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Bartman72 10-25-2008 03:54 PM

Problems re-grouting shower tile
I moved into a 30 year old condo with a tiled shower stall. The grout was obviously in bad condition, so I removed it with a grout saw and cleaned the mildew that was left behind.

At Lowe's, I bought some pre-mixed sanded grout. Then I filled it in the empty joints with my finger, being sure not to leave any unfilled spaces. When finished, I didn't use the shower for 1 week to let the stuff dry (thank goodness I have 2 showers). Then I applied spray sealant, and waited another 3 days.

When I used the shower everything was fine for 2 weeks or so, but now in some areas little chunks of grout are popping out. At first I would put new grout in the empty spots, but when that popped out too, I got frustrated. :furious:

I had some silicon water-proof caulk handy, and began using that to fill in 4-5 little spots. What's weird is that in other parts of the stall that get hit with the most water, the grout is holding up fine!

I guess my question is this: what's going on? Why would grout weaken and fall out after 2 weeks in some places but not others? And I know caulk is not intended to go between tiles, but is it ok to use as a band-aid?

Thanks for anyone who can offer advice, and please bear in mind that I am new to this.

Termite 10-25-2008 04:37 PM

A few things could have caused this...

1) unclean joints, dust, grime, etc.
2) grout was improperly mixed...too much water makes it weak
3) grout was improperly installed...using a finger instead of doing it correctly with a grout float and sponges. This might cause the joint to not get properly packed.

plumcass 10-27-2008 06:58 PM

I'm not to sure but I thought sanded grout was for floors and wall grout on walls.
I should have google this before I replied. I'll leave it to you.
  • Portland cement based grouts
  • epoxy-based grouts
  • furan resin grouts
Of these three, there are two basic types: sanded or non-sanded. Sanded grouts should be used when grout joints are 1/8" or larger. Non-sanded grouts should be used in a joint 1/8" or smaller.
Sanded groutsgrout joints 1/8" or largerNon-Sanded groutsgrout joints 1/8" or smaller

detroitMi 11-09-2008 01:53 AM

Hmm ,you must have done something wrong while doing the grout.Clean the joints well,then re-grout it ,(use a grout float) .Caulking is not a good idea

maryrepair 10-21-2011 01:22 PM

I too regrouted my shower and two years later its a mess again. Mine also began to deteriorate two weeks after I did it. Now I read the label on premixed sanded grout and it says not to use it in shower floors!!!!!!!!!! I am pulling out the old and using regular sanded NOT premixed grout this time and hoping for better results.

Ron6519 10-22-2011 01:37 PM

You never use pre mixed grout, it's an inferior product.
Sanded grout is for spaces larger then 1/8". Smaller spaces use unsanded grout.
Grouting a shower with you finger is a questionable technique. You could of had issues with spots drying next to new grout.
With grout, you get it in the spaces quickly and efficiently. The tool you use is a grout float.
The are so many issues with your install, it's hard not to suggest you remove it all and do it again using the correct material and the correct tools.
Check out the John Bridges forum. It specializes in tile. You need a thorough primer on the subject to eliminate future issues.

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