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Old 07-30-2014, 07:11 PM   #1
Jeff O
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Jeff's Shower Regrout Project

Hi,

I have gotten so much great info from this forum over the years. Used to post occasionally but cannot remember my original username, so I simply re-registered.

I am in the process of fixing some issues in a shower. It is a very basic subway tile pattern. Very tight joints on the walls, wider on the floor. I did not install this shower, I left it to a professional. I have since done two on my own both with better, more desirable results.

This shower has a hot mopped pan. The original install had grout in all plane change areas but the contractor caulked right over the top of the grout. Within a few days of use, the caulk failed. Long story short, I eventually removed the caulk leaving just the grout in the joints. Over time some small hairline cracks have developed so I decided to start digging out the grout. I will try to attach photos. I think I have been pretty successful in digging out the grout at the plane change areas. Due to the layout and gaping, I cannot get a uniform space around the entire floor, but it seems to be pretty well dug out.

My first question is, how much space do I need to create? I have been able to get in pretty deep, it is just not a uniform joint. Is this sufficient?

Next, should I replace the grout or simply use silicone caulk?

Next, there are some gaps (failures) in some areas on the walls. The joints are tight and the grout is unsanded so I am guessing it should not be too difficult to remove. The only problem is, the joints are so tight it is tough to get any tools in there. A utility knife works, but doesn't last too long. I think the joints are too tight for a removal tool. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
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Jeff,

1- Read the Caulking Tutorial found the lye bury inn decks.

2- Grout the shower using Fusion Pro or Mapei's new single component grout.

3- After grouting and leaving the changes of plane with a 1/8" open joint, you should caulk the changes of plane with 100% silicone which matches the grout
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:56 PM   #3
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Paul,

I did indeed already read the caulking tutorial. Very helpful.

I think I mainly have access to Custom Building products here. Ok to use or should I seek out others?

Will take your advice on the caulking of the plane changes. I was just concerned because of the way they failed originally. (although caulk was on top of grout)

Thanks
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
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Oops--Fusion Pro is a Custom product. Thanks
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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Any tips for digging grout out of the tightly spaced wall tiles?
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:19 PM   #6
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Use a lot of patience and a light hand. This isn't the typical "he- man" job.

A radio may be helpful and distracting enough
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:42 PM   #7
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Yes, radio indispensable.

Just use a knife and/or thin grout scraper I guess?
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:21 PM   #8
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I have had limited time to work on digging out the old grout. I am hoping to finish tomorrow after a half day at the office.

One thing that I have noticed that concerns me a bit. As I dig out the grout, small piles develop on the floor of the shower near the base of the wall where it meets the floor. The grout dust appears to be picking up a small bit of moisture while on the ground. Is this weeping out from the open joint at the floor? I have no idea. It is not much, but I wonder if it a problem. There are no issues whatsoever with loose or compromised tiles (as far as I can tell). Is this anything I should be concerned with?
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
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Still digging at old grout. It's almost as much fun as I thought it would be.

As I get closer to completing the dig, I have a few more questions.

The tools that I am using are leaving a metallic mark on the tile. When I am all finished scratching, digging, chiseling, scraping, etc. what is the procedure for clean up?

I have traces of silicone caulk which must go.

The metallic scratches from blades.

A bit of soap scum/residue on some tiles.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:16 PM   #10
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Try Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami. Either should take the tool marks right off the tile. Or ask Mrs. Jeff how she gets silverware marks off of the dishes.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have heard of Bon Ami, but not the other. Mrs. Jeff doesn't have much silver to polish!
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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After several additional hours of scraping, I think I am as close finishing as I can be. I have read that 2/3 of the depth of the tile is ideal. I don't really see how this is possible here. I have many joints that are so tight that a utility blade barely fits.

I feel like it has been quite an accomplishment to get as much removed as I have. I have removed enough from each joint to expose the tile edge and then as deep as possible from there. I really can't imagine being able to do much more.

I am looking for some guidance for how to proceed. A sequence:

1. Clean tiles with Bon Ami
2. Scrub (wash?) out joints
3. Apply silicone remover
4. Let dry

Etc..

Am I on the right track?

I have never re-grouted before (and never will again!) My confidence level for installing grout in a new job is high-- I have done it successfully three times. My confidence level on this project is low. And I know any mistakes will lead me right back to the current situation. More scraping. Never again.

Any further assistance much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:30 PM   #13
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Pictures will help Jeff.

Have you read the grouting tutorial buried deep in the library index ?
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:01 PM   #14
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Yes, I did read the very helpful grouting tutorial before I posted. Seem to recall that it dealt primarily with new grout vs. re-grouting. I will re-read though.

Will try to get some pictures up.

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:11 PM   #15
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Yes, I did read the very helpful grouting tutorial before I posted. Seem to recall that it dealt primarily with new grout vs. re-grouting. I will re-read though.

Will try to get some pictures up.

Thanks!

Ok, added one photo. Pretty representative of the field tile. My other images are too big and they will not upload. Will try again later.

Also, my corner joints are butted--not even close to 1/8" gap. I did not do this tile job, but recall the contractor being very proud of the tight joint.
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