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Old 03-15-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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Grout problems

Need help with a grout problem...we just grouted a tumbled marble backsplash with a sanded grout (per directions)...after it dried it started pretty much turning into sand and we could just brush it out. Done plenty of grout but never had this happen before. Any suggestions anyone?


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Old 06-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
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Having the same problem with ceramic floor tile. Have tried 3 times to dig out powdered grout and add new grout. It keeps either turning to dust or chipping out. Three different people have tried their hand at mixing the grout. We have followed the manufactures directions on package. The grout came from Menards, three different packages and lot#'s. What are we doing wrong...maybe it is the grout? I personally hate menard's products. Very cheaply made!


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Old 06-27-2008, 06:14 PM   #3
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Powderization of grout is TYPICALLY caused by adding too much water when mixing. You are diluting the amount of cement in the grout. I cannot argue whether or not you used improper amounts but that's usually the reason.
As for products from Menards, that's an unfair statement (actually silly). Stores carry different qualities of products. It's not their fault if you purchase something sub-standard. Menards typically carries Mapei products for tile installation which happens to be a very good manufacturer. As a matter of fact, I use Mapei products whenever I can.
Tiling isn't rocket science but there's a certain amount of know-how that goes into it. A person with experience can tell when a mix is off.
My suggestion is to mix your grout in small batches. Don't mix more than you can use in about 20 minutes. Notice the consistency of your mix and try to match that in your subsequent batches. If it's a humid day when your laying grout, perhaps try backing off the amount of water you mix at first. You can always add more water before you start if the mix is truly too thick.

Good luck
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:35 PM   #4
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I agree with Angus. Too much water will make grout weaker, the same result you get by adding water to concrete. More water in the mix equals weaker concrete.

At this stage, nothing can be done to strengthen the grout. The crystalline structure of the portland has already set, so your best bet is to remove what you can and re-grout with a stiffer mix.

I'd shoot for a mix that you can squish in your hand and release, and it holds its shape like a snowball. Something about the consistency of cookie batter should be fine. Don't use any more water than you have to.

Also remember that when sponging the grout after floating it in, don't use too much water on the sponge, because it'll just soak in. Ring that sponge out.
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