Is Cracked Grout in the Shower a Problem?

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Everyone’s got their eyebrows furrowed over those hairline cracks in the bathroom’s tile grout. While it’s not much of a head-turner, the issue of cracked shower grout isn’t to be tossed aside. If you ignore it relentlessly, it can invite a host of family health issues. 

The dampness caused by water sneaking behind the glitzy tile surface can call forth unwelcome guests, such as mold growth. And this unseen adversary can make you feel as sick as a parrot without even providing the courtesy of showing itself.

This comprehensive guide provides insights on why grout cracks, potential issues, and affordable grout repair options. 

Why Does Grout Crack?

The journey of cracked grout begins with its installation. Now, if there’s one task that often catches people on the back foot, it’s grout repair. The whole ordeal of sorting out damaged grout is like being a cowboy trying to lasso a wild horse. 

Avoiding health issues connected to grout particles is no walk in the park either. It’s sort of a mask-and-goggles affair, putting you on the line between recreating a ‘dust cloud showdown’ and getting your bathroom back into working order.

Improperly mixed grout becomes as susceptible to cracking as an egg under an elephant foot. Here’s where air pockets come into play.

These inconspicuous culprits may arise due to excessive water or additives in the mix, or when one is penny-wise with adhesive glue during the installation. The inexplicable grout cracks are chiefly a consequence of letting the grouting reins slip.

The Consequences of Cracked Grout

Cutting corners in grout repair often returns to haunt, much like a boomerang. It’s more like venturing onto a tightrope walk over a broken tile. Fixing damaged grout, while dodging health issues connected to grout particles, is a chore. 

To add insult to injury, it’s not just cracks in the grout you need to worry about; even tiny holes can whistle for plumbing chaos. When leaks appear unannounced, it’s time to hire a professional before your bathroom morphs into the neighborhood pool.

Can It Be Fixed? The Grout Repair Process

A grout repair isn’t complicated. It’s about knowing what to do, when to do it, and arming yourself with the necessary tools for fixing fractured grout. Here’s a run-through on making your shower look spick and span again.

Laying Out the Required Equipment for Grout Repair

Now, before we dive right in to fix the cracked grout, let’s get our ducks in a row, shall we? Tools! Just like a knight needs his sword and shield, a grout repair needs its desired equipment. 

you’ll need a utility knife to chisel out the old grout. Handles it like butter, I’m telling you! A dust mask, because we don’t want your lungs looking like a chimney, do we? And perhaps a set of eye protection – just to dodge the odd grout particle that might decide to go kamikaze on you! 

Initial Steps: Inspecting and Removing Cracked Grout

Step 1: Inspect Damaged Grout

Look for areas where it’s all coming apart. Cracks? Check. Brittle? Check. C’mon, don’t be shy, give it a little poke. Does it crumble easy? Spotting these issues will get you mentally prepared for the task ahead. 

Step 2: Remove Loose and Broken Grout

With a steady hand and your trusty utility knife, scrape out the loose and broken grout. With patience and a little elbow grease, you’ll thin out the ranks of the crumbling garrison. Remember to be careful not to scratch the tile. It’s a delicate operation, and you’re the surgeon.

Step 3: Ensuring a Clean Area

After removing grout, it’s time to swing into cleaning mode. Use a wet sponge to clear up the residual dust and fragments, leaving you with a spanking clean work area.

Step 4: Wet the Tile and Vacuum Remaining Grout Particles

With your tile wet and ready, vacuum up whatever remaining grout particles that the wet sponge may have missed. And then, take a breather. You’ve prepared the field, now it’s time for the final showdown.

Step 5: Buy New Grout and Apply It

Next up, get the new grout. Choose a color match that blends perfectly with the existing grout. Remember, it’s not just about the fix, it’s about camouflaging the repair, so it looks as good as new. Spread the new grout all over the cleaned out cracks. Don’t be stingy, make sure it’s as snug as a bug in a rug.

Step 6: Remove Excess Grout

After all that slathering, it’s time for some cleaning. Use a grout cleaner to wipe off any excess. You want your tile lines to be as smooth as butter, not look like a speed bump on a race track. Once you’re done with this, let it work its magic, and harden into your latest home repair victory.

Step 7: Let the Grout Set and Clean Residue

Once you’ve done the job of grout replacement, sit tight! It’s time to play the waiting game. The freshly applied grout needs time to set. After you’ve allowed the grout to set, scrub away the excess grout once more. 

Step 8: Apply Sealant and Let Dry

After the clean-up, the sealant takes the stage. Applying sealant now is like laying an invisible shield against damage. Let it take its time to dry.

Step 9: Optional – Caulk the Joints

Now, this step doesn’t have a fixed spot on the list. Some people might do it, others might skip it. Should you choose to do it, get your caulking gun out. It adds that final touch of perfection.

Does Grout Sealer Prevent Cracking?

The grout sealer fortifies your grout against those nasty, unwanted cracks. So, does it prevent cracking, you ask? Well, picture tile installation as something similar to making a painting. The grout is the frame keeping things in place, and a sealer is the glass safely covering the art. It lends added protection, reducing the chances of cracking. But don’t forget, even the sturdiest glass isn’t immune to solid knocks. 


Little cracks in shower can lead to a slipping risk, or infinitely worse, a leak. Now, don’t get me started on how the water seeping through could damage the floor beneath.  So you have to get to fixing the minute you notice them.

Remember the goal is to fix cracked grout, keep the shower floor looking impressively uniform, without deviating from the original interior design of the home. We opt sanded or unsanded grout depending on the tile design. And if grout lines aren’t wide, unsanded grout just might be a better option. It’s a detailed process that requires some finesse.