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The caulking in my shower was starting to grow some mould so I have removed it and discovered the grout in the corners of the shower where two walls meet or where floor meets wall are in bad shape or entirely missing.

I am also a bit concerned by the fact that there doesn't appear to be anything immediately behind this grout in the corner. This was originally installed by the builder and the home is only 10 years old and it is a reputable builder. I haven't had any known leaks from this shower. I think I can see some concrete backer board against the wall but I'm not even sure what to apply the grout to at this point. Any advice on whether this appears normal or how to go about re-grouting would be appreciated.

I'm also looking for tips on how to remove grout along the tile between the floor and wall without damaging the wall tile.

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I would venture to guess that originally the shower had a properly waterproofed substrate; the common inspector's test requires plugging the drain and filling the pan with water for a period, checking for water level change.

There may be concern now, because cracked and failing grout can be a sign of movement (there are, however, other possible causes of this). I grouted my shower 23 years ago and the grout looks practically the same as the day it was done, so something is up.

If you have confidence, and you should have some due to the fact that you have not noticed any leaks, you could carefully scrape/grind out the remaining grout from the entire area and regrout. I have had some success using a combination of utility knife (get extra blades) and grout saw, and you don't have to remove all the old grout but try to get a channel at least 3/16" deep.

However, grout is porous and will not help over the long term if the pan is compromised. I feel that you should do everything possible to ensure there are no leaks. Slow seeping pan leaks can be difficult to detect, until the floor drops out from under you or a ceiling above falls in your chiles relleno. Even if it means having to open up a wall or ceiling for inspection hole(s), it will be cheaper to patch drywall than to repair the damage of a long-term pan leak.

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  • Thank you for your answer Jimmy! I think I will take your advice and try to open the ceiling in the room underneath the shower and take a peak. I've been interested in getting an endoscopic camera so that might do the trick and only require a small hole. – demo_robot_67 Jan 10 at 1:51
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The seams between walls and between walls and floor should not be grouted. There is always movement when planes change and that will crack grout. Clean out all the grout as Jimmy suggested. Then apply a quality silicone caulk at the corner of wall to wall and also to wall the floor. Caulk is flexible and will resist cracking whereas grout will not.

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