Ugly tile, uglier grout

I moved into my house in April and like every new homeowner I'm constantly finding things that I'd like changed. The previous owner could not have had an uglier style, in my opinion, and I'm always trying to find ways to fix (preferably cheaply) the things that he installed. My current problem is the tile, and especially the grout, on the kitchen counters and backsplash.
From what I can tell from looking under the cabinets there used to be standard formica countertops in the kitchen that he put some kind of a concrete (?) and wire mesh over and then covered that with purple (and I mean purple) porcelain tiles. The color would not have been my choice, and in a perfect world I would have them changed and a new countertop surface installed. I am not rich however, and I'm wondering if there's any way I can at least change the color of the even purpler grout that he used.
My questions are: - I know there is grout stain, but does that only work on lighter colored grout? - If grout stain isn't an option, is there a way to remove the old grout and re-grout the surface? - If I'm going to go to all that trouble, how much more trouble would it be to put new tile in also? - The kitchen is maybe 12x12 with counters on two walls and an island/breakfast bar. There are tiles going up the wall to the upper cabinets. What kind of price would a contractor charge me to come in and replace all that tile?
Thanks a lot for your help.
- Liz
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New tile will cost more than new counters, Tile grout collects food, save and put in new counters . New grout , alot of work.
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Liz wrote:

Sure... 1. Physically remove it...cut, chip... 2. Chemically remove it...eat up with acid

Easier than physically removing the grout.

Call a couple and ask.
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it's a paint sort of stuff. you paint on with a brush, wipe off the tiles. let dry. lasts for years. it comes in lots of colors, and isn't a dye so can be put on any color grout.

grind it out. laborious and if you miss, you wind up with scratched tiles.

it's easier, imo, to retile than regrout.

figure $8-30/sqft i would guess. it depends upon the subbase (using/repairing what's there, as opposed to ripping it all out and starting over), your location, time of year, and the tiles chosen. call some and ask.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Liz) wrote in message

You can use grout colorant to change the color of your grout. It applies like paint, so it completely covers the existing surface, and acts as a sealant, as well.
I used AquaMix's grout colorant and sealant (http://www.aquamix.com/gc.htm ) on my grout about a year ago, and while it was a little tedious to apply, it really looks great. It comes with a kind of toothbrush applicator, but I found that a small angled paintbrush from the local craft store worked a lot better.
If you call their customer service, they will send you a free color sample chart, too.
Good luck!
-- Jennifer
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Thanks for all your help! I think I'll try the grout colorant first, but try to start saving for an updated kitchen as well. Everyone was very helpful, thanks again!
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