Regrouting a tiled shower stall?

For a while after we moved into this house the shower stall looked fine, but then the grout lines -- especially those between the edge of the floor and the bottom of the walls -- started looking dirtier and dirtier.
The usual shower cleaning products did not do much, nor did undiluted bleach straight from the bottle.
We thought of redoing the shower with plastic or fiberglass panels, but it's significantly smaller than any standard off-the-shelf units. No doubt we could get a custom liner made, but probably costing more than we would be willing to spend.
I've just started attacking the grout with a grout saw, with the intention of regrouting those joints, but it appears that the previous owner used silicone caulking compound over the existing grout along those edges. This complicates cleaning out the crevices. And even where I've managed to clean out the old grout and caulking compound, everything is still black, and even straight bleach seems to have no effect.
Any suggestions about the best way to deal with this?
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Keep cleaning out the mess, regrout and use sealer, or pull the sheet rock and start over. this time use a good grout sealer.
olddog
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On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 12:08:44 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"

This may be moisture from the other side. If so you are ripping out the whole mess. If you decide all you want to do is get the grout out, a Dremel tool will speed things up but it is still slow going.
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

I regrouted our tiled shower stall with good results, about 4 yrs. ago. I used the Dremel with special bit and guide. Only tough part for me was kneeling for the low spots and using enough pressure to regrout (I'm old :o) The black stuff you find is bothersome, and I hope it is from the previous caulking applied over dirty old grout and not from a leak that has saturated the wall. If you get through all of the grout and still find blacfk mold, I've be very concerned that there is a leak behind the wall. Any chance the original grout was black? When you get it cleaned out, use full strength bleach, rinse well, and dry well before you regrout.
I ended up with a few grout joints that didn't fill entirely, which is due to my lack of muscle and dim lighting. I'd be sure to check the grout for flaws with light across the joints to catch the little "misses".
The smallest tip for the Dremel tool is, I believe, 1/8". We have a few tiles that are apparently closer, and the bit skipped out of the joint but fortunately did not scratch or chip the tile.
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The Dremel "grout" bits are 1/16 or 1/8" There is another general purpose tapered carbide bit that can be of use as well. Probably others as well. Still can be time consuming but much less painful than a hand grout saw.
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On 10/21/08 12:42 pm Norminn wrote:

<snip>
Thanks for the suggestion, I did not know about the Dremel bits. The 1/16" one seems to be doing a good job. I', mot using the Dremel guide because I don't have a genuine Dremel tool: I'm using a battery-powered B&D. (IAC, I couldn't even see any genuine Dremel tools with the model#s the grout removal kit was intended to fit.)
Any ideas on getting rid of the silicone caulk residue?
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Someone else pointed out that there was a 1/16" tip, which is likely the one I used that "grabbed" in a few places where the tiles were too close. We have a very old, and a much newer Dremel rotary tool, and I used both on my grout job. As for the silicone caulk, if it is on tile I would use a razor blade scraper (with fresh blades). I've never used any of the chemical caulk removers.
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

It's not too much work if you use a Fein Multimaster with their carbide tile blades. To remove the grout is a leisurely day, and to regrout is perhaps 4 hours. Once the grout is out I'd wash the surfaces and grout streets down with a good mildewcide like those sold by Zinssner before regrouting.
Boden
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