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
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.
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
I don't think it is a movement problem.
Each time the grout was fresh - it hadn't been sitting around getting
I was careful not to wet (and weaken) the grout too much when
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.
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.
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?
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??
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
The amount of water used to mix grout varies a lot depending on who is
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 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
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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