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Old 10-16-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
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Grout question, First post!!


hello all, this is my first post, and I'm really hoping someone can help. My home is about two years old, and I have been having a horrible time with it since moving in (I'm the first owner). During the one year "warranty" period, I had the builder re-caulk, and re-grout my stand up shower a few times. Now I'm out of my "warranty" period and I'm having problems again.

While I was out of town, my drain clogged, and there was standing water in the shower for quite a while. (I was out of town and the wife couldn't unclog it). Ever since then, the caulking seems to just be "flaking" off, almost like it was still wet. So I decided I would strip it, and re-caulk all the way around the joint where the shower wall, and floor meet.

I began by thoroughly cleaning the entire shower, then I started stripping away the grout. My plan was just to strip enough to make sure that I got rid of all the old caulk, and any moisture than may have soaked in.

I noticed that after stripping the surface (about 1/32") off the grout, it was wet!! Like moist sand!! The shower has not been used in two weeks, and has not had the standing water for about three months. I'm sure this is not supposed to be this way.

Also, I noticed that along one wall, the grouting is about 1/4" wide, and so far at least 1/2" deep, and I'm not to the subfloor yet!!

What sort of problems/solutions am I looking at?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Ok, I sort of answered my own question. Turns out, unlike my previous houses, this shower is made on top of a "deck mud" or "dry pack" layer. This is good, because I can easily follow directions to make more to put in the hole I've created. The "deck mud" is still somewhat moist under the tiles though. Is that normal?

Next question... How do you grout over the deck mud, or can I just put caulk down after the deck mud has dried?

Last edited by oobray; 10-16-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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I would suggest posting some pics. Everyone here likes pics.

FWIW, grout is used between the tiles. Caulk is used when one wall meets another, or where a wall meets the floor.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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There are several methods used to build a shower of that type. The worst thing anyone can do is to dig down into the shower floor. Not knowing the exact manner of construction digging downward could ruin the receptor totally.

Most grouts will absorb water. This water will evaporate but in the meantime will also migrate due to gravity. Shower receptors made of cement will absorb water and stay wet for their lifetime. Below the cement should be a waterproof shower pan liner. Digging down is not recommended.

Caulk fails from time to time. It just does. Usually it fails when water gets behind it due to moisture migration. When replacing caulk it is necessary to remove 100% of the old caulk and then allow the cavity to dry thoroughly. Installing new caulk into a wet cavity will only shorten the life of the new caulk.
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