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Old 03-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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Cracked grout???


I'm remodeling a small bathroom with a new whirlpool tub in a 5 ft., pretty standard, three wall enclosure. I had a "professional" tile guy, tile the walls above a new whirlpool tub. The tile was installed over 1/2" cement board, and then grouted with sanded grout in 1/4 inch spacing, then sealed.

It's been about a month and the two, back wall corners have developed a hairline crack that runs the entire length of the tiled area (vertically from tub to ceiling). The bathroom is not finished so there has been no usage of the bath (in other words, no water on surfaces). Two questions. What would cause this? And second, what can I expect the "pro" to do to repair? Will it be a matter of grinding out the grout and regrouting? Any help would be great.


Last edited by cm3putter; 03-03-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:08 AM   #2
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Cracked grout???


Putter---All inside corners should be caulked with silicone .

Walls and deck surfaces move at differing rates--Have him come back and caulk. You should be fine.



---Mike---

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Cracked grout???


A caulk in the same color and texture (sanded, non-sanded) as the grout should be available.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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Cracked grout???


Smearing grout-colored caulk into a hairline crack is not a solution. The crack will reappear in a short time, plus the caulk smeared on the surface of the existing grout will attract dust and hair, and look like crap.

My grout cracked at the vanity, tub, and shower pan within a few months of installation. The contractor came back and smeared caulk over all of the floor to wall/tub/shower/vanity joints. All of the cracks reappeared within a few months.

I've spent many hours on my stomach peeling the caulk off and chipping the grout out to a uniform 1/8" gap. I plan on filling the gap with caulk that matches the grout, and is level with the grout.

A thin smear of caulk does not have enough strength to handle the expansion and contraction that inevitably occurs between the tile floor and other materials. A thick bead of caulk can move with the seasons.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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Cracked grout???


i did my bath floor in tile 4 yrs ago before i became aware of colored caulk, ran grout tight to my steel tub,vanity and base. I know this is not "the way" but no cracks, moving, hairline cracks etc. Sometimes i think problems in grout are improper mixing and poor sub structure. moving studs, floor flexing
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
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Cracked grout???


Mike and/or Mop,
Are you recommending caulking the cracks? or removing the grout and caulking?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:29 PM   #7
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Cracked grout???


typically a clear or colored bead of silicone caulk is applied on all inside corners--

There is a big debate as to removing the grout in the corner(for better silicone adhesion)

Or going over the grout that is already there----I have found no difference--



Here is a silicone application technique I was taught many years ago-----

Silicone will stick(and smear )on any dry surface--
Apply a fine bead of silicone where you want it--Then spray the area with a soapy spray(409 or greased lightning )

Spray your hand and wipe the joint with your finger--have some paper towels handy to get rid of any excess--

Just remember to start at the bottom of your project so no soapy spray gets onto and area that you haven't done yet.

This is how the granite counter top installers get such a fine caulk line!--Mike--
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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Cracked grout???


If there is enough surface for the caulk to adhere, then I would just grout over it. I believe that most do not understand that grout itself is not waterproof. Water can and does penatrate the grout line. Sealers are also vapor transmissive (see Bud Cline's Blog). Your best line of defense against water damage is under the tile, grout, sealer & thinset with a water proof barrier.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:54 AM   #9
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Cracked grout???


Hairline horizontal (or vertical for that matter) grout cracks can occur from shifting of the walls and/or floor (due to seasonal or temperature shifts) or from use (change of load on the floor). Sanded grout is a lot less forgiving at that location than non-sanded grout and that, in turn, is a lot less forgiving than properly applied caulking compound - that's the main reason they're used there. Solid tile+grout+cbu walls move differently than wooden studs do...

The best solution is to remove the old grout and caulk; that's not a guarantee it won't happen again because we don't know the deatils of your install, but it would be a very good suggestion.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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Cracked grout???


thanks everyone for the help

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