Grout Sealant

I installed 12" wall and floor tiles in a bathroom with 2"x2" tiles on what used to be a painted, concrete shower floor with a 6" stub wall about six months ago. It's all holding up nicely but I did find recently, some missing grout where the 2" tile meets the schluder which supports the bottom of the 12" tile as it goes up the wall. Gaps were approximately 1/4" or less and I used a fine brush wire wheel in a drill to clean off any soap scum or old grout sealant prior to re-grouting. The grout repair *seems* to have gone well and now my 3 days (or so) are running where I mist the grout a couple of times a day to get some cure time prior to using the shower again. Here's the big question... Instead of using a conventional grout sealer, should I use clear silicone or tub caulk? They make some supposed 50 year stuff now and in my experience with it, it seems more effective than what my experience with the grout sealer was (kind of a cheezy bottle with a brush end used to dab the grout lines). The grout was a sanded portland cement grout (though now in retrospect, I wonder if I should have used an epoxy since it's a shower floor). Anyway, just trying to protect the investment with whatever I can get in there with to protect existing grout lines. The integrity of the grout appears to be holding well - just wondering about a longer term sealant for it.
2nd question as a quickie... what is the preferred method of cleaning grout lines prior to re-sealing? The wire brush *seemed* pretty effective but not being an expert, there might be something that works better. TIA for any help. :-)
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It's hard to get a mental picture. Grout sealer is for grout, it seals it by soaking and creating a non-porous layer on top. If you didn't use a waterproof grout mix on the shower floor that'll be a problem, you may find yourself standing in the basement one day. Personally I would use a plastic pan thing for a shower floor, it is more of a sure thing and requires no maintenance. Not very upscale, I know.
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On 13 Mar 2005 16:36:28 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've uploaded a picture to the following site.
http://www.geocities.com/overlandtrail/BATH1.JPG
As you see the missing grout, keep in mind that the rest of that seam around the shower is in tact. I was considering using a clear silicone over the grout surface to seal the pores. Does that make sense, guys?
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Makes sense to me. I'd still be concerned about 'why' it's having issues.
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The picture indicates to me that there's movement somewhere causing the grout to crack.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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I had wondered about 'house settling' but will probably wait to see if the issue repeats itself now that I have re-grouted the joint. I wish the 'expert' I had helping with this project or the flooring store who knew where I was putting it (shower floor) would have mentioned something about epoxy grout for shower floors though. Just have to hope that I can keep it sealed well enough so as not to create issues, I guess. Most sealant manufacturers recommend every 6 months to a year.
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cover,
Your picture indicates that is a wider than standard joint at that transition. You may want to consider using grout that is made for wider than standard joints. I don't know if the depot or lowes have that type of grout, but I believe a regular tile supplier would.
cover wrote:

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wrote:

Looks more like it was just badly done in the first place, the grout strip is wide enough so that if you dont do it right on adding water etc in a remix, it isnt strong enough and has just fallen to bits because of that.

Sure, but make sure you mix the grout properly in the first place, dont add more water later to make it less stiff after its partially set when doing the grouting.
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You might not like this suggestion, but try checking out the Schluter websight www.schlueter-systems.com and look into something like the "Dilex-HKW" piece that might be a better transition from the 12 X 12 to the 4" tile. You would have to tear out the existing grout and metal piece you have in there now and re-install something like that, but you might not want to go with that route. It looks like a bad situation that might get worse. sugar coating it and not fixing the real problem, which might be behind the tile or wall, could cost you more in the long run.
Erik Spend more time with your family http://urbiz.stayinhomeandlovinit.com
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cover wrote:

I would probably use a caulk at that joint between the Schluter and the 2" tile, but you need to have some space there for it. In other words you may need to remove some of the grout to allow for the caulk. As for the rest of the grout joints a good grout sealer will help.
Oh, and you've probably misted enough. It needs to be dry for either caulk or sealer.

I used an acid based cleaner from a tile store to clean grout before. It seems to me that a wire brush would scratch the grout and look unsightly.
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If you are worried about the color of the grout being changed or faded, then that's one thing. But where you have installed grout, there needs to be caulking there instead of grout. TRUST ME, the grout won't hold up being in a joint like that. Similar places are where backsplash meets a counter top, never grout, always caulk. 90 degree corners in showers or backsplash., bottoms of bathtubs where it meets the floor, all around a bathtub ledge where tile meets the tub. Always use 100% Acrilyc-laytex siloconized caulking. Epoxy caulking is not bad as well, but with the Acrilyc, you will get more flex if there is ever movement. The sealer won't be as much of a garuntee in repelling water over time as caulking would be in that area. Cleaning grout lines can be a pain if not impossible sometimes and need to be redone. There is a product out there that is a grout colorant and sealer at the same time. Works good, I've used it on my jobs. Home Depot only has a few select colors, but they can order others. There are also grout cleaning products at Lowes, I like the Aqua Mix brand myself. Hope that helps!!
Erik want to work at home? http://urbiz.stayinhomeandlovinit.com
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