Saturday, November 29, 2008

Regrouting poorly regrouted areas?

Built-in cabinet and shower stall

Given the amount of tile in the bathrooms and the age of the house, inevitably some of the grout has failed. While some of the tile hangs in, tenuously, some of it has been regrouted. These areas are often quite obvious - the grout is white instead of gray, and the tiles sit unevenly on the wall. This is not a project that I will be dealing with in the immediate future, but right now, I'd like to gather information as to the most appropriate solution to this problem.

Given the number of tiles that are already broken, I'm afraid that in the process of removing the replacement grout, I'll damage even more of them. However, at the same time, the unevenness of the finish really bothers me, as does the disparity in color.

Any thoughts as to a reasonable course of action, or how I might redo the existing grout work without causing a major disaster?


artemis said...

On the color front, there's actually a product that exists specifically to brighten old grout and make it consistent (which we discovered because the PO of our house had used it to prepare our tile for selling the house!) It seems to work quite well on grout, but the equivalent product for caulking is only so-so (ours is now rubbing off, a year later). It won't help any with the uneven tiles, but might be a good (and cheap) cosmetic fix till you can tackle the project for real. I can't remember the name, but our local hardware store was able to direct me right to it. (I don't know how eco-friendly it is, though; ours was already a done deal so I didn't worry too much about it.)

Why S? said...

Hi Christopher. I can't provide much advice but I just want to say I love that you have so much original tile and so many original fixtures. Our house was totally gutted in its first 93 years. By the time we got to it, there wasn't much left, so it's exciting to see your process. Good luck with it all. I know it's a big project but you'll be so happy you stuck with it, I'm sure.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Why S? - Thank you.

Having so much original material presents extra challenges, because there is a certain obligation, I think, to preserve the original material. I'll probably be searching for a good replacment tile for a couple years at least.

Do you have a house blog? I didn't see one listed in your blogger profile and I'm interested to see and read more about it.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Why S? - nevermind that last comment.

Christine said...

There is also a product that colors grout to a new color -- Polyblend Grout Renew. We used it on our new bathroom floor when we didn't like the grout color we chose. Lowes or HD has it in a few colors (we bought ours off the shelf), and more are available. Here's a link for more info ('s holding up like a dream in our bathroom.