I have just re-newed grout (in my less than one year old shower installed by builders) that on close examination had slight cracks but never the less water got through and soaked my bedroom carpet behind my wardrobe over a 4 month period. I used Mapei grout which was recommended. How long should I wait before using the shower and is there something else I should apply to make sure this does not happen again. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • 3
    Grout should not be considered waterproof, and cannot in all practicality be made so. If the well behind the shower is getting wet, that means there's no waterproofing behind the wall tiles, which means the whole thing was built incorrectly and should be demolished and rebuilt with actual waterproofing (in a shower… what a concept). If your house is only a year old, you should contact the builders and possibly the city code department.
    – iLikeDirt
    May 14, 2015 at 19:01
  • To echo @iLikeDirt, what is the construction of the tile surround? Tile + grout on cementboard? Is there a waterproof membrane like kerdi or redgard?
    – Freiheit
    May 14, 2015 at 21:18

3 Answers 3


If possible wait 24 hours before allowing water to hit the grout. On the bag there should be a defined time such as 6-8 hours dry time. I would advise getting some grout sealer to apply to the grout after 72 hours. Just curious what type of grout did you use sanded or unsanded? Was it pre-mixed or mix with water?

  • Doesn't say on the bag if it is sanded or not but I did mix it with water. Any grout sealer you recommend.
    – user37539
    May 14, 2015 at 17:32
  • Sounds like unsanded. Sanded grout is supposed to be used for mortar joints of more than 1/8" to reduce or stop cracking.
    – iLikeDirt
    May 14, 2015 at 19:49

Sealing grout is not waterproofing.

The wall behind the shower should have a waterproof membrane or barrier. It either does not or has failed. Sealing the grout may buy you a LITTLE time but water will get through the grout again. you may already have significant damage, rot, mold in the wall cavity and any structure below the wall.


There are plenty of options. I used grout and tile sealer when I redid my tile shower in November (re-grouted exactly like you did), and can tell you it seems to work. Basically just spray it on and wait for it to dry.

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