Your newly remodeled shower is already showing cracks in grout? You are probably thinking of covering it up with some more grout. But covering cracks up isn’t the best solution. However, you can use caulk over grout as a precautionary step.
Wondering how to caulk over grout in shower? Or what other alternates there might be?
Firstly, pick the right caulk for your use. Then clean the surface, get your caulk gun ready and apply the caulk. However, there is an alternate option. You can replace the cracked grouts totally with caulk.
We know, you still need guidance. So, we’ve provided step-by-step procedures for you to follow.
To know all the why’s and how’s, keep on reading.
Can You Put Caulk over Grout in Shower?
Theoretically speaking, caulk over sealed grout is not the best solution. In fact, it can cause mold between the two layers. And the color difference between the two is too prominent to ignore.
Why use caulk over grout?
It stops grout from cracking. And most importantly, it’s an easy and cheap hack. The wrong mixture of grout material can cause cracks. And, it happens more frequently than you would think.
You can of-course re-grout it. But, if that is not an option, go with caulking.
Apart from that, caulking over grout has several practical advantages too.
For example, sometimes cramped wiring may bring havoc in your shower pull switch. Now you might have to loosen the screws of the board to solve the shower pull switch breakage. And loosing the screws may leave some gap around the switch board.
To fill the gaps, you can apply caulk around the switch.
Caulk vs Grout
Thinking caulk and grout are pretty much the same? You can’t be farther away from the truth.
They’re two completely different substances with different building materials, features, and usage.
Before using a product, we should know the basics about it. So, what is caulk?
Caulk is mostly made of latex, silicone, and/or other adhesive material. It can be used to seal joints of two different planes. It is effective against ceramic, metal glass, or wood. However, it is typically used as waterproof seals.
Grout, on the other hand, is a mixture of water, cement, and sand. It’s used to fill the gaps between tile, stone, or glass. It creates a strong bond among the materials. But only among the same plane.
Caulk is better than grout for joints between two different planes. However, if you’re thinking of installing a bathtub, grout is a better option. Caulk tends to shrink for changes in moisture and temperature.
Selecting the Right Caulk
There are various types of caulks to choose from. Acrylic latex, vinyl latex, pure silicone, and adhesive caulk are a few of the many.
You can’t just pick any caulk. Each type has a special feature. So, you have to contemplate your needs and pick one accordingly.
For instance, acrylic caulk is very easy to apply and it’s paintable. However, it shrinks with changes in moisture and temperature. So, it isn’t a good option for shower purposes.
Siliconized acrylic caulk is the best option for your case. It is somewhat sticky, so it doesn’t shrink. And, the acrylic base makes it easy to apply. Lean towards transparent caulk for layering over the grout.
Here is a list of top-notch caulk for you to pick.
Get the one that fits your case best and start your project.
Caulk over Grout: Installation Process
Shower tiles, bathtub joints, etc. surfaces are very prone to water damage. So, you need to caulk protection to stop grout decay.
Grab Your Tools
Now, this project is easy but needs quite a few things. So, before getting to the main event gather the tools and materials.
Before rushing to work you’ll need:
- Protective Clothes
- Grout Saw
- Caulk Gun
- Masking Tape
- Caulk Backer Rod
- Caulk Tube
Once you have all the tools at hand, get to the main event.
Clean with Bleach
Remember the mold we were talking about? Yes, we can’t let that happen. So, before applying caulk, clean the surface with bleach thoroughly. This will ensure a bacteria-free surface, hence no mold in the future.
Take a brush, dip it in bleach and scrub the grout lines. Let it dry for a day. While you wait for your bathroom renovations, you can make a temporary shower.
Fix Caulk Gun
Now that you’ve prepared your surface. Firstly, take your caulk tube and cut it according to your desired bead-size. You can figure that out by measuring the tile gap.
Then press a long nail into the tube hole to tear the seal inside. Once it’s done, you can place the tube in your caulk gun.
Apply and Smooth Caulk
For an effortless application, place the tip of the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle. Move your gun backward as you squeeze the trigger. And, cover all the grout lines with caulk.
Wet your hand or a spoon. Now, press it lightly against the caulk line to smooth it. Don’t press too hard to create inward denting. Water may also collect in these dents.
Tip: Don’t put all the caulk at once as it dries fast. So, apply a small amount, smooth it with a spoon. Then move to the next chunk.
If you’ve used siliconized acrylic caulk, wait at least 24 hours till it’s dry. Now, this can seem really tiresome. So, take your time while retiling the shower to avoid these troubles in the future.
Question: Where can I caulk instead of grout?
Answer: Caulk is used as a waterproof seal in the joints between material. So, you can use a caulk around the surface of a sink or bathtub, wall-floor tile joints.
Question: Why does grout crack?
Answer: Grout is a balanced mixture of water, cement, and sand. So, if the ratio is not maintained properly, it can cause air pockets. This makes the grout vulnerable and prone to cracks.
Question: How can I get my grouts white again?
Answer: you can use natural disinfectants like lemon juice or vinegar. Pour the liquid over the grout lines, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rub it lightly and clean it for the final result.
That is all that you need to know about caulk over grout in shower. Now, fix your shower and enjoy that bath meditation of yours.
Did you face any additional difficulty? Did you find a way around that?
We hope you haven’t. Now go start your caulking right away.
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