Grout is a material that is used to fill the gaps between tiles. It is an important part of any tile installation, as it helps to keep the tiles in place and prevents water from seeping behind them.
However, grout can also be quite susceptible to cracking, especially if it isn’t installed properly or if it isn’t given proper care and maintenance.
In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why grout cracks, and we will provide some tips on how to prevent this from happening.
Reasons Behind Grout Cracks
There can be many reasons behind grout cracks. The most common issues that cause cracks in grout are-
One of the most common reasons for grout cracks is improper installation. If the grout isn’t mixed properly, it can become too dry and brittle, which will make it more susceptible to cracking.
In addition, if the tiles are not installed correctly or if they are not level, this can also cause the grout to crack.
Lack of Thinset
Another common issue that can cause grout cracks is a lack of thinset. Thinset is a mortar-like material that helps to bond the tiles to the substrate.
If there isn’t enough thinset between the tiles and the substrate, this can cause the tiles to shift and crack the grout.
Excessive movement can also lead to cracks in grout. This is often caused by things like settlement or thermal expansion and contraction.
If there is too much movement, it can cause the grout to crack or even break away from the tile completely.
Plus, if you live in an earthquake-prone area, there is a greater possibility of grout cracks.
Another reason why grout cracks is poor maintenance. If you don’t clean your tile regularly, dirt and debris can build up in the grout lines and cause them to weaken the bond in the grout. Which will result in a cracked grout line.
If you use harsh cleaners on your tile, this can also damage the grout and cause it to crack.
Another factor that can contribute to grout cracks is temperature changes. If there are sudden changes in temperature, the grout can expand and contract, which can cause it to crack.
How to Prevent Grout Cracks
Now that we know some of the reasons behind grout cracks, let’s explore some ways to prevent them.
Use Proper Installation Techniques
One of the best ways to prevent grout cracks is to use proper installation techniques.
Make sure that you mix the grout properly and follow all instructions carefully. In addition, make sure that the tiles are installed correctly and that they are level.
And the quality of grout you use also matters. Make sure to use a high-quality grout that is designed for your specific application.
Maintain Your Tile Regularly
Another way to prevent grout cracks is to maintain your tile regularly. This means sweeping and mopping your tile on a regular basis.
In addition, you should use a mild cleaner and avoid using harsh cleaners that can damage the grout.
Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes
One way to prevent grout cracks is to avoid sudden temperature changes. This means keeping your home at a consistent temperature and avoiding drastic changes in temperature.
If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you may want to consider using a tile sealer to protect the grout from expanding and contracting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use to seal shower grout?
There are many sealants available, and they’re all specialized for different uses such as sealing tile or grout.
Always follow the directions to ensure it cures properly and doesn’t have any negative effects on your surfaces.
Why Do You Need To Seal Grout?
Sealing grout is as important as applying grout. Grout absorbs moisture from the environment, if not sealed perfectly. So, unsealed grout is prone to stain and mold growth.
To avoid unexpected mold growth on the grout, it is advised to seal the grout with an authentic product.
Can I use silicone instead of grout?
No, you cannot use silicone instead of grout. The sealant is designed for tile and not other surfaces like your shower floor or walls.
For bathroom floors, we recommend a product called “Shower Armor.” It’s made specifically to withstand moisture damage from water overflow without getting damaged by mold growth.
Is it important to seal shower grouts?
Yes, all unsealed surfaces will eventually let in water, which can lead to mold and mildew growth behind your walls.
Sealant is also a necessary component of any professional tiling job because, without it, you risk coming up with cracks or chips in the grout.
Is grout waterproof in showers?
No. The grout is not waterproof, however, using a sealant will help to prevent leaks from happening and keep the water contained on your flooring material instead of leaking into your walls.
How long can you leave unsealed shower tiles before sealing them?
It’s recommended that you should always seal any newly installed surfaces within 24 hours of installation.
Otherwise, you risk the possibility that water will seep in through any open or unsealed cracks and cause leaks behind your walls.
How do I prevent mold in my shower grout?
Shower grout can be difficult to clean and this makes it prone to mold growth. You should keep the shower dry after each use and avoid leaving soap residue on the tiles, which will attract moisture.
A light bleach solution is also a good way to kill any spores that may form in your tile lines. If you have porous stones or tiles, replace them with ceramic.
How do you get mold out of shower grout naturally?
There are some natural ways to prevent mold from forming in the shower grout. You can sprinkle borax or baking soda onto your tile lines and leave it there for a day or two, then wipe up any extra powder.
This will absorb moisture in order to keep mold spores at bay while also killing them with minimal effort on your part.
You can also use vinegar to clean your grout. It is a mild acid that will kill mold, absorb moisture and remove soap residue or other buildups as well.
Can you put new grout over old grout?
Yes, but it is always best to remove the old grout first using a thick scrubbing pad and an acid-based cleaner.
This will help you avoid the possibility of mixing new grout with mold spores or bacteria from your old tile installation.
Moreover, removing all traces of existing grout ensures that no future discoloration occurs as a result of mixing new and old grout.
Can you seal over the top layer of grout?
Yes, but this should be done after all other layers have been sealed to avoid any sort of issues with how water interacts with your tiles or stones.
Moreover, if you do not take care in sealing it properly then there is a chance that old grout will seep through the sealant.
How often should you Regrout your shower?
It is recommended that you regrout your shower every five years. This does not mean that if it had been two years, or three for some odd reason, then it would be time to take action.
Typically the signs of needing new grouting come in the form of water leakage and mold growth on the walls.
How can you tell if the grout is sealed?
If you ever notice a grout that has cracks or looks like some of the tiles are falling out, then there is most likely not enough sealant. You can tell if it’s sealed by running your fingers along the grout lines.
How do you seal the grout on a pebble shower floor?
The best way to seal the grout on a pebble floor is with an epoxy-based product. Epoxies are typically silicon-free and will not be absorbed by the stones like other products would be.
They can also withstand extreme temperatures of up to 300ºF, so they’re perfect for this type of application.
By following these tips, you can help prevent your grout from cracking. However, if your grout does crack, don’t despair!
There are many ways to repair it. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will explore some of these methods. Thanks for reading!