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Old 05-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


So - in our main bathroom (which I remodeled a few years ago) the sealer has worn off of the floor grout. . .I realized this, today, when I lifted the rug to clean and the grout soaked up the water in some areas. . . and I realized that where the water soaked in the tiles were lifting just a bit. . .which means the mortar is compromised.
(I admit this main bathroom is my first remodeled bathroom - so I had a lot of a learning curve going on and will likely do the floor different this next time)

So - obviously I have to take up the old tile, clean the surface up, retile and then regrout.

However - I'm still working on the other bathroom and don't really feel like taking even more time away from that remodel to fix the bathroom that's in use.

Do you think it would be horrible for me to just apply new grout/sealer to the worn/affected areas and wait maybe two months before addressing this issue?

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:29 AM   #2
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


You have an issue much greater than grout sealer.

What kind of tile backer board did you use?

Grout is not water proof(unless you used epoxy) water has reached the wood some how and caused the swelling.

Check to see if you have a water problem more serious than the dripping of a wet body stepping out of the shower.

Is the curtain or shower door allowing water to run out?

Leaking shower mixer--or drain?----Toilet wax ring?

The best grout sealer in the world does not make the grout water proof--only easier to clean.---Mike--


You did use powdered thinset----not a water soluble pre mixed mastic?

The premixed stuff will turn back to liquid with very little moisture.
That product should be banned--almost a guaranteed failure in any damp area.--M--

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Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


I used the proper grout and thin-set for the tile and underlayment used. (self-mix thin-set, self-mix grout, sanded, 1/4" fiberboard)

I've been under the house to check for leaks around the toilet, sink and tub drains and all inlet lines - no sign of leaks. Subfloor wood still looks news - no mold, either, which might indicate persistent moisture.

I also thought that the floor dropped - we have undersized joists and significant sag, so I checked my new bracings under there to see if one had given out or slipped, they're fine - the floor is still adequately supported with the new beams and flat.

The area where the grout has cracked and the tile has come up is right around the pedestal sink. (our bathroom is very small, all fixtures are close to each other. The toilet is on the left, sink in the center, tub on the right.)

I think the culprit is the cleaner being used on the floor - the boys often use a heavy cleaner like purple power or whatever and don't wash it off the tiles - the cleaner sits and has taken off the sealer.

OR - when I sealed the tile it's quite possible I just didn't seal it adequately.

I'll re-seal, even if that won't solve the problem it will at least prevent further water-seepage until I can dedicate my time to this new problem.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


I think that your problem was the 1/4 sanded fiber board.

In a bathroom water will always get on the floor--Even if you have no plumbing leaks--Dripping people coming out of the shower---curtain or door closed--boys.

Water will get through the grout--the sealer is not a water proofer--it just helps to keep the grout clean.

On the next bathroom floor use Durrock--It's not going to get soft and puff up like a wood product will.

I do not like,or use Hardi backer.

The cement board is your insurance policy--Sorry to hear that you are having a floor failure.

It's a hard lesson.----Best to you,--Mike---
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


Insufficient floor strength can result in tile popping/cracking, cracked grout, etc. Tile requires a very rigid floor, usually a minimum of 1 1/4". I suspect 1/4 fiberboard does not qualify. The usual would be 3/4 subfloor and 1/2 duroc or hardibacker, glued and screwed to the subfloor. Or a mud floor. What do you mean by "self mix" products??
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:25 AM   #6
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self mix as in bags which you mix with water as needed, as opposed to pre-mixed that you buy in a bucket. (I'm ruling out my hard-water as a culprit. It affected the overall quality of my grout due to sediments, but I don't think it will affect mortar in the same fashion)

I'll be able to determine the overall problem once I take the tiles up and see the floor, I can only make guesses at this point.

My flooring in that bathroom is: subfloor (3/4" B grade plywood). underlayment (same thing - 3/4" B grade plywood) - giving a total of 1-1/2". The 1/4" fiber board and then the mortar and tile.

Since it was my first bathroom job there's no telling what I didn't do right I've learned a lot since then. I might not have adhered the tiles well enough (they're big 18" tiles) There are also 8x8 tiles in with them - and these 8x8 tiles are fine it's just the big ones that are coming up.

When I get this figured out I'll post an update.

Maybe this happened just in time - in my other bathroom I'll start tilling in about a week or so. So right now I can replace the fiberboard with 1/2" durrock (the same thing I used on the walls, I have enough sheets left over to do this without extra cost) and then I can rest easy.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


did you mryar the back of the big tiles as well as the floor?
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


mryar? You mean mortar?

Yep - I applied mortar to the back and to the surface - and pressed them in place with a roller. But you never know. . . I might not have put enough mortar on - I might have not pressed hard enough. Who knows. Since I had to reinforce and sister the undersized joists, though, it's possible that the floor has sagged a little bit - too much for the big tiles to handle but not enough for me to adequately measure from under the house. The tiles haven't cracked nor do they "wobble" or anything when you stand on them, though.

I'll figure it out once I peel it up But I can't render both bathrooms useless, right now - if I wasn't working on the other bathroom I would do it asap.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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How long can I wait before taking care of this problem?


Well - to prevent further damage to the floor if it's due to water damage that I can't see I went ahead and took up the old tile and I've temporarily applied a moisture barrier and a 1/2" thick durrock sheet and then tacked down some tacky looking but usable linoleum, replaced the fixtures and ran silicone around all the joints.

This is a temporary measure - I didn't figure out the problem, the mortar between the tile and floor seemed to have pulled apart - there weren't huge spots where the mortar didn't stick. No signs of water damage and from the top the floor still seems even. I'm puzzled. I really beleive, though, that it has to do with the fact that I had to reinforce the joists - it's not obvious to the eye or to the level/measuring tape . . . but I really think that's the case. So, I didn't figure it out completely - I just couldn't bring myself to leave this problem there to get worse while I did tile work in the other bathroom, it seemed wrong.

So - juggle juggle. At least I don't have to worry about it being a hidden leak around the toilet or something which was my big concern. I'll redo it after this current bathroom is finished.

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