Shower wall tile grout cracking/leaking

11 Jun 2003
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United Kingdom
I was near to tears! Weeks of careful work rebuilding my first floor shower, but after 5 weeks of splendid rushing water my tile grout developed hair line cracks, discoloured and water ran down behind the tiles into the shower tray (upstands all round and 'stone' tray as I was replacing an old cracked plastic tray). I used proper branded adhesive and grout to be sure. I am loth just to redo the tiling without knowing what went wrong. Can anyone advise:

I used 'Sterling' ('flake' or 'bison') board as my substrate round the shower before tiling. It was dry and I was told it did not need to be sealed before tiling. Was that my mistake? Adhesion when removing the tiles seemed to have been good.

Would 'flexible' grout really have made a difference?

I am tempted to use a 'wetwall' or water panel system instead. Doesn't look so good and is expensive, but I will only need to seal the corners and lower edges. This method seems to be very rarely used. Anyone got any experience of this? Steeplechase.
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It may be rarely used over here but I know most American houses built are fitted this way. The only problem you may have is getting it into the bathroom, they come in some sizes.
You can get white plastic mould shower panels which you can cut to size you want including corner joint. I've fitted mine approx 7yrs ago and cost £40 a panel,£120 in total.No more black moulds + re-grouting as I got fed up with tiles in my shower cubicle.All I do now is wipe it clean with soapy water.
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