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Old 01-09-2017, 01:15 PM   #1
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Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


VERY frustrated!!!!!!!!!!

I installed about 1500 sf of porcelain tile on concrete slab and used the polyblend sanded grout for the grouting. I followed the instruction explicitly but after a month or two I noticed it starting to crumble away. I could literally scratch it out with my fingernail. No cracks, just turned to powder. All the tiles were snug and not loose anywhere either. I figured I must have made a mistake during the mixing process, and as I had a few bags left over I proceeded to remove ALL of the grout to reinstall.

Making absolutely sure every step was followed verbatim per the instructions, I reinstalled the grout only to have the exact same thing happen!!! IT WAS NOT the installation process that was the mistake. It was the grout!!! I figured I had gotten a bad batch or something. I didnt have time to spend another few weeks redoing the floor AGAIN so I just left if for a few years and endured the nasty unsightly grout on my new expensive tile until I had the time to redo it.

Well, third times a charm right?!!! Over the winter break I removed just about all the grout AGAIN and bought some new bags of polyblend grout to do the job. I waited the recommended 3 days and sealed, that was yesterday. I went to an inconspicuous area to test the strength and with my fingernail was able to gouge a nice hole in the grout. This is absolute BS! If you value your time, energy and sanity DO NOT BUY POLYBLEND sanded grout!!!! Its garbage and just expensive sand!!!

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Old 01-09-2017, 01:32 PM   #2
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


I would say that 80-90% of grout problems reported here and at the other 10 sites I visit, are Polyblend purchased at the orange place. If it doesn't set up right, the colors are way off. Sometimes dark grays turn out off white. Sometimes the installer is to blame. There's many other brands as you know.............. and places to buy them.

What did the say?

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Old 01-09-2017, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


I haven't had any issues with Polyblend and like it better then Mepei. What did you use for a mixer? How long did you mix it for? Was it liquid enought to flow? Was it drying out when you floated it? Too cold? Did you pack it into the lines? What was your tile gap size? Was the excess on your bucket hardening properly? What surface is the tile set on? I'm not saying you did anything wrong, just curious.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:32 PM   #4
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Mepei must be some real garbage then cause polyblend is hard to top for something you ABSOLUTELY do not want to put on your floors.
As stated, followed the instructions for mix times, 5 mixing, 10 waiting then mix and apply. Consistency was like toothpaste. 1/4" gap. About 75 degrees.
The bottom line is polyblend is a sh!t product and has been for years! I purchased these different batches years apart and both were bad. HD knows it's garbage too and still sells it.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


Mepei might be bad too.....so try Mapei instead!

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Old 01-10-2017, 06:45 AM   #6
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


That sounds crazy and scary something like that can happen. Any chance there's something with your water or the buckets you're using? Too much salt or something else? Soap or some other residue in the buckets?
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


Clarence, you remind me of a thread I participated to over 10 years ago. The homeowner's grout wouldn't set up kinda like this. After some investigating questions, I asked if they had one of those electronic critter repellant thingys. Sure enough.

I guess the electronic waves prevented the cement in the grout to do its thing so it stayed as if it was still powder form.

I'd be switching brands after the first time, but this is a possibility.

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Old 01-10-2017, 01:44 PM   #8
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


I'm not saying it didn't happen like he said, but that's kinda mind blowing for me. I can't imagine that happening. What's the odds he would keep getting bad batches like that? I did wonder if he's not packing the grout into the gaps and has big air bubbles, but I can't see how that could happen in more than a few spots. Even then, only the thin spots would crumble. The filled in grout should be hard a a rock the next day. How often have you personally seen that happen or had it happen to yourself?
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


It's hard to tell what went wrong without being able to test the original batches that were still not too old.

I recall some grouts being soft and easily removed after a week or so, not sure why. In general I was done the day I grouted and didn't have to return unless there was something else going on. I used to tell people they could/should damp cure grout for 3 days like the instructions used to say. Hard to find that info these days cuz I think it's believed the modified grouts we use today do not require damp curing. I'm not so sure they wouldn't benefit, but I am no chemist.

At first I suspected a porous substrate or those cheapo soft bisque tiles you find so much of these days. But in this case it's a slab with porcelain tiles.

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Old 01-10-2017, 09:22 PM   #10
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


I typically don't use the grout from the box stores, as I pick up from a good wholesale tile warehouse. Grout is either Bostik or Tek. But on occasion, a customer has picked up tile and grout and then called, so I used it. Never had a problem with poly grout, or versabond for that matter. For someone to go through three batches and have the same problem, first of all, that's the definition of insanity. Something is going on with the way it's being mixed, applied or cleaned up. I've seen people clean tile and wash the sh$t out of it and then wonder why the color's blotchy and half of it's gone, or they mix it too wet to start with. There's a lot of variables that come into play for someone that isn't doing it all the time. I'm curious on how this turns out, but my money isn't betting against the grout.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:31 AM   #11
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Re: Newly installed crumbling Polyblend sanded grout


I'm no fan of anyone's grout... I've used Custom Poly many times, never any problem..... Mater of fact, I've never noticed any differences in grout. Of course, I'm not a full time tile person.

Maybe his second batch was old.... or maybe he whipped it to death and airated it... maybe a water problem...

There can be a problem with green cement.... I don't know the chemical issue, and never had the problem, but I've heard of green (in the sense of not ready/ripe) having curing problems. Never heard it in reference to grout.

Back in the early 2000 I think, I did a floor with some makers grout, without reading the new instructions that it did not need to be moist cured with a poly tarp. It came out a little blotchy in color... which luckily was perfect as it matched the tile as preferred in this case. But structurally it was fine.

My experience is with FIREHAWK.
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