Q & A
Problems Solved: Shower grout & caulking
One of the most frustrating and common problems in showers and tubs is the cracking and flaking of the tile grout or caulk. As showers age these areas can take a beating in terms of floor and wall movement, water penetration, and abrasive cleaning procedures.
Movement and settling of the house is the most common
reason for cracks in the tile and grout. Water can seep
thru the corner joints of the grout, work its way to
the wood framing as well as the floor plywood and cause
severe wood rot. Many people have seen this problem around
their shower floors and when selling your house, most
times it’s in the home inspection report and must
be repaired. So addressing the problems of cracked and
chipped-out grout early not only solves the appearance
of the grout but can resolve very costly future problems.
Most tile grouts sold today already have certain additives in them designed to resist water penetration and work quite well but many times water will make its way to the bottom of the grout joint. A proper tile job will include a vapor barrier membrane underneath the mortar base which will direct the moisture down to the drain of the shower and protect the wood framing substructure. Many older showers did not have today’s long lasting vapor barriers and the material used under the mortar bed would break-down in time. So the solution is to prevent grout joints from capturing water in the cracks, chips and voids where it may eventually cause damage.
If your shower has grout cracks and chunks missing especially in the corners, it’s a good idea to re-grout those areas. Using our grout removal tool, the Grout Getter, scrape out the damaged grout and thoroughly clean the joints in between the tiles. After you have installed the new grout you can add a second layer of protection by applying a grout sealer.
If your shower grout is in fair shape but still has cracks here or there, you can use our Colorfast Tile and grout caulk, which will help seal and protect the area. Our caulki is available in all the major grout colors and can be purchased in sanded or non-sanded texture. Showers usually have small grout joints (1/8” or less), so a non-sanded tile grout or non-sanded caulk is usually recommended.