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-   -   Grout Questions for Shower (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=130593)

whatmemory? 02-22-2021 05:31 PM

Grout Questions for Shower
Just had my alcove tub/shower tiled. Matte finish porcelain subway tiles w/ Mapei Ultracolor Plus unsanded grout, 1/8" grout lines (bathroom floor was tiled as well, same grout). The grout is on the lighter side and from most folks I know their complaints about tile showers are keeping the grout clean. I've read several threads on sealers on the site and take it that as for floors - sealers offer little more than some extra time to clean up spills, dirt from foot traffic will still penetrate and requires regular cleaning.

1. I'm wondering if there is any benefit to using a high quality sealer on the grout in the shower, to avoid staining from soap scum etc? I know the mapei ultracolor plus says sealing not required, but Id rather error on the side of overprotective if it has any benefit. Still some work left to do in bathroom so now is the time to seal if appropriate.

2. Tile guy grouted the bottom of the shower wall/tile where it meets the rim of the acrylic tub. Ive learned from the site that silicone/bath sealants should be used at plane transitions. I'm assuming applying silicone/sealant over the grout is a no no? Do I have any option other than tooling out the grout?

Thanks in advance

Davy 02-22-2021 06:08 PM

A penetrating sealer is what you want to use on grout but it's not like painting a protective coat on a piece of wood. The sealer soaks into the grout but allows it to breathe. I've sealed probably a few hundred showers, mainly from builders and designers saying it really needs it. I didn't seal my own shower.

Mold feeds on the soap film, keeping it cleaned off goes a long way. Even though I don't do it, a lot of folks recommend wiping the shower down after each use and I can see that helping as well.

I wouldn't silicone over the grout. If I plan to silicone the corners, I avoid getting grout in that joint. Any grout that I get in it can be raked out while washing. Then add the silicone after the grout sets.

whatmemory? 02-23-2021 08:11 AM

Thanks for the reply Davy.

Got your drift on the sealers. I also meant to ask whether good sealers will at least reduce the frequency of cleaning needed in shower...sounds like no, or not enough to justify them.

As for the grout at tub rim I dont totally follow, do you ever personally use grout there or never? If never and I should remove the grout, easier to use multitool (acrylic tub...) or hand held?

Hope you guys are recovering at least slowly down in TX...


MAPEI - Technical Service 02-23-2021 12:38 PM


Sealing Ultracolor Plus FA is completely optional. To Davy's point, the grout itself is not a food source for mold, so sealing it may or may not make a real dramatic difference as soap residues can be on the surface of the grout and tile whether sealed or not. Many folks have had good luck with running a glass squeegee down the walls after each shower before getting out.

Sealants and caulks are meant to fill a gap, not go over a solid surface like grout. If you apply a sealant over a grouted joint, it will likely tear and crack over time, and it will not be able to do its job. Removing the grout with an oscillating multi tool with a grout blade will likely be the easiest way to go about it. If you are worried about damaging the tub with the grout removal process, there are hand grout saws; though they are quite a bit more labor intensive!

whatmemory? 02-23-2021 02:36 PM

Thanks Holden.

I assume it would be unwise to simply leave the grout line at the tub rim (rather than removing and applying a bead of silicone or sealant), correct?

Tool Guy - Kg 02-24-2021 12:17 AM

If you leave it as-is, you’re not going to hurt anything or cause damage or anything. That’s up to you. If you leave it, it’s likely to crack & crumble a certain amount over time. My CDO wouldn’t allow that for myself, personally. I’d dig it out and apply a 100% silicone bead there.


whatmemory? 02-24-2021 02:16 PM

Appreciate the advice, thanks

ss3964spd 02-24-2021 04:22 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if that tile to tub grout cracks, John, the acrylic will expand/contract far more than, say, cast iron - or even steel. I'll be installing an acrylic tub fairly soon and will definitely use 100% Silicone.

Squeegee. I'm amazed how much water I pull off the wall with it after showering. My logic is the more water I remove the faster what's left will evaporate so should, therefore, reduce the chance of growth. Given the cost of a squeegee, worth a shot. A hand towel to the tile/tub joint after squeegeeing seems like a swell idea, too.

Davy 02-25-2021 07:47 AM

John, sorry I missed your question in post 3. Like Dan, I always silicone that tub to tile joint, never grout. If you already have it grouted, you can replace it now or wait for it to crack. I'd say the odds are nearly 100% that it will crack.

whatmemory? 02-25-2021 02:28 PM

Thanks Dan, Davy...I'll be removing the grout and hitting with silicone. I'll regret it later if I dont!

A separate question - my father in law just had his bathroom remodeled about a year ago. His grout is staining already (unsure of brand, if sanded/unsanded) . I read someone saying they had luck with Krud Kutter on floor grout. Worth trying in the shower?

Davy 02-25-2021 04:24 PM

It won't hurt to try. Keep in mind that just spraying it on and wiping it off won't do much. I usually spray it on, let it dwell about 10 minutes, scrub it with a brush and then wipe it up with clean water or suck it up using a shop vac.

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