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Question DetailsAsked on 7/14/2016

price per sq. ft replacing epoxy grout and a few missing tiles

941sq ft of a business kitchen area needs regrouted and a few missing/broken tiles replaced.

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3 Answers


If you mean normal polymer modified (epoxy) cementatious grout (generally sanded for a kitchen, or sanded grout plus a smooth sealer over the top), commonly in the $2-4/SF range for surficial grout routing out (about 1/8 inch deep) and regrouting plus removal of loose grout pieces and replacing a few tiles or replacing thinset and resetting of a few loose tiles. If you mean total grout removal to depth (so a structural grout replacement rather than basically a cosmetic/sanitary grout repair) like if the grout is breaking up and coming out, commonly more like $4-7/SF range and a much more time consuming job.

True epoxy grout (installed using a flowable liquid epoxy like is sometimes done in very high traffic areas and food or chemical handling areas and labs) is a real problem - can run $10-20/SF to grind out and replace, generally more than replacing the tile floor. Generally regrouting is only done in this case for very limited damaged areas, or sometimes in areas where a shutdown for full tile floor replacement is not viable - say a major 365 days a year building where closing off an entry area or lobby is out of the question, or a major hotel kitchen nor such where there are no closed weekends or such to do a several day tile replacement job. I don't see how this sort of grout could be removed or redone without power tools (so high dust generation) so low-impact handwork is probably not viable in that case - would require heavy tenting of cooking surfaces/fixtures/appliances, or possibly tenting and exhaust ventilation of the current work area similar to what is done with asbestos removal - which of course would crank the cost up significantly if the latter had to be done because of work going on while the kitchen was in use. Fire prevention would also be a tough thing to handle - might require fire-resistant wleding blankets rather than visqueen barriers due to the risk of hot surfaces igniting plastic sheeting dividers or covers. Not a simple thing to do if has to be done with kitchen in use, so wet grinding with water mist might be needed, using air-powered tools rather than electric.

Equipment issues also affect the situation at times - like if there is a lot of heavy equipment and appliances that are hard or expensivbe to move, sometimes regrouting around them is easier in the long run than replacing the floor, provided most of the tile is in decent condition.

You need to talk to several contractors (after you short-list good ones) about the condition of your grout, whether shallow grout replacement or perhaps just surficial grinding and resealing if cleanliness is the basic issue for most of the area will fill the bill, and also what measures will be taken to limit or control dust getting on/into the kitchen equipment. hand scraping and grinding and gouging can be done with very little dust, but costs a LOT more because of the labor involved. Likely for your case a LOT of plastic sheeting protection of the food prep surfaces will be needed, which also affects that decision. I have worked kitchen and hospital jobs where it was all handwork (no power tools except tile saw located somewhere outside to cut replacement tile pieces) and was done small area by area so most of the operation could continue in use, or with only a few hour or single shift (typically nighttime) shutdown for the work. Of course, breaking the work up into small areas done on different days, working only graveyard shift or weekends/holidays, etc all up the job cost - probably to $10/SF or more in most cases. All these factors need to be taken into account - as well as the actual ability of the contractor to reliably show up and work efficienly and be done in time for scheduled reopening after the closed period. In time-critical cases like this (especially if limited to a very short shutdown period or only a specific holiday period or such) a larger contractor can be an advantage.

I remember working with my Dad on hotel lobby and Disneyland tile and surfaces replacement/regrouting - they had an incredible $ penalty if any public area was not ready for use and totally cleaned up and cleared out 1/2 hour before the next day's opening, so you really threw the resources at the job to be sure the planned work area for that night could be completed on time, because for maintenance (as opposed to major modifications or repairs) they never closed except overnight for about 8 hours. The same sort of issue could affect a restaurant which does not have one or two consecutive days closed a week - or where you want the ework done during a holiday closure.

Would also have to consider the moving around of fixtures and appliances - some of which would have to be disconnected from utilties to be moved, and some of which could be too largefor a tile contractor to be able to safely moved - think things like large griddle/grill surface, long intergral metal work surfaces or stone countertopped central prep counters, commercial reefers/freezers loaded with food, pizza ovens, etc. So planning for this sort of thing would have to be planned out well in advance and might require a specialty contractor in there just moving things around as the work progressed.

