Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Projects: Degrout and Regrout

Let’s see if I can make this quick and dirty.

Actually this project wasn’t quick, but it was dirty.

When you move into a new house, you expect that you won’t have to do much work to it.  Right?  Wrong!  We’re the first owners of this house, we moved in just over 4 years ago after it was built.  And since we’ve found lots of things that are well, wrong.  Our master shower is one of them.  The grout was cracking and coming out in places.  Not to mention that some of it was stained beyond belief.  But it was the cracked and falling out grout that got us into degrouting the shower. 

We had never really anticipated having to “renovate” the bathroom, so it wasn’t really in the budget.  Grouting isn’t too expensive.  It just takes time.  But let me tell you, both Biker Boy and I were tempted to take a sledge hammer to those shower walls and bust out the tile.  But that would have been expensive and knowing this house….we’d find something behind the tile that would cause more work.  So back to degrouting, ugh.

We’re not unfamiliar with degrouting and regrouting (more on that later).  But there are new tools nowadays.  Biker Boy used the electrical powered MultiMate tool to get out grout in the big gaps on the floor.  We’d recommend using the Dremel brand attachment, not the cheaper ones (sorry Multimate brand).  Believe me…we would have gone through a ton of the cheaper ones (and they weren’t that cheap) and the Dremel one lasted the whole time.  And I’m not paid to say that.  We just learned through experience.  We also went through a lot of those little grout removal triangles to get grout out on the wall.  It’s a different grout removal tool than we used a decade ago.  But it worked and gave us a workout.  Not to mention that we bought Lowes out of the replacement heads and found out Home Depot doesn’t carry them.  Lots of lessons learned.  It gets to be a dusty mess.  We wore masks and safety glasses. 

1-9-12 Master Bath Grout (1)1-9-12 Master Bath Grout (4)

We had to be super careful to not wreck the tiles.  One did pop out, but it was whole.  A little thinset later and it was back in.  Biker Boy did most of the shower work.  I helped a little one day while Chewy was napping.  Except her room was on the other side of the bathroom, so she could hear everything.  A couple of tiles got a little “chipped” on the edges, but I couldn’t notice them. 

1-9-12 Master Bath Grout (2)1-9-12 Master Bath Grout (3)

A few weeks after degrouting (it took awhile), Biker Boy got to grouting.

1-10-12 Grouting (1)

We got unsanded grout for the walls and sanded grout for the floor.  Check your grout line width and go with the appropriate grout for your width and application.  Since we had such a hard time with stained grout before (and we had sealed it), we splurged and went for the grout boost additive.  It costs more than the grout.  Hopefully it works and we won’t have to rip grout out again in 4 years.  Cause then we will be taking the sledgehammer to the walls.  The lady at Lowes highly recommended the grout boost.  I don’t think she worked on commission. 

1-10-12 Grouting (2)

Shake, shake, shake that boost.  Shake it baby!  You pour your additive into your mixing container.  Then you add your grout and mix, mix, mix.  Mix it baby!

1-10-12 Grouting (3)1-10-12 Grouting (4)1-10-12 Grouting (5)

Then get to grouting.  Biker Boy did the walls one day and the floors another day.  You use the grouting float to push and smoosh the grout into the lines.  Then you go back over with a sponge and fresh water to clean up.  Then later you wipe with a dry cloth to remove the haze.  Just follow the lovely directions on the package, they’re pretty good.  You get a good workout.  Your shoulders and arms will feel it after degrouting and regrouting.

1-10-12 Grouting (6)1-10-12 Grouting (7)1-10-12 Grouting (8)

Now the shower is better than it ever was new.  It’s not perfect.  Biker Boy told me that.  But it’s oh so much better.  And we’re waiting 10 days to use it.  Thankfully we have another shower to use in the kids’ bathroom.  Unlike the last time we did grout and bathroom work….we only had one bathroom. 

1-19-12 Grout Done (1)1-19-12 Grout Done (2)

Oh, and the painter’s tape up on the wall to protect it from grout?  Yep, when we ripped it down we encountered Peeled and Chippy again.  I was expecting it once I saw Biker Boy put the tape up on the wall.  Ugh and double ugh.  So I’ve got some touch up painting to do.  Yep, one household project always leads to another in this house.

With that being said…I thought I would show the work we did on our first house.  We bought it in 2001 and lived there till 2006.  We did a ton of work on that house. Most of it before we even owned a digital camera.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

Our only bathroom was a haven of tile.  Lots of tile.  Our first thing was to paint the seafoam colored walls a neutral color.  That was after taking down the peach wallpaper border.  The previous owners had a thing for seafoam and pink.  We had pink walls everywhere and seafoam carpet.  It sure was purdy.  *cough, cough*  We removed all the grout from the walls, sink, and the shower by hand and regrouted them.  Look at all that tile.  It was even in the tub.  Lots of it. 

10-17-05 Bath before10-17-05 Bath before3

Then just before we knew we were moving we took the bathroom down to the studs.  We got rid of all the tile and the tub.  The white tile with gold specks came off the walls, we got rid of the tiled vanity, and we even busted out the pink tile on the floor.  All with a baby in the house.  And we showered over a drain in our unfinished basement and put a towel over the small window.  Oh the joys of homeownership. 

12-13-05 Bathroom12-15-05 Bathroom

We even did our kitchen and dining area.  We ripped up three layers of linoleum and a layer of carpet over that in the dining area.  Here’s the pretty befores.  This must be scanned photos.  You know I’m being sarcastic about the pretty. Oh, by this time we had a new cooktop and had started painting the drawers.  And yep, we busted out that tile around the cooktop and replaced it. 


We laid tile on the floor.  The stained and pink linoleum wasn’t our style.  I remember grouting the whole thing while Biker Boy was on a snowboarding trip.  Yes, I did do that one! 

5-2-06 Dining Room25-2-06 Kitchen

Come to think of it….we did a lot in that house.  Replacing flooring, ripping down wallpaper, painting every room (the kitchen was Pepto-Bismol pink when we moved in), roofing, siding, building a deck, painting cabinets, remodeling a bathroom, and a whole bunch more.  Boy, the stuff you can get done when you don’t have kids.  And you have summers off cause you teach.  Yep.

So what house projects are you on to?  Or what fun things are you up to?  We’re currently building a media center.  Give us time, just give us time. 

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