new bathroom, 2 years old, grout is coming out, why? macpei..sanded and unsanded


hi, i had a bathroom done 2 years ago, new floor with new tiles... I had to get the tileman over to repair some grout that was coming out... only 2 years later???!! why does this happen? I have older bathrooms where the floor was done 20 years ago and grout is not coming out.
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Might be the first indication of a shoddy job. Typical shortcuts that lead to problems are poor substrate (particle board, etc.), slopping on thinset or mastic and putting down dry tiles, so micro movements let the grout break away. DITRA is the plastic backing often seen in quality tile jobs. If you don't recall that being used on your tile work, that is a clue. Your best recourse may be to find better tile specialists and have it done over right.
Joe
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KOS wrote:

Movement.
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dadiOH
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On Thu, 20 May 2010 10:18:54 -0700 (PDT), KOS

I've replaced my entrance grout twice.
The floor is a 9' span of 2 x 10s with two layers of plywood glued and screwed together, totalling one inch thick. Ditra was placed on top of that.
I don't think it is a movement problem.
Each time the grout was fresh - it hadn't been sitting around getting stale.
I was careful not to wet (and weaken) the grout too much when sponging off.
The only thing I can come up with as a fault is that I may be stirring too much air into the grout by mixing too fast.
Going to try it again this Winter.
Gary
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G Mulcaster wrote:

The sources I've read said you need a MINIMUM of 1 1/4" of wood under the concrete board and tile on floors.
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G Mulcaster wrote:

I replaced the grout in our master bath shower. I'm not a professional anything, just a stubborn DIY'er. Our tile is about 40 y/o and had developed a few pinholes...not a crack anywhere, but we are on a slab. I used premixed, unsanded grout (tiles about 1/8" apart). It was a tough job because I'm not muscular, and I had a few spots that weren't entirely filled...not from lack of effort...just teeny-tiny little surface defects. No cracking or other signs of deterioration 5 yrs. on. It would be easy for someone in a hurry to do a sloppy job and not press in sufficient grout.
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KOS wrote:

If the problem was insufficient support below the tile, I would expect the grout to crack here and there unless the floor moves like a trampoline. I suspect it wasn't properly mixed - too much or too little water. It may not have been properly packed into the joint betw. tile. Was there adhesive up between the tile? Grout crumbling and coming out? A better description, or photos, might help. What repairs did the tileman make? Remove all and regrout? Do you have a contract that specified materials used?
http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/article.asp?article_id `288
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wrote:

I dont have any photos to provide.. More info... The bathroom was a total demo job.. New floor... We used Travertine tile... The problem area is on the bathroom floor, not shower stall.... This are the big travertine tiles... He used Macpei unsanded grout, b/c of the small joints... I noticed some areas, not all, that were like, "cracked"- the grout that is... 2 years after the job.. He chopped it out and layed new grout...Sound like poor installation? He says that since its 2 years old that can happen to grout- stupid answer??
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KOS wrote:

Consider...
Grout is used to fill spaces between things. It can be made from various things including epoxy but is commonly colored cement.
Cement takes compressive loads OK but isn't all that strong for shear. It becomes stronger when sand is added to it (sanded grout, mortar) and even stronger wih crushed rock (concrete).
Your tile man used unsanded grout; properly so, since (presumably) you wanted the tile layed 'tight" and the resultant joints were too small for sanded grout.
The amount of water used to mix grout varies a lot depending on who is mixing.
Once set, grout will last without cracking for decades, even millennia - even if some joints aren't completely filled - as long as it isn't flexed.
"Flex" means *movement* and it doesn't have to be much. The movement can be via the supporting floor or it can be from tiles that aren't well secured to the floor.
The grout is cracking because of movement. Not because of grout that was too wet/dry, not because of air in the grout, not because of some joints not completely filled...movement.
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dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

Another possibility is poor sealing of the grout. If the tile is on ply and it becomes alternately wet then dry, the expansion of the wood might cause it. For example...
You take a shower. You step out to dry off, some water drips on floor, gets sucked up by grout, wood gets damp, wood expands then later dries and shrinks. Perhaps NP in shower itself because the wood *stay*s damp.
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dadiOH wrote:

You are probably right about movement, but sanded grout, AFAIK, isn't used for fine grout lines (less than 1/8?).
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