts at $550 and goes up to $900. Most people tend to spend roughly $700 to regrout an 80 square foot shower with three by six tiles, replacing the old grout with a stain-resistant polymer. ON the lower end, your cost to regrout shower is roughly $400, and this includes using unsanded grout. On the other end of the spectrum, the cost to regrout shower can be upwards of $2,400 to regrout and recaulk a bathtub and shower combo.
Due to the high exposure to humidity and moisture in the shower, you will periodically have to regrout the tile to prevent mold and mildew growth.
|Shower Regrouting Cost|
|Average Range||$550 to $900|
When to Regrout a Shower
You add grout to the tile to work as an expansion joint. It’s meant to flex because the tiles won’t. Eventually, most older grout will get brittle and start to crack. Newer grout that was improperly mixed may also become powdery and crack over time. If you have grout that is developing cracks or that has pieces that fell out, it’s time to regrout it.
If you don’t when your grout starts to fail, the water will get through to the wall cavity behind it. This causes mildew and mold growth as well as water damage. Regrouting is most commonly done on wall tiles with unsanded ground because polymer additive, epoxy, or sanded grout rarely crack. If they do, it’s easy to fix them without having to regrout the whole thing.
Signs You May Need to Replace Your Grout
You should inspect your grout regularly in your shower, and you want to make sure to pay close attention to the following signs:
- Cracks – Small cracks in the grout won’t look very serious at first glance, but they can allow water to slip behind your shower tiles.
- Discoloration – Grout will develop unsightly stains over time due to chemicals like cleaning products or hair dye.
- Easily Scratched – Grout that scratches easily during the cleaning process is a sign that water might be going through it.
- Mildew or Mold – Mildew or mold growth is common in humid bathrooms, and it can easily ruin your grout.
Cost to Regrout Shower by Grout Type
The average cost to regrout shower is $400 up to $1,000, depending on the type of grout you want. The grout type will impact the price, and most professionals will suggest epoxy or polymer-based for the best results. If you choose a standard grout type, it has to be sealed using an impregnating sealer for 24 to 48 hours after it dries to stop it from staining.
The type you use will vary, depending on the size and type of joints and how complex it is to remove the grout and add it back in. For this reason, you will want to consult professionals and get their recommendation for a grout type. Using the wrong type can void the warranty on some tile types, and it can damage others. We’ll go over the various types of grout, their applications, and the price point used to cover a shower that is 80 square feet.
|Type||Price Per Shower with Labor|
|Cement||$400 to $600|
|Epoxy||$700 to $960|
|Polymer||$550 to $900|
|Sanded||$450 to $650|
|Unsanded||$400 to $500|
Cement grout usually costs between $5.00 to $7.00 a square foot, so you’ll pay between $400 and $600 to regrout an 80 square foot shower. This is a very common type of grout because it’s easy to apply, budget-friendly, and it’s available in a huge color range.
However, cement grout usually isn’t recommended for showers because it’ll crack over time and it’ll eventually discolor due to the near-constant moisture exposure. While it’s not fabulous for showers, cement grout works well as a base for home fixtures and tile work like kitchen backsplashes.
The cost to regrout shower using epoxy is between $700 to $960. Epoxy-based grout is one nice alternative to cement ones, and it’s the preferred material for some glass tile companies. This epoxy resin-based grout is much smoother, and you can get unsanded or sanded versions. It gets mixed right before you apply it, and it gives off very strong volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
It can be difficult to spread and expensive, so you’ll pay more in labor costs if you choose to use epoxy instead of cement. However, epoxy is very flexible, so it won’t crack over time. It also resists discoloration and staining because it’s non-porous. Cement-based grout will absorb stain while epoxy won’t. Not every tile installer has worked with this type of grout, and some may choose not to. If you already have this grout type, you won’t need to regrout it unless you want to swap out the color because it’s not color-sealed like sanded cement grout is.
