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Old 08-09-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
Bob Hickmott
 
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tile grout breaking down


I have a 4 year old home with about 3/4 wood florring but in the entranceway, and 2 bathrooms I have tile. The grout seems to be drying out and crumbling then disengrating. I had someone who is knowledgeable patch the areas where grout was coming out but it keeps happening in other areas so it appears to be never ending.

Do I have a grout problem, installation problem, or possibly a subfloor problem. Where do I start or should it all just be replaced?
Thanks for the input.
RHickmott

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Old 08-09-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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tile grout breaking down


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Originally Posted by hickyr View Post
Do I have a grout problem, installation problem, or possibly a subfloor problem. Where do I start or should it all just be replaced?
Thanks for the input.
RHickmott
Unfortunately, it could be one or all of the problems you mentioned. Assuming you didn't see the installation, you would not know how the subfloor was prepared. It could be something as simple as how the grout was mixed and applied. There is a procedure to grouting which many people ignore and end up with cracks. Without tearing it all up, however, you cannot see what is underneath. Do the tiles seem firm? If you tap them with a screwdriver handle do they sound hollow? consistent?

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Old 08-09-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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tile grout breaking down


Thanks for the reply. As we tap the tiles they do sound a little hollow underneath.We have a couple of areas of wood that are squawking as well. The tile grouting seems to be breaking up as the floor is flexing too much. I can step on the area where the grout is coming out and see the tile flexing and I would think that the grout is also flexing and pulling away from the tile. We have called our builder and asked them to come look at the problem. Bottom line is we are beginning to believe either the underlayment is the wront type and/or the installation of the stingers and wood beams has some sort of problem. What do you think?
Thanks again for your replies.
Bob
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
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tile grout breaking down


well, sounds like a tear up. Ask the builder to explain what the sub prep was, if any, and take pictures. Or you could take up a few tiles if there is a concern about the builder to see for yourself. In either case post them.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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tile grout breaking down


Canadaclub - by tear up i would take it to mean take up all tile, replace subfooring if necessary and retile. Then just fix the squawk in wood floor with shims andglue. Can you elaborate a little --thanks
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Canadaclub - by tear up i would take it to mean take up all tile, replace subfooring if necessary and retile. Then just fix the squawk in wood floor with shims andglue. Can you elaborate a little --thanks
You need to see what is under the tile to determine why its unstable. It might be the subfloor, it may be the adhesive type. Just take a portion up to get an idea.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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tile grout breaking down


If you have a wooden subfloor and your tile is directly installed to it you might as well go pick out new tile. That is more than likely an improper installation. While tile can be installed directly to plywood it requires a VERY specific method. And I do mean very specific. More than likely it is simply installed improperly probably by someone that did not know any better. If it was properly installed over plywood, well, your grout wouldn’t be cracking. Go to your basement and check the joists and sub-floor to see if there are any gaps and if there are then you have to fix that problem also…
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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tile grout breaking down


It would be hard to tell from underneath how the sub was secured, if at all. The "squawk" can be fixed but not the grout cracks.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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Yes that is true but at least one problem of the squeak will be addressed. The only way to tell about the floor is to remove some tile in an inconspicuous place. But if I had to bet money on it I would say it was a bad installation on the builder’s part.

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