The grout in the bottom half of this shower was going bad so I removed all of the grout below the horizontal band and re-grouted.

The horizontal band appears to be water tight but it's a hot mess. The small tiles are extremely uneven and poorly aligned. Many of the gaps are extremely small. In many places, they have gone over the grout with what appears to be a grey epoxy.

My first plan was to clean it up and then apply a "Grout Renew" product on the lines. I tried that tonight and ran into major issues. The grout renew would not stick to any areas that have been covered in the grey material. Because the gaps are so small, trying to scrape it out would take forever (and if I did succeed at that, I'd just be tempted to regrout...)

I'm now thinking that maybe I can just tile over the horizontal band of tiles with a row of subway tiles in a different color. It will mean that this row of tiles sticks out further than the rest of the wall.

Is that an option? Has anyone seen that done before?

tiles tiles

  • 1
    Some thoughts if you go with the "tile over" option: If your new tiles are sticking out from the wall this will become a spot where water and "gunk" will collect. It will increase the likelihood of water seeping behind the tile (because it's sitting there longer). It will also increase the likelihood of mold growing because of the standing water, so it will need better & more frequent cleaning.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 11, 2018 at 13:08
  • Those mosaic tiles are often designed to look hand-laid (historic). You might just look for a sealer with color built in and leave it be. I happen to like the look.
    – isherwood
    Dec 11, 2018 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


I would not try to tile over the band of small tiles for several reasons. You said they were tight and what ever the gray material is your grout renew won't stick so that would be a problem with any new tile also. If you add a layer and it sticks you Now have a ledge that can hold water even if a grout filet was placed on the top edge there would be more of a chance of water getting trapped and the soap scrum that would collect would always be a pain. Last it would not look right, you would be better off carefully removing the band and replacing with the subway tiles you wanted to put on top.

  • I'd agree here. Cut out the entire row and replace them. Be careful removing the tiles, if you have a drywall based backing, greenboard, Denshield or similar, damaging the backing could cause you further water issues down the road.
    – Gary Bak
    Dec 11, 2018 at 17:35

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