The cost to regrout shower that is 80 square feet using polymer grout is between $550 and $900. When you want something that lasts longer, you can use a polymer additive or an acrylic grout. This cement-based grout has acrylic polymers worked in, and it can be unsanded or sanded. It is harder to spread and stiffer than traditional cement-based grout, but it’s easier than epoxy to work with.
Depending on the brand you pick out, it may have no VOCs, but some brands will give off a very strong odor as you work with them. Polymer additive grouts come in the same colors as standard grout, but they don’t require you seal them after you finish. They are sometimes called pre-sealed grout, and this makes them more expensive than other types.
There are many types of grout you can use in your shower, but talking to a professional will help you narrow down the best choice for your project.
Sanded grout has a price point between $450 and $650 to regrout your shower, and this usually works out to between $6.00 and $8.00 a square foot, including labor. This is the same base mixture as unsanded grout but it has more sand, and this makes it stronger and thicker. It will fill in wider joints more easily, and it’s much less likely to crack. For this reason, you’ll have to regrout it much less often than unsanded types.
Finally, the average cost to regrout shower using unsanded grout is between $400 and $500, or $5.00 to $6.00 a square foot. This price range includes materials and labor. This is the type of grout you usually find on joints that are smaller than ⅛-inch. Using this epoxy in a wider joint could cause it to shrink too much as it dries, and this will leave gaps. This is what you typically find in bathrooms, but it depends on the type of tile you have. Gray and white tile have the lowest price, and specialty colors will have a larger price tag.
Cost to Regrout Shower by Tile Type
The average cost to regrout shower is $400 to $1,300. The price will vary depending on the type of tile and how much space you have between your tiles. For example, floor tiles will do much better with a durable epoxy grout while tiles will do better if you use a polymer grout.
In the table below, we’ll give you a quick overview of the most common tile types used in bathrooms, the best grout to use with them, and the average price. Keep in mind that if you pick out standard grout, you might end up paying more for a sealant to finish the project.
|Tile Type||Grout Type||Cost for Labor/Materials|
|Floor Tile Over 12 Inches||Standard Epoxy||$480 to $600|
|Floor Tile up to 12 Inches||Unsanded Epoxy||$400 to $500|
|Glass Tiles||Sanded or Unsanded Epoxy||$500 to $800|
|Handmade Wall Tile||Sanded Polymer||$480 to $600|
|Machine-Made Tile||Unsanded Polymer||$400 to $480|
|Mosaic Tile||Sanded Epoxy||$950 to $1,300|
|Polished or Honed Stone||Unsanded Polymer||$400 to $600|
|Tumbled Marble||Sanded Epoxy||$960 to $1,280|
Cost to Regrout Tiles per Square Foot
Generally, the cost to regrout your tiles is between $5.00 and $25.00 a square foot, but it’ll fluctuate depending on the type of tiles you want to regrout. The following is a very short list on the costs:
- Floor Tiles – $6.00 to $8.00 a square foot
- Shower Tiles – $10.00 to $25.00 a square foot
- Wall Tiles – $5.00 to $6.00 a square foot
The prices in this list include the removal of the old grout. Make sure you get all of these small details as part of a written estimate as some contractors may not remove all of the old grout and quote you lower at $1.70 to $5.00 a square foot.
Replacing the grout isn’t challenging, but it can be very time-consuming. Removing the material is the most labor-intensive part of the whole job. Some estimates indicate that it takes four times longer to remove the old grout than it takes to apply the new. Some DIYers will start the process and call a professional after they realize how much time you have to dedicate to it.
For DIYers, you should note that even with the best grout removal tools, it may be impossible to remove all of it without ending up damaging the tile. If you’re concerned about the cost of tile repair, consider hiring an experienced contractor who can do the job very efficiently and keep the cost of your porcelain or ceramic tiles as low as possible.
