Our shower got a bit of a make over yesterday. It is lined with four inch white tiles, and the grout between the tiles had seen better days. Most of it was still secure, although there were a few places where I noticed that it was coming loose. And almost all of it was discolored; no amount of baking soda and vinegar would get it all the way clean anymore. We had already replaced two of the three walls with plastic tub surround material a few years ago when some tiles literally fell off the walls, but the third wall was structurally sound so we left it alone. It’s the wall that has the faucets in it, so it would have been more of a job to replace, and we saved money by only buying enough tub surround to replace two walls (we were very much in debt at the time).
But something needed to be done about the third wall – I knew that over time the tiny patches of loose grout would turn into bigger patches and we’d end up with loose tiles and be forced to replace the wall anyway. So I thoroughly cleaned all the grout, and yesterday we bought a $3 tube of bathroom caulk. My husband spent about an hour caulking around every tile on the wall. The caulk is mold resistant and water proof, and will prevent any more damage to the grout underneath. The whole thing is waterproof now, and an added bonus is that it looks great; the caulk is white and even, unlike the old grout. We could have replaced the tiles with tub surround, but that would have likely taken a whole day, and cost about $50. Instead we spent an hour and $3. We don’t mind that the walls of the shower don’t match – all we wanted was a waterproof, functional place to take a shower. So the $3 option works for us.