In a typical tiled shower installation, is the grout waterproof so
that it keeps water out of the lower layers?
Is sealing necessary to make it waterproof? Or does sealing just keep
the dirt out of the grout and it is just as waterproof sealed or not?
Almost all grouts (some epoxy grouts are an exception) are somewhat
permeable to water, in any case there are will likely be mechanical
imperfections in the grout, increasing over time, which will admit
water by capillary action
Generally tiled bath and tub walls are installed to a rigid backing
material highly resistant to water damage ("Durock" is a common
example) with a vapor barrier behind that, if a tub or shower floor is
tiled it's generally installed over a (hopefully) watertight assembly
called a "pan", which usually incorporates a waterproof
See for example:
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
On 9 Jul 2006 11:12:48 -0700, "MDT at Paragon Home Inspections, LLC"
OK... lets move on then....
Are there any products that could be used to waterproof or water
resist older grout ? This particular shower not built over any sort of
cement board. it looks like some sort of plaster board with paper
covering of some sort. Not standard sheetrock but not much more
appropriate I don't think. ... this is from the 70's so who knows.
It is in good shape and the deteriorated areas that I repaired were
over the edge of the fiberglass pan so they are not an issue. However,
I am concerned that what I found under there was not a proper surface
and that if the grout wicks water it will eventually destroy the rest
of the unit.
Anything that can be done preventively to prolong the life a few
Nestor Kelebay wrote:
Grout will prevnt liquid water from passing through the tiling.
However, it won't prevent humidity from passing through. As the humidity
increases inside the wall, condensation can occur to form liquid water.
What you want to do is seal your grout with an ACRYLIC film forming grout
sealer. If you see the word "siloxane" on any bottle of grout sealer,
don't buy that grout sealer. Siloxane means a silicone based plastic, and
all silicone based materials seem to have the same problem; nothing sticks
well to them. The problem with using a grout sealer made from a silicone
based plastic is that you can't add more sealer a few years down the road
to build the protection back up to former levels. That's because the new
grout sealer simply won't stick well to the old grout sealer, and will
flake and peel off.
You're much better off with an acrylic film forming grout sealer which
doesn't have that problem.
Do a Google search for DuPont Stone Tech products. I don't know if DuPont
makes a film forming acrylic grout sealer, but if they do, I'd bet it's a
good quality product. If you can get DuPont Stone Tech's 1-800 Customer
Service phone number, you can just ask if any of their grout sealers are
acrylic and form a film rather than get absorbed into the grout.
The grout sealer I use on all of my bathrooms is made by the Glaze 'N Seal
company of California and called simply "Grout Sealer". I very much like
this sealer as it is very strong and lasts a very long time. I imported 4
quart size jugs of it from California into Canada.
If you don't know what else to get, you can always use Tile Lab's "Gloss
Sealer and Finish" or "Matte Sealer and Finish" available at Home Depot.
Both products use the same acrylic binder, but the Matte has extender
pigments inside it that cause it to dry to a flat gloss rather than a high
gloss. One thing I like about these two products is that Tile Lab also
makes a very effective remover to remove the grout sealer should you ever
need/want to. Tile Lab's "Heavy Duty Cleaner and Stripper" makes light
work of removing either Gloss or Matte grout sealer.
Hope this helps.
..in solidarity with the movement for change in Iran.
Again, I swear by this stuff. What convinced me is the guy at the tile
store. I had a tiled shower in one of the HUD Wrecks I bought. The grout
was all faded bad. They were small tiles maybe 2"x2". I brought in a
block in tact with grout that came off the lower wall.
Guy opens a bottle and puts it on the grout. It brought the color back
like magic. Then on the edges you could see the stuff changing the grout
all the way through it's depth. Penetration, not coating.
Before and after pic:
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