Mold growth is one of the annoying effects of cracked shower grout. Besides being unsightly, mold can be dangerous to your health if left unchecked. If you want to skip the costs of hiring a plumber, you can repair a cracked shower grout yourself with a simple DIY process.
To fix cracked grout in your shower, start by inspecting the size and depth of the crack. Then use a grout saw to remove the cracked grout and, if necessary, some of the surrounding grout. Clean the dust and old grout of the area, apply new grout, clean the residue and allow the grout to dry.
In this article, I’ll go through each of these steps in detail to help you get started. You’ll also know the causes of cracked grout in a shower. Keep reading to learn these concepts for your shower grout’s safety.
- 1 Equipment Needed
- 2 Fixing a Cracked Grout in Shower: Complete Guide
- 2.1 ● Step 1. Inspect the Cracked Grout
- 2.2 ● Step 2. Remove the Cracked Grout Based on Your Inspection
- 2.3 ● Step 3. Clean the Area
- 2.4 ● Step 4. Fix the New Grout (Regrout)
- 2.5 ● Step 5. Clean the Residue
- 2.6 ● Step 6. Allow the Fixed Grout to Dry and Caulk
- 3 Causes of Cracked Grout in a Shower
- 4 Final Thoughts
Having all the tools and equipment for a job before starting makes it go much smoother. Make a list of what you’ll need before fixing your cracked shower grout.
For this repair, you’ll need:
- A grout saw or utility knife
- A small putty knife
- Painter’s tape
- Grout float
- Grout cleaner
- Vacuum cleaner
The following is the procedure to fix cracked grout in a shower:
Fixing a Cracked Grout in Shower: Complete Guide
● Step 1. Inspect the Cracked Grout
Inspection is always the first step to any repair in a house. The same goes for fixing cracked grout in a shower. You need to know the severity of the crack and how far it has spread. Once you have a good idea of what you’re dealing with, you can start formulating your plan of attack.
Inspecting the grout and the shower will help you to:
- Know the type of existing grout—whether sanded or unsanded.
- Pinpoint the exact location that needs fixing.
Below is the procedure to inspect a cracked grout in a shower:
- Step 1. Inspect the shower: Enter the shower and look for any visible cracks in the grout.
- Step 2. Inspect the crack: Use your finger to follow the crack and see how far it goes.
- Step 3. Determine the width: Determine the width of the crack and whether or not it’s just a hairline crack.
- Step 4. Mark the area: Mark the areas that need fixing with painter’s tape.
● Step 2. Remove the Cracked Grout Based on Your Inspection
After inspection, it’s time to remove the cracked grout. The amount of grout you’ll need to remove will depend on the severity of the crack. If it’s just a hairline crack, then you can get away with removing only the cracked grout. But if the crack is wider, you’ll need to remove more of the surrounding grout.
Here are two ways to remove cracked grout:
– Method 1: Use a Grout Saw
A grout saw is a U-shaped tool with a handle that helps remove grout between tiles. It’s specifically designed to remove grout, which makes it the best tool for the job.
Here is the procedure to remove grout using a grout saw:
- Step 1. Insert the blade: Insert the blade of the grout saw into the crack.
- Step 2. Saw: Saw back and forth to remove the grout.
- Step 3. Carefully: Be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles.
– Method 2: Use a Utility Knife or Putty Knife
You can use a utility knife or putty knife if you don’t have a grout saw. These are both great alternatives that will also get the job done.
Here is the procedure for removing grout using a utility knife:
- Step 1. Insert the blade: Insert the blade of the utility knife into the crack.
- Step 2. Scrape: Scrape away at the grout until it’s released.
- Step 3. Carefully: Be careful not to damage the intact tiles.
● Step 3. Clean the Area
Removing cracked ground will release dust and old grout fragments. These can prevent new grout from bonding properly, so you should clean the area before doing anything else. Moreover, respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the dust is a health hazard linked to lung cancer and silicosis.
Here’s how to clean the area after removing grout:
- Step 1. Vacuum: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove the dust.
- Step 2. Wet sponge: Wet a sponge and wipe down the area to remove any fragments that the vacuum missed.
- Step 3. Rinse: Rinse the area with water and let it dry completely.
● Step 4. Fix the New Grout (Regrout)
Depending on the previous grout, you can regrout with sanded or unsanded grout. These grouts come in different colors, so buying one that matches the color of your existing grout is essential.
Here is the procedure to regrout using sanded grout:
- Step 1. Mix the grout: Fill a bucket with water and mix in the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Step 2. Use a spatula: Use a spatula to scoop some grout from the bucket.
- Step 3. Use a rubber float: Use a rubber float to apply the grout to the cracks.
- Step 4. Hold the float correctly: Hold the float at a 45-degree angle and push the grout into the cracks.
- Step 5. Move the float correctly: Move the float back and forth to ensure the grout penetrates deep between the tiles.
You can use premixed grout if you don’t want to mix it yourself. The only downside is that premixed grout takes longer to dry. This can cause tile movement, distorting your setup.
● Step 5. Clean the Residue
After grouting, there will be residue on the tiles. It’s essential to clean this residue because it can prevent your tiles from bonding properly. You should read the manufacturer’s guide on how long you should wait before cleaning the residue.
Here is the cleaning procedure after regrouting:
- Step 1. Wipe the tiles: Use a damp sponge or grout cleaner to wipe down the tiles.
- Step 2. Rinse the tiles: Rinse the area with water and let it dry completely.
● Step 6. Allow the Fixed Grout to Dry and Caulk
You should allow the new grout to dry for 24 to 72 hours before using your shower. The drying period prevents tile movement that may distort your setup.
● Caulk the Joints (Optional)
Once your grout is dry, you can caulk the joints to give your shower a finished look. This step is optional, but it’s worth doing if you want to make your shower look its best.
Here is the procedure:
- Step 1. Fill the caulking gun: Fill a caulking gun with caulk and cut the tip.
- Step 2. Point correctly: Place the tip of the caulking gun at the joint and apply pressure to release the caulk.
- Step 3. Smooth the caulk: Run your finger along the joint to smooth out the caulk.
Causes of Cracked Grout in a Shower
There are several reasons why grout cracks, and understanding these reasons can help you avoid the problem in the future.
Here are some of the most common causes of cracked grout in a shower:
- Using insufficient adhesive to install tiles.
- Mixing the grout with excessive water. Watery grout leaves air pockets that make it weak.
- Movement between bathtub and tiles due to humidity, foundation settling, or temperature variations.
Fixing cracked grout in a shower should not be a difficult task. You can do it yourself in a few hours with the right tools and materials. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully and allow the grout to dry completely before using your shower.