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We have an older shower, with 1x1 tiles on the floor. Some of these, the grout has started to crack, and we want to prevent water damage. However, we've exhausted our renovation budget for the year, and won't be able to do a shower replacement until sometime late next year.

As a temporary hack, could we apply a thin layer of caulk to these grout lines? Would this help?

  • Shower bases if installed properly, are designed for water to get under the tile and should have a water proof membrane (EPDM, copper, etc.) to prevent such damage. If you are purely worried about damage, I would not worry about the grout. If you do not have the waterproof membrane, cracked grout is not the only issue you have to worry about. – Damon Jul 18 '15 at 1:12
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I'd suggest you get a small tub of premixed grout, a float, a sponge, and spend an hour fixing the problem. Be sure to remove any loose grout. (Something as simple as a utility knife will work for this. Wear gloves to avoid skinned knuckles.) If you want an even more durable job, score all of the existing grout along the edge of the tile (so 2 cuts per grout line). You'll go through a few utility knife blades like this. Vacuum thoroughly afterwards. Grout is staggeringly easy. Caulk would take you way longer and be a pain to clean up later.

  • So, can I grout over old grout? – ctote Jul 16 '15 at 14:33
  • Yes, and a few other tips added to my original answer. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 16 '15 at 14:37
  • This is right. Caulk won't last here. Grouting again is easy. Cleanup is really easy since it is in the show. FWIW I I scrape with a drywall knife. – DMoore Nov 13 '15 at 1:59
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Do not ever caulk over cracked grout. It will peel off and leak again. Get a multi tool with a grout grinder on it. Grind out the grout lines and re-grout.

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