Cracked grout in shower floors can be frustrating and worrisome. The good news is that there are easy solutions that you can handle yourself.
In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to fix the cracked grout in your shower floor to make it good as new again.
Cracked Grout in Shower Floor
To repair cracked grout in the shower floor, remove the old grout with a grout saw. Then carefully vacuum and prepare the surface for new grout, using a cleaning agent as a final step. Then use matching grout and apply the new grout to the areas that were previously cracked.
It’s also crucial to figure out the cause of any cracked grout. If someone improperly installed the shower floor, or your clogged drain causes water to sit on the floor surface, you should correct those issues before repairing the grout.
Causes Behind Cracked Grout in a Shower Floor
Before we start repairing the cracked grout, it is critical to identify why it failed.
Grout is a pretty stable product. If it cracks, it could be due to an underlying issue. Or it might just be general wear and tear.
Let’s do what we can to discover why the grout has an issue by going over the common problems.
General Wear and Tear
In most cases, grout cracks due to general wear and tear. This is difficult to avoid and shouldn’t be overly concerning.
Showers are full of challenging conditions. They are full of water and humidity changes. A bit of water is no problem, but too much can cause mold.
Some bathrooms are high-traffic areas of the house and, generally speaking, the shower floor is a small area that gets stepped on often.
Because of this, it’s normal for shower floors to wear down over time. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prevent everyday use from damaging your grout.
This first step is to clean your bathroom. No, I am not your mother accusing you of neglecting household duties. I’m just trying to see if something caused your cracked grout.
Another problem can be long-term exposure to excess water. Of course, a shower is full of water. When water sits on the grout for a long time, however, it can be problematic.
If the problem is a clogged drain, it might be time to tackle the root cause. You can snake your drains quite easily on your own.
A more serious issue that can result in cracked grout in the shower floor is improper installation. This problem could be the grout itself or the shower floor.
Grout is a specific mixture. If the person who installed the grout didn’t follow directions carefully, the grout is likely to fail early. This issue can be an annoying problem to fix, but not impossible.
Another more serious problem is the floor itself. If the shower floor doesn’t have proper drainage or a solid surface beneath the tile, all sorts of issues can happen.
Fixing this issue will take a little more work. It is a good idea to tackle this problem before repairing the grout. If you don’t, you might have to regularly fix cracked grout on the shower floor.
How To Repair Cracked Grout in a Shower Floor
Hopefully, the problem behind your cracked grout is just normal wear and tear. If that’s the case or you’ve fixed the underlying problem, it’s time to repair it.
While we all don’t like things to fall apart, grout is pretty easy to repair. There is a three-step process to follow:
- Remove the old, cracked grout;
- Clean up and prepare the surface for new grout; and
- Apply new grout.
Remove Old Grout
I’ll be honest, this step is my least favorite part of grout repair. I’d rather start from nothing than have to repair existing grout.
If you have cracked grout in the shower floor, it’s time to bust out the elbow grease. Sorry, you can’t find this at the hardware store. Like many good things in life, it must come from within.
Do yourself a favor and purchase a grout saw. These small handheld tools are perfect for ripping old grout out of tiled areas. They work much better than other things like screwdrivers or small files.
Here is an excellent YouTube video on using a grout saw.
Remove all of the cracked grout you can. To be thorough, remove grout from large sections. Even better would be to replace all the grout on the shower floor.
How far you go with it is up to you. But at minimum, you want to remove all of the cracked grout and the areas directly around it.
Clean and Prepare Surface
Once you have removed the old grout, there will be a mess. Take the time to clean up before moving on to the next step.
I usually like to start by bringing in a wet vac. If you don’t have one of these, it can be a lifesaver for many home renovation projects. It’ll suck up just about anything you can throw at it without being damaged.
Once you vacuum up everything you can, it’s time to take a closer look. Pieces of grout can get jammed and stuck in all sorts of places.
Finally, the last step before applying new grout is getting down to a well-cleaned surface. The vacuum should do most of the heavy lifting. But it will still leave a layer of dust on everything.
Grab your favorite shower cleaner and go to town. Better yet, review the instructions for your new grout to see how to prepare the surface.
Some grout suppliers recommend a final cleaning with vinegar or alcohol-based solutions.
Apply New Grout
At this point, you should have the cracked grout removed and ready for new grout.
Follow the directions carefully. Some grouts are premixed. That makes things easy. Other times, you’ll need to mix the grout thoroughly before applying it.
Then use the proper tool, a trowel, to apply the grout over the shower floor surface. Work in small sections.
As you finish a section, use a damp cloth to wipe the excess grout off the tile surface. Keep this in a bucket of water. And change that water often.
If you use epoxy grout, pay close attention to the instructions on how to clean it off the tile. You can quickly ruin a lot of tile with this durable grout. Often you’ll need vinegar or another cleaning agent.
Check out this YouTube video on how to grout tile.
To repair cracked grout on their shower floor, follow these steps.
First, identify what caused the grout to fail. If there is a serious problem, fix it before repairing the grout. Or you’ll likely be in the situation again soon. Quite often, normal wear and tear cause grout to crack.
Once ready to repair the cracked grout, bust out the grout saw and get to work. Carefully clean the area, then apply new grout. And just like that, you’ve fixed your cracked grout.