Home & Garden

Cracking grout in shower stall

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 23rd, 2017 9:30 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 23, 2007
145 posts
140 upvotes
GTA

Cracking grout in shower stall

So when I noticed that the caulking in my shower stall was deteriorating, I figured I'd re-do the caulking before anything started to leak. As I started scraping some of the stuff out, I noticed there was also caulking over the grout lines on the wall tiles near the floor.. and that these were also deteriorating. When I scraped the wall caulking off, I saw that the grout underneath the caulking was cracked. I'm glad that I caught this before any leaks started, but now I'm wondering how I should fix.

I'm thinking that just re-applying silicone caulking over the cracked grout would not be enough of a long term solution. But I also don't want to re-grout the whole shower stall, as most of the grout everywhere else is still nice and white. Is it enough to remove the grout where I see cracking (plus some overlap), and to re-grout those areas? Not sure if there is any issue with the way that the new grout would "bond" (or not bond) to the old grout.

Also, under the shower jamb, I ripped out existing caulking to find out that there wasn't any grout there at all... was just a gap about 3-4mm. Is this normal? Should I also grout over this gap as well?

Suggestions?

Thanks!
Images
  • IMG_20170821_185725.jpg
  • IMG_20170821_185817.jpg
10 replies
Member
Feb 8, 2017
459 posts
261 upvotes
looks like water has been getting in those small cracks already. take out what old grout you can. re grout with as close a colour as you can find to try and match. use 100% silicone to caulk all the changes of plain - wall corners, floor/wall joints, etc. hopefully this works so you don't have to pull a mike holmes and rip it all out!
Banned
May 12, 2004
9756 posts
4135 upvotes
Ottawa
aubgray1 wrote: looks like water has been getting in those small cracks already. take out what old grout you can. re grout with as close a colour as you can find to try and match. use 100% silicone to caulk all the changes of plain - wall corners, floor/wall joints, etc. hopefully this works so you don't have to pull a mike holmes and rip it all out!
+ 1 to all of this.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 23, 2007
145 posts
140 upvotes
GTA
Thanks aubgray1. Yes, I figured some water has been getting in already. I'll fix as you suggested.

When you say "take out what old grout you can", do you mean everything?? Even the grout that still looks in good condition (which is most of it)? If it's sufficient, I'd prefer to just do the trouble spots... but if it's not worthwhile unless I do the whole stall, then I guess I'll just have to turn this into a bigger project.
Member
Feb 8, 2017
459 posts
261 upvotes
noodlesoup wrote: Thanks aubgray1. Yes, I figured some water has been getting in already. I'll fix as you suggested.

When you say "take out what old grout you can", do you mean everything?? Even the grout that still looks in good condition (which is most of it)? If it's sufficient, I'd prefer to just do the trouble spots... but if it's not worthwhile unless I do the whole stall, then I guess I'll just have to turn this into a bigger project.
ya, take out everything that is loose. i wouldnt go nuts but 't might look a bit patchy because the new grout will be a different colour than the old stuff. grouting and redoing the caulking should get you a few more years.

if you are going to regrout the whole stall then you need to ask yourself if it's worthwhile (it's a lot of tedious work) when you might be better off tearing out the whole shower and making sure it's waterproofed properly. but that's a lot of coin, so keeping budget in mind just do the minimum you can and seal up those cracks to keep the water out.

if you ever want to know the ins and outs of shower construction go here - lot's of great advice and help http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/for ... ay.php?f=1
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 9, 2012
5881 posts
5057 upvotes
Oakville, ON
Cas77 wrote: + 1 to all of this.
+ 1 and also recommend to grout under the jamb as water can also get in under there too.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 23, 2008
6295 posts
2527 upvotes
I never understood why we still use grout when its pretty much guaranteed to crack over time.
grout is simply not elastic.
There's so many other compounds and stuff like silicone-based things that could a better job.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 14, 2010
1718 posts
1193 upvotes
Barrie ON
I hope I'm not cracking up here, but I understood that grout was not waterproof. In a shower application, water will be absorbed by the grout during the brief shower, and then dry out through the remainder of the day. It is only the membrane on the shower floor (and the concrete board on the walls) that stops the house from getting waterlogged. So certainly cracked grout will allow a faster route for water to travel, but new grout does not stop seepage entirely. I have also heard that sealing the grout can make it closer to waterproof, but the only guarantee is proper shower construction with cement board and waterproof membrane.

If I'm all wet on this, please let me know,
Member
Feb 8, 2017
459 posts
261 upvotes
Rick007 wrote: I hope I'm not cracking up here, but I understood that grout was not waterproof. In a shower application, water will be absorbed by the grout during the brief shower, and then dry out through the remainder of the day. It is only the membrane on the shower floor (and the concrete board on the walls) that stops the house from getting waterlogged. So certainly cracked grout will allow a faster route for water to travel, but new grout does not stop seepage entirely. I have also heard that sealing the grout can make it closer to waterproof, but the only guarantee is proper shower construction with cement board and waterproof membrane.

If I'm all wet on this, please let me know,
nope, you are super dry :) that is my understanding of things as well
Member
Dec 31, 2007
490 posts
149 upvotes
i had the same problem with my shower stall. i had cracking of the grout due to shrinkage and moldy caulking and the same gaps in the tiles.

i removed the caulking with a knife and scraping it all off. i removed the grout wit a grout removing tool, being careful not to score the tile. i re-grouted the small area and the gaps in the tile.

i taped off the area so i could apply the silicone caulking along the corners and the area around the shower door area. it looks pretty good now. look at youtube to see how to grout and caulk nicely.

towel dry the show stall after each use of the shower. i had pretty bad moldy and found wiping the residual water really helps against the mold coming back.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 23, 2007
145 posts
140 upvotes
GTA
Rick007 wrote: I hope I'm not cracking up here, but I understood that grout was not waterproof. In a shower application, water will be absorbed by the grout during the brief shower, and then dry out through the remainder of the day. It is only the membrane on the shower floor (and the concrete board on the walls) that stops the house from getting waterlogged. So certainly cracked grout will allow a faster route for water to travel, but new grout does not stop seepage entirely. I have also heard that sealing the grout can make it closer to waterproof, but the only guarantee is proper shower construction with cement board and waterproof membrane.

If I'm all wet on this, please let me know,
Yes, that was my understanding as well. I recall reading (or hearing somewhere) that even the tiles themselves aren't waterproof as water can be absorbed, so the waterproof membrane was really important. As much as I'd love to use this as an excuse to gut the stall and put in nicer tiles with a stone mosaic floor, don't really have the expertise/time/budget to take on that kind of a project now. Maybe another time... when i have more time...

Thanks everyone for your replies.. looks like I have a project for the weekend.

Top