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I'm a new home owner who has been living in house that was built last year. Upon moving in the builder mentioned that grout needed yearly maintenance--would he referring to re-sealing the grout? Are there other types of maintenance involved for tile grout? Any recommendations here about the process would be greatly appreciated.

Below is a picture of one of the corners in my shower where the grout has cracked. Does that area need to be re-grouted or would caulk be sufficient to seal the gap? Thanks! Shower cracks

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You should not be regrouting between changes in surfaces unless it appears that your grout has damage or significant age.

A lot of people will say that this change of surface should never be grouted because it will almost always crack like yours do to wall or house movement. I disagree and I usually grout these areas... but I know there will be a crack and it will be eventually need to be caulked which is fine.

Buy a sanded caulk that matches your grout. Caulk the grout crack. You do not want a heavy amount. The more caulk you put on this the more of a chance it gets damaged through cleaning and the more you will have to recaulk. Your grouting cracks are normal - builder should have mentioned that this may happen but maybe he was hoping for the best.

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Thanks, I think I'll go with the option for using caulk to seal the crack. Does the remaining tile grout need to be re-sealed? –  johnhforrest Jul 1 '13 at 15:53
    
I would just because you don't know how it was sealed or if it was before. The crack where it is - is no big deal. It should be caulked though. It looks like your vertical corner might crack too. Caulk it too. –  DMoore Jul 1 '13 at 15:56
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The surfaces that the tile are mounted to can shift with respect to one another over time and through the seasons. This can be caused by temperature changes and by general "settling in" of the house itself.

The nicest way to reseal the cracked grout is to scratch out some or all of the grout in the cracked areas and reapply new grout. Having said that this can be more than a simple 5 or 10 minute task. It is also possible that further movement is possible of the tile mounting surfaces and your re-grouted joints may crack again.

Caulking with a silicone based sealer can be a quick and easy way to cover up the cracks. Silicone will stay flexible and will permit additional movement of the tile surfaces while still staying sealed up. Now with that option put on the table it is up to you to decide if the appearance of the caulk sealer is acceptable to your tastes and aesthetics.

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