Labor Costs to Regrout Your Shower
Out of the average $560 to $880 price tag to regrout a shower, roughly $360 to $480 of the cost goes to the labor, and the other $200 to $400 goes on the materials. This means that labor makes up roughly 45% to 60% of total cost and materials take up 40% to 55%. The labor rate in this estimate is between $30.00 and $40.00 per hour with 12 hours allotted to finish the job.
Shower regrouting is typically done by a bathroom renovation or repair expert or by a tile installation contractor. Some plumbers may also offer these services, but usually only if they install new fixtures for you. The average hourly rate for this type of work is between $30.00 and $40.00 an hour for labor, and this works out to $5.00 to $12.00 a square foot. This includes materials, and there are several factors that play into your final cost.
This is very time-consuming and tedious work, and this is due to the fact that you have to cut or ground out the old grout between the tiles before adding the new materials in. Depending on the age and grout type, you do this using a grout saw, diamond-tipped power tools, and a utility knife. Most contractors choose to use tools as they know how to use them without chipping any of the surrounding tiles.
However, for some small jobs or tight corners, they may use a grout saw. The grout has to be taken down to a minimum of half of the previous depth before you apply the new material. Then, you should clean the tiles, dry the area, and mix the new material and float into place.
Labor costs will take up a decent amount of your budget when it comes to the cost to regrout shower, but it’s worth it as this can be a very time-consuming project.
Several factors will play into the total cost to regrout shower, from the tile size to the shower size. Bigger tiles are easy to regrout because there is very little grout compared to the size of the tile, and it’s easy to reach the joints. Mosaic tiles are a very time-consuming project and expensive to regrout, and the costs are usually double for the average tile size of four inches.
For this reason, a lot of companies won’t regrout a tile under four inches and they recommend color sealing instead. If the grout is very old and cuts out easily, this lowers your cost to regrout shower. Removing epoxy to swap the color results in a very high cost because it takes more time than cement-based options. For some huge projects, you may get a flat rate per day because it takes 12 hours or more, depending on the condition and size of the tile and grout.
Shower Grout Repair Cost
Most installers have a minimum cost for the project ranging from $50.00 to $100. You can expect to spend between $150 and $200 on minor repairs to your shower grout. Sometimes, it’s easy to repair them if the crack is small or only in a specific area. Keep in mind that it can be hard to match grout colors sometimes, so if the rest of your grout is discolored, it won’t be possible to match the material on the repair. In this case, you may want to color seal the whole unit or regrout it to match, and this increases your cost to regrout shower.
Cost to Color Seal
The cost to color seal your grout starts around $500 for a shower. If you have grout that isn’t cracked but it’s very stained and unable to be cleaned, a good option is to color seal it. This is a specific paint made for just your grout that changes the color. So, if your previous grout is done in a color you don’t like or the material is extremely discolored and you can’t clean it, color sealing is an option.
Color sealing is usually done with sanded grout that is in decent condition. A few small cracks can get repaired at the same time without any problems. The only minor drawback to color sealing is that the final color may have a sheen to it or be slightly shiny. Most people won’t notice it, byt others may not like it as much as the standard matte look. Color sealed grout won’t discolor as quickly the second time because it comes designed to repel stains.
How to Clean Shower Grout + Costs
Professional contractors usually charge between $0.75 and $3.00 per square foot and $30.00 to $40.00 to clean your tile and grout. This can be a higher price point to some people, but it also helps guarantee that you’ll get the best result with the right cleaning methods to keep them looking like new. Pre-sealed and epoxy grout work to keep stains on the surface where it’s easier to wipe them away using your bathroom cleaners.
Cement-based grouts won’t have been modified to repel stains if you don’t put a sealer on them. Even then, they may still absorb stains, depending on what you spill on them. Before you clean it, you should make sure that your cleaner won’t cause damage to the tile. Any stone tile needs a pH-neutral cleaning agent. It’s recommended to use professional cleaners that are specially designed to use on your surfaces.
