bathroom shower stall tile grout repair

Hi recently I noticed that the tile grout in the bathroom shower stall has cracked and opened up. I filled it with chalk but it has opened up again. I may have not used the right product. Do I need a grout repair mix such as this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Custom-381-1-qt-Bright-White-Premixed- Grout-PMG381QT/100676325#.UjtKsGTF1sD
So I need to chip away all the existing broken grout it the gap and then ju st towel on the new grout mix? How long does it need to sit before I can us e the shower stall again?
Thanks
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I hate to go "worst case" here, but if the water has gotten behind the tile, that may be the reason the grout/caulk has "opened up again".
I had some loose grout many years ago and when I tried to scrape it out I found that the tiles moved in and out. The water had gone behind the tiles and soaked the wallboard. The wall was pretty much mush, with the tiles and remaining grout basically holding it together. Once I started pulling tiles, I was able to remove large sections of the wall board by hand with very little effort.
I spent hours grinding the old adhesive off of the tiles so I could rebuild that wall and retile it. I wasn't yet ready to redo the entire bathroom...that happened a few years later.
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So if water had gone behind the tile, it will cause the new chalk and grout to crack open again?
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If the water gets behind the tile, it will soak the wallboard and cause it to soften. Once the wallboard gets wet and soft, it will move. Tile does not like to move. Well, actually it's the grout that does like to move.
There are some products that will make grout a little more flexible, but if the grout keeps cracking, odds are the tile is moving.
BTW...You have used the word "chalk" in both of your posts. I assume you mean caulk
I don't think I have ever heard of using caulk to fix grout. I've definitely never heard of using chalk.
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Sorry, I meant to say caulk does NOT like to move.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com;3123812 Wrote: > Hi recently I noticed that the tile grout in the bathroom shower stall > has cracked and opened up.

> the right product. Do I need a grout repair mix such as this one: > 'Custom #381 1-qt. Bright White Premixed Grout-PMG381QT at The Home > Depot' (http://tinyurl.com/n3hyxcw )

> just towel on the new grout mix? How long does it need to sit before I > can use the shower stall again?

Dchou4u:
Unfortunately, what you're describing is the kind of problems when ceramic tiling is installed over greenboard or ordinary drywall. If the ceramic tiling starts to leak, the greenboard or drywall behind it starts to get wet, and turn soft. Once the drywall is soft, then any movement of the walls will result in the grout between the tiles cracking and falling out, causing the drywall behind the tiling to get wetter. So, you end up with the ceramic tiling equivalent of a snowball rolling downhill. That is, the more the grout cracks and pops out, the wetter the drywall gets and the more the grout cracks and pops out.
While you CAN try to repair the damaged grout with the product you linked to, I expect that the cracking of the grout is just going to continue and you're nearing the end of the useful life of this shower tiling.
Most people in your situation would install something called a "tub surround" over your existing ceramic tiling. A tub surround is basically just inexpensive plastic panels that glue to the existing ceramic tiling with and adhesive of some sort, often silicone caulk. Tub surrounds will cost anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on how fancy a tub surround you buy.
But, to answer your question, yes, you would use the product you linked to. You would mix up some grout in a metal can, for example. Follow the directions on the package. Normally, they'll tell you to mix the grout with water, allow it to "slake" for 5 to 10 minutes, which means just let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then mix it again.
Then, you apply the grout to the tiling with a rubber grout float.
Then, use a small tool with a curved end, like a popsicle stick or a tea spoon (depending on the width of your grout lines) to scrape the grout down to a uniform elevation.
Then, wipe the grout lines down with a damp sponge. (It's easier to wipe the grout lines down to a uniform depth if you START with them at a uniform depth.) After wiping the grout lines and tiles down with a damp sponge, you will see a dull surface developing on the ceramic tiles you grouted. That dullness is called grout hase. Give the grout about 2 hours more to harden, and then wipe the grout haze off with a DRY rag.
I'd have baths in that bathtub for about 3 days to give the grout a chance to cure completely before using the shower. Ideally, you'd want to seal that grout, but I think your better gameplan is to cover your ceramic tiling with a tub surround while the tiling is still holding reasonably well.
--
nestork


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On 9/19/2013 5:54 PM, nestork wrote:

Builder had done my stall shower over regular drywall and it had to be completely redone. Took a couple of years for the problem to develop. New tiles put over the proper cement type board and still look good after 35 years.
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On Thu, 19 Sep 2013 12:22:55 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

It depends on how much grout you have to remove and how bad it is. The grout itself takes about 24hours to set up completely enough to use. The actual grouting goes very fast but cleanup will take a couple of hours.
There are really two tools that are useful for removing old grout. The one I used was a Dremel rotary tool with a grout bit. It tool a *lot* of expensive bits and a lot of time to get all of the old grout out. The (more recent) alternative is a "multi-tool" or as is known here as the "twitchy" saw. They're available from Harbor Freight for $20, up to $400 from Fein. The blades aren't cheap but probably not as expensive as the Dremel bits.
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On Thu, 19 Sep 2013 19:30:22 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

I used a screwdriver to remove grout from a small portion of my floor (that I had dyed red by spilling inkjet ink from a computer printer.)
Now in place of a screwdriver, I have a dagger. Although I could grind it back to where it was.

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Today I scraped out the cracked grout and caulk and some bullnose tiles came loose. The cement layer behind the tile has a crack too. Does it mean that water had gone past the tiles and compromised the cement backing layer?
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I would say that at minimum you have movement. The fact that your previously repaired grout "opened up" and now you have tiles that are popping off means that either the tiles themselves were loose and moving or the wall is moving.
Press on the wall where the tiles came off. Does it feel soft? If it does, that would be a sure indication that water has gotten behind the tile, either through the cracked grout or, worse yet, from behind the wall itself.
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The cement layer does not feel soft when pressed.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com;3124739 Wrote:

Do this: 1. Press on the cement layer behind where the grout lines opened up. Does it feel soft there?
2. Look at the BACKS of the tiles that came loose. Do they have a lot of that same cement stuff on the back of them that's on the wall?
It's very possible that the contractor that tiled the bathroom in your house let his helper do all the tiling while he attended to other matters, and that helper used thin set to set the tiles. The problem with thin set is that if it dries up before a tile is pressed into it, it won't actually "wet" the back of the tile, and the tile won't stick the way it should. This is especially common with bullnose tiles because they're typically the last to be set.
(Aside: The above is the reason why I both spread thin set on the wall and back butter each tile before setting it. That way, if the thin set on the wall skins over, it will be reactivated by the moisture from the fresh thin set on the back of the tile, and so I never have a situation where a tile isn't sticking as well as it should.)
--
nestork

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com;3124665 Wrote: > Today I scraped out the cracked grout and caulk and some bullnose tiles > came loose. The cement layer behind the tile has a crack too. Does it > mean that water had gone past the tiles and compromised the cement > backing layer?
There are two reasons for seeing "cement" behind your tile:
1. The tiles were set with a portland cement based thin set, or
2. The tiles are set on a cement tile backer like Wonderboard or Durock instead of just drywall.
If you could post a picture of what you're seeing, we could tell you whether you're looking at a cement based thin set or cement tile backer board.
--
nestork


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Here are some pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54230006@N07/sets/72157635748314275/
Does it show the water had damaged the cement layer?
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