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?

  • 1
    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, 2015 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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, 2015 at 1:59

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.