The best grout cleaner is oxygen bleach. It works to pull the stain to the surface and you can use it on most tile types. However, for more stubborn stains, a bleach pen is something you could try to keep the grout clean without getting it on the tile. Use a smaller brush to gently agitate the grout and tiles to clean them before rinsing the area with water. You want to clean them regularly to prevent stains from building up.
Grout Restoration Cost
The average price to restore your grout in your shower is $450 per every 100 square feet. The price depends on the joint width, square footage, and the types of materials you use. When you choose grout restoration, you’ll use special cleaning agents before sealing the joints to preserve the look. You’ll also apply sealers after you regrout it, and you should apply this sealer once or twice a year to keep the surface clean.
Restoring grout is possible if you don’t have a huge amount of damage or discoloration, and it can be cheaper than doing a full regrout project.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Along with your normal cost to regrout shower, there are several enhancement and improvement costs you can choose to do, and we’ll outline the biggest ones below.
Grout Color Change Cost
Grout paint costs around $20.00 a bottle, and the color sealing process we touched on above is roughly $500 for the average shower. The most common ways to change the color are to color seal or regrout. However, if it’s in a small area, you can use paint to change the colors. You apply it using an artist’s paintbrush, and they’re very colorful and bright. Some may even have glitter mixed in, but they may flake over time, especially if the bathroom is humid.
Recaulk Shower Cost
If you choose to recaulk your shower along with regrouting the tile, you can easily spend between $150 and $300. The exact price will depend on how many seams you need to caulk, and type of caulk you pick out, and how difficult it is to get to the area. You usually do this along with regrouting the shower to give a clean, fresh look with a fresh seal to protect your walls.
Regrout Bathtub Cost
The average cost to clean and regrout a bathtub is $800 to $1,200. If you plan on regrouting the shower tile, you’ll typically also do any surrounding tile in the bathroom. You could decide to only upgrade one or the other. However, if your tub has matching grout and tile, you will most likely want to update it all in one go to keep your costs lower.
Silicone Grout Sealer Cost
It costs roughly $1.00 and $2.00 per square foot to seal your shower grout. After you regrout it, you will want to apply a silicone sealer to it to help protect it from water. There are several sealants on the market to choose from, and the quality levels impact the price you’ll pay. You will spend more if you have more square footage that you need to seal. Some contactors will include the sealant as part of their cost to regrout showers, but not all of them do.
Additional Considerations and Costs
Finally, there are smaller considerations and costs to keep in mind when you’re adding up your cost to regrout a shower, and knowing what they are can help keep you in budget. They include:
- Caulking – Any time you grout a shower, you’ll use caulk in the corner joints around the unit basin. This will help improve the flexibility levels of hte walls and it allows for expansion.
- Color Choices – There are several ways to change the color of your grout. Color staining is one option that absorbs the color into the material, but it only works on unsealed grout. Once you seal it, your color choices will be very limited.
- DIY – While this project may not be complicated, regrouting a shower is very time-consuming and tedious. It can save you money on your cost to regrout shower, but you’ll spend more time as it can take a professional up to 12 hours from start to finish. Plus, you’ll have to get the correct tools for the job to prevent you from creating a bigger mess. Usually, this is a job for the experts to take on.
- Health and Safety – The process of dry cutting anything like grout that has silica and cement can cause health problems if you inhale it. Always wear safety glasses and a make when you’re mixing or cutting out the older materials.
- Maintenance – Grout will last a long time if you take care of it. Keep it clean and apply sealants regularly to prevent staining. Treat any discoloration as it happens before it sets in.
- Sealing – Some contactors won’t seal the grout, and they leave this up to you. If you’re using a pre-sealed grout, apply an impregnating sealer after a few days to ward off staining.
Now you know the average cost to regrout shower and all of the small pieces that go into getting this final price. You can take this guide and use it to figure out what is in your budget to help you get the perfect look in your shower.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.