Health department regs would have to be checked too, about any plan to work during food prep operations. And of course, if working off-shift, would have to include plans for a general sanitation wipedown of all surfaces before starting food operations, even if the food prep surfaces and appliances and fixtures were sealed off with plastic sheeting during the work,, because there is bound to be a bit of dust here and there.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


In this case it is true epoxy so im looking around $10/20 sq ft needs to be chipped out and replaced and its a franchise fastfood kitchen being done around a time frame of hours would it take if say working 10hr days to complete 941sq ft?

Answered 4 years ago by Southernjessi


IF removing the grout, epoxy is almost certainly going to require grinding not chipping to remove it, so lots of dust issue.

You need a contractor experienced with commercial kitchen remodelling - and since a fair amount of equipment moving around and electrical/gas and maybe water connections are going to have to be disconnected to move it, especially if putting in nerw tile, probably better to go with a commercial restaurant remodeling GC than just a tile contractor - certainly if replacing the floor in its entirety.

Contractor would have to decide, and maybe get bids both ways, for replacing floor or redoing the grout full-depth if going that route. Course, if only surficial grout touchup and the few bad tiles is being done, no comparison in cost between the two options - grout surface removal and regrouting far cheaper.

Normal cost about the same between new tile and full-depth grout removal, so some contractors may bid one way, some another. If the equipment is readily moved a bit (not bolted to floor or concreted into concrete curbs) some contractors may choose to grind out the grout and regrout, moving the fixtures and appliances just enough to access the joints. Others might say the heck with it, remove the entire floor and replace it - probably in sections if limited to 10 hour work periods. This would mean moving the fixtures off the section (say 1/3 or 1/2 at a time) being worked on and doing temporary power/ water/ gas hookups as necessary for function during that time. IF you phrase the contract so it makes clear the hours/days the kitchen has to be fully functional and how large a floor area can be taken out of service at one time and for how many days (likely half the width from front to back, for instance) during service hours, that all function has to be retained in the kitchen during open hours, and that all moving of fixtures/appliances and connects/disconnects are their responsbility, then the contractor can figure out how to schedule the work and if he wants to replace tile or regrout.

Generally, redoing the floor in entirety is going to take 2 to maybe 3 work periods to complete a section, with removal and thinset and grout drying time and such - maybe one period to remove tile and prep surface, covering it temporarily with plywood or such as is acceptable to health department, put new flooring down next night and recovering it as needed, grout third night for instance. Then move fixtures around and do the next/remaining section, so might take a couple of weeks to replace all the tile if going that route.

Of course, details of accessibility and temporary rubber floor mats or plywood or such to allow walking across partly finished section to get to walk-in freezer, order windows, storeroom, access to and from kitchen, etc has to be worked out with the contractor as part of the scoping.

Personally, I would use a LOT of sheet shrink-wrap over 0.8 mil visqeen and wrap all fixtures and appliances to protect from dust (though can't wrap units with compressors running so have to provide adequate air filters and exhaust openings through the wrapping for that), and grind out the grout and regrout rather than retile - lot less moving around of things, can stop almost at any time during the process so slow progress one night does not mandate delay in reopening, and almost everything probably has enough slack in connections or can be disconnected for a while to allow it to be moved enough to access the grout under it whereas total retiling means moving fixtures and appliances a goodly distance from their spot to open up a large enough area to reasonably work on at one time.

Note - on your work timing, note in the contract what time of day restaurant is closed AND crew cleanup is done, what time hot items like griddle and deep fryers will be turned off and note they will be full temp at that time, and in your start time be sure to note what time you need to be able to restart grill and deep fryers and such - remember their warmup time. During that warmup time the workers might be able to still be doing a bit of final floor wiping or temporary protective covering ofthe floor but certainly no dust-creating work or removing and removing and shaking off of protective fixtures plastic covers. This may mean they need to be out of there an hour or more before actual opening time.

Also - consider reasonable liquidated damages for delaying opening - some reasonable lost revenue per hour say.

Of course, if you can provide a full couple of days for the job makes it a lot easier all around, but then you well know nobody ever said the restaurant business is simple or easy.

BTW - if you are a franchisee, your mother company may be able to provide help and guidance in how to do this and possibly even with contractor contacts.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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