Hairline Cracks in Grout: How Long Should Grout Last Before Cracking?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a building that doesn’t have grout somewhere in its construction. This vital construction material helps to spackle together rebar, concrete, walls, seal joints, and so much more. It’s especially common in bricks, tile, and other such layouts.

With grout being so popular, grout repair and cleaning are vital to your knowledge base. If you’ve spotted some hairline cracks in the grout, don’t panic – we’re here to help. Read on for some vital information regarding grout and how to keep it healthy and functional for as long as possible.

How Long Should Grout Last Before Cracking?

A shower enclosure with cracked grout on gray tile.

There are a number of factors that can cause cracks and issues in the grout. But if cared for properly, grout can last for up to twenty years.

Many grout issues are related to how the grout was installed, to begin with, but there are many other factors. Consider these three issues as some of the most common causes for damaged grout.

Poor Grout Mix

The first is the most common – the grout may have been mixed poorly to begin with, causing it to start to fail at some point. If you’re familiar with concrete, you’re familiar with grout, as the two are rather similar in construction. Grout, like concrete, is a compound rather than a material in itself, made of a mixture of water, sand, and cement.

Without the proper mixture, your grout will end up in a low-quality mix that causes the final product to fail. Too much of any of the three can cause issues. 

For example, if there is too much water, it won’t set right. Not enough water, and it won’t hold itself together properly. Make sure that you have your formula right before you begin.

Safe Step ensures that our grout mix is a high-quality, long-lasting mix. We service a great number of hotels and resorts nationwide. You can trust our grout to last with our expert installation.

Water Evaporation

A tile shower drain with water spots.

Water evaporation is another of the most common issues and will often only come into play sometime after being set. Evaporation takes time, so if your grout cracked the day after you set it, evaporation probably wasn’t the cause.

Evaporation will sap the water away, causing the grout to dry out. If you’ve ever seen a puddle of mud dry out, you’ve seen the same effect – the grout will crack and shrink, leaving holes and brittle grouting behind. This poor result can often cause you to need to regrout the entire area.

Hairline Cracks in Grout Line

Grout can begin to fail in a domino effect, and there will rarely be a single issue causing it. If something causes hairline cracks in the tile grout to form, for example, more issues are sure to follow.

Once the grout begins to crack, this will cause the damage to increase exponentially. The grout can rub against itself and cause chipping, worsening the crack and making the water evaporate much quicker, for example. 

How to Prevent Cracking

Someone applying grout to shower tiles.

While grouting can last for up to two decades, that doesn’t mean you should just fill it and forget it. Instead, you’ll want to keep a decent bit of maintenance up, as well as plan for the future. Consider these tips on preventing cracking as crucial practices to keep your grout healthy.

High-Quality Grout Mix

The best way to prepare your grout for the future is to start doing so from the moment you mix it. At Safe Step, we make sure to do just that, utilizing a high-quality grout mix to prevent issues like hairline cracks in tile grout. 

Other services may focus on cutting costs by using a lower quality grout mix. This cost-cutting can end up making your grout last only a few years at most. Such a problem is especially prevalent in an environment like a hotel or resort with high traffic.

Grout Repair and Cleaning

Like anything else in a home, grout requires maintenance to make sure that it lasts as long as it can. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your grout stays clean and healthy in a hotel or resort.

Cleaning grout is relatively simple. A stiff-bristled brush and hot water can be all it takes, as well as baking soda and vinegar for an easy soap. Some soaps can actually damage the grout, so make sure that you aren’t just using any random cleaner that you find on a shelf.

As hotels and resorts are high traffic, you’ll want to clean your grout much more frequently. Typically, you should clean grout at least twice a year. Additional cleanings are warranted in high-traffic environments.

Safe Step specializes in grout repair and cleaning. The easiest method for you to use to clean it is, of course, to leave it to the professionals. We can ensure that your grout is healthy, clean, and long-lasting.

Grout Restoration

If your grout is nearing the end of its lifespan, the best way to keep it high-quality is to restore or replace it. Safe Step has a number of services for repairing or restoring grout. Be sure to contact us for a quote so that we can get to work on keeping your grout functional as soon as possible.

Eventually, your grout will likely reach the point where it cannot be repaired anymore and needs restoration or regrouting. Make sure that you trust the professionals to do this to keep it healthy and durable.

Keeping Grout Healthy

Hexagon marble tiles with healthy grout.

Spotting hairline cracks in grout can cause a bit of panic, but there’s no worry. Safe Step specializes in making sure that your grout is healthy to keep your guests safe and impressed.

If you have any further questions, please browse our blog or contact us for more information.