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Old 02-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
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Slightly shrunken grout


We had our bathroom tiled last summer (18"x18" tile with 1/16" grout line, I believe) and i just noticed that there is a small section or two where it almost seems that the grout has shrunken a TINY bit, just barely pulling away from the tiles enough to where there is a hairline space between grout and tile. The grout isn't crumbling or anything like that and seems hard, it's just the slight shrinking.

My question is this: Should I try to fix this right away? And if so, what would be the smartest way to do so? Should I just apply more grout on top of the current grout and try to just press it into the slightly shrunken area, or would I need to remove the grout some and then apply new grout on top?

Thanks so much for any advice! Overall, the tile job and grouting looks really good, so I'm not super worried. Just want to make sure I don't ignore this and then a little water seeps through the hairline space.

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Old 02-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Slightly shrunken grout


Did they use unsanded grout?
The grout is not suppost to level with the the tile surface. It's slightly concaved.
A picture would be a big help.

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Old 02-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Slightly shrunken grout


Yes, our tile guy used unsanded grout. I will try to get a picture but not sure if it will show or not... Let me try.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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Slightly shrunken grout


If some areas need to be added you scrape out the old before adding new.
A simple cheap grout saw with do it. There sold in the tile dept. at Lowes or HD.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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Slightly shrunken grout


Here is a picture (as requested) of what I am talking about. Most people wouldn't even notice it, but I was kneeling on the floor and was close enough to notice. Just seems like it has pulled away just slightly from the tile, leaving just a tiny hairline space in between. I just don't want to risk water damage (been there done that...) because we may be renting this house out in the near future and I want to make it as waterproof as I can!

I should add, the side of the tile itself was/is a dark color, so the picture here actually makes it look a little worse than it is. Some of that dark coloring is not the crack/shrinkage but the side of the tile itself.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Slightly shrunken grout


Looks more like impropper subflooring cause it to flex. That's why it's cracking along a straight line.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:35 PM   #7
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Slightly shrunken grout


Hmmm... well, the guy who did it is a real professional and made sure it was a SUPER level floor and laid down all the right stuff... It's just basically around that one tile, and no one walks in that area.

So what should I do? Would it still be worth my while to remove some of the grout and regrout in that one spot? I can guarantee we aren't going to rip up the whole job.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Slightly shrunken grout


It may well turn out fine. One way to find out.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Slightly shrunken grout


OH, and I should add - we had dry rot in this bathroom, so he installed an entirely brand spanking new subfloor before installing everything. He also put the appropriate things on top of the subfloor (don't know their technical names) before placing the tile.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Slightly shrunken grout


Something moved a little bit---not good--but it's a house and things can move--

First--tap on the tiles with a screw driver handle---see if that area sounds hollow--

That way you can tell if you have a tile that's coming loose--

I suggest that you take a hand held grout saw and remove at least 1/4" of grout--then regrout that area---If you have a hollow tile--call your installer in to give his opinion on removing the tile and resetting--Mike---
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #11
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Slightly shrunken grout


Thanks, Joe & mike.

Mike, I did your screwdriver test and the tiles all sound very similar. I didn't notice any noticeably hollow sound anywhere.

So having done that, you think I should just remove a good chunk of the grout in that section as you suggested with a grout saw and just regrout it and see how it goes?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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That's what I'd do---replace that grout around the affected area and move on---

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