Noticing some mould or mildew growth in your shower? Yikes!
That’s bad news. And it’s only going to get worse unless you do something, quick!
Fortunately, there’s a method that offers longlasting results. Sealing your tiles with grout is a necessary process in ensuring the value and safety of your home.
Read on to find out how to seal shower grout!
What is Shower Grout Sealer
Grout is a sealer solution that provides long-lasting protection for tile floors both new and old.
For the super technical out there, grout is a “commercially prepared substance consisting of carefully graded aggregate, cement, water dispersing agents, plasticizers, and colourfast pigments”. Basically, it’s a mixture of cement, water, and colourant.
Different Types of Grout
- unsanded grout, for when the gap between tiles joints is 1/8” wide or less
- sanded grout is the norm for joints that have a gap greater than 1/8” wide
- epoxy grout is used for more challenging and obtuse tiles gaps, or for when an extra layer of protection is needed
Be sure to select the right grout type for your tiles and needs.
Why You Need to Seal Your Shower
There are a few different reasons you need grout in your showers and other tiled-areas.
The primary use of grout is to keep water out of the tile joints by sealing off the open gaps between tiles. The cement-based flooring that tiles are placed on is very porous. Any contact with water and all the debris it carries will seep right into and under your floors. This can lead to mould and mildew, causing irreparable damage that will require full replacement.
Second, grout sealer acts as structural support to hold the tiles in place and together. It is especially useful for ceramic tiles and terra-cotta tiles, as these tiles do not always have a uniform shape. So, grout fills in the open gaps between these tiles, securing their placement and integrity.
As an added benefit, grout can add to the beauty of the room. If you choose colour-tinted grout, the grout can be colour coordinated with other palettes in the room to complete a cohesive look. Also, epoxy grout can be used to fully cover the tiled floor, providing a polished sheen over the whole flooring.
Lastly, grout offers a bit of welcomed texture in-between tiled flooring. This is especially useful on a shower floor, as this added texture adds a bit of “grab” for walking over, like the treads on a tire.
How to Seal Shower Grout
It’s a daunting task, but with the right tools and a lot of patience you can manage a decent job at sealing your shower tiles with grout yourself! But if you need help, be sure to check with a professional to see the services they offer.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need, and then what you’ll need to do in the process.
Tools You Use
- Putty knife
- Drywall saw
- Utility knife
- Cement board
- Cement board screws
- Cement board joint tape
- Thinset tile adhesive
- Grout scraper
- 100% silicone caulk
Assess the Situation
This step is only necessary if you’re replacing old, rotted flooring. Skip ahead if you’re starting out fresh!
The common signs of water damage behind your tiled-flooring are mould, mildew, fading colour, loose tiles, and peeling caulk. If this is the case, it’s time to rip out the old and bring in the new.
You can either use your hands or a utility knife to remove the tiles. Be careful in doing so, tiles can be very fragile and finding a matching tile as a replacement can be very challenging.
Set salvageable tiles aside in a bucket of water to begin cleaning them off. A utility knife can be used to scrape off any excess matter.
Next, cut out the damaged drywall with a saw, and then inspect the surrounding area for further rot. Cut out any rot, disinfect any mould with bleach, and then prepare for installation of the new flooring.
Installing the Floor and Tiles
Using a saw, cut your cement board to size. Install it next to the drywall with the cement screws and joint tape. Following the manufacturer’s directions, mix the thinset adhesive together and apply between the cement board and old drywall.
Once dry, begin preparing the surface for tile installation with more adhesive. Begin placing the tiles on the cement board with the appropriate gap space.
Let dry before beginning to grout the tiles.
Applying the Grout and Caulk
Once the thinset adhesive has dried and cured, you can begin the grouting process.
Grout the tile with a grout that matches the original tile and suits your needs. You can do this with either a grout applicator, individually “painting” the tile joints with grout. Or, you can learn how to seal shower grout with a spraying device to apply grout to all the tiles at once and then remove the excess with a scraper after.
Finally, use 100% silicone caulk to seal the gap between the shower floor and wall. This caulk is critical in keeping water from penetrating the joints you’ve freshly set. It is important to use high-quality caulk and to ensure a complete seal.
Get Your Shower Grout Today!
Grouting your shower tiles and other surfaces might be a lengthy process, but it’s a worthy investment in the long run. All it takes is a little time and effort, and you’ve already done the hard part by learning how to seal shower grout!
But if you’re scrambling to find time in your busy schedule as-is, contact a professional for an experienced service.
It’s best to get the job done right the first time!