Shower Grout Washing Away! Help! - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Remodeling > Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 08-14-2014, 06:20 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default

Shower grout washing away! Help!


Hope I'm in the right section.

We bought a new house in July, and loooong story short, I've not been able to give the shower the cleaning it needed until today. It's a tiled walk in shower that the previous owners renovated, and it's the only shower in the house.

I was scrubbing the tile with a dish scrubbing and a solution of vinegar and dawn dish soap.

As I was scrubbing the walls, I kept seeing a lot of brown muck coming off. I thought it was just mold on the grout that was concealed by the dark color, (the far side that never gets water is a tannish gray color, while the grout all around the shower head and walls are dark brown) but then I began to feel grit beneath my feet.

I bent down to inspect, and noticed what looked like orange mineral deposits or rust spots. Further inspection revealed that the grout was entirely gone in places, and the subfloor underneath appears spongy.

There are quite a few spots, but they are all quite small, and mostly around the drain. Can we get away with regrouting and sealing, or is this a situation where we have to rip it all up and re-do?

(Pics are to come, and we do not have the time or desire to rip up the only shower in the house. Finances are such that it would be a slow process, as I imagine it's not cheap to do.)

Details:
The entire shower is tiled
The grout is quite gritty and seems porous

Last edited by Ariadne; 08-14-2014 at 06:32 PM.
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-14-2014, 06:54 PM   #2
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


How old is this "new house" really? Let's begin there. So far it isn't sounding like you have many options.
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-14-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


The house was built in 1976; when I said new I meant new to us. I don't know how long ago the renovation was done, unfortunately.

Adding pics now. Some are of the spots, and others are where I see some uneveness, perhaps as though the flooring underneath is causing bubbling. Or perhaps the floor was uneven to begin with; not sure. There is standing water around the drain that I don't recall being there before.

I'm okay with regrouting, and sealing if I need to. What I'm hoping is that we dont have to repair the subfloor. I'm not even sure what material it is that I'm seeing beneath the tile.
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
The house was built in 1976; when I said new I meant new to us. I don't know how long ago the renovation was done, unfortunately.

Adding pics now. Some are of the spots, and others are where I see some uneveness, perhaps as though the flooring underneath is causing bubbling. Or perhaps the floor was uneven to begin with; not sure. There is standing water around the drain that I don't recall being there before.

I'm okay with regrouting, and sealing if I need to. What I'm hoping is that we dont have to repair the subfloor. I'm not even sure what material it is that I'm seeing beneath the tile.
There's a good chance the shower has served its usefulness and is at the end of its life. That's what it sounds like from the small amount of information you have offered and the fact that the shower could be almost forty years old.

Grouting and sealing is not going to do anything but cause you to spend money needlessly, that won't solve this problem.

Your next move would be an invasive discovery exploration of what is down there but to do that you would have to be ready to spend some money to re-do the shower. I doubt it is salvageable.

By the way...using sealer is meaningless and will not repair a leaking shower.

Is the house a slab floor or wood structure?

Where are you?
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


Does anyone have a guess as to what that orange material might be?











Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
There's a good chance the shower has served its usefulness and is at the end of its life. That's what it sounds like from the small amount of information you have offered and the fact that the shower could be almost forty years old. I would estimate 10-15 years, max.

Grouting and sealing is not going to do anything but cause you to spend money needlessly, that won't solve this problem.

Your next move would be an invasive discovery exploration of what is down there but to do that you would have to be ready to spend some money to re-do the shower. I doubt it is salvageable.

By the way...using sealer is meaningless and will not repair a leaking shower.

Is the house a slab floor or wood structure?

Where are you?
The family that lived here before us owned the house for 25 years, and remodeled the shower when their teenage son lost his leg. He is under 30, so I doubt the shower is 40 years old.

I don't believe that the shower is leaking; it seems to be that the grout is dissolving. Research on google suggests it might be a cheap, sanded grout that was perhaps mixed poorly. That or the age is finally showing through.

We are on wood, located in the Upstate SC, zone 7b.

What other information can I provide that would be helpful?

Last edited by Ariadne; 08-14-2014 at 07:29 PM. Reason: ETA
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:44 PM   #7
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
The family that lived here before us owned the house for 25 years, and remodeled the shower when their teenage son lost his leg. He is under 30, so I doubt the shower is 40 years old.

I don't believe that the shower is leaking; it seems to be that the grout is dissolving. Research on google suggests it might be a cheap, sanded grout that was perhaps mixed poorly. That or the age is finally showing through.

We are on wood, located in the Upstate SC, zone 7b.

What other information can I provide that would be helpful?
Okay, this is easy, good pictures help!

That is a "Schluter Shower System" shower, which is state-of-the art even today but it has its limitations.
The floor tile adhesive is experiencing a cohesive failure because the tile adhesive is water-logged and the shower slope made of Styrofoam is collapsing under foot traffic. On top of the Styrofoam slope is a vinyl waterproofing material and it is orange in color.

The minimum size tile that can be used on that Styrofoam slope is 2"X2" tile and that is what you have there.

Not to offend but those units can fail if the regular users are sizeable people. I don't know this to be the case, I do know this to be the problem.

The other little whitish dots that are appearing are nothing more than the vinyl connectors that hold each tile to the adjacent tiles.

The routine movement/compression of the Styrofoam floor under foot is causing the grout to weaken and crumble and thereby remove itself over time. The Styrofoam is now spongy and can not be repaired, unfortunately the shower is finished.
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


Okay, thank you for all that information. So what would you advise us to do to fix this situation?
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
Okay, thank you for all that information. So what would you advise us to do to fix this situation?
Well the walls are more than likely salvageable. You should seek out a tile installer that has experience with installing Schluter Systems products. There is an even chance he can go in there and remove the floor and the waterproofing mat and duplicate the shower slope with the same system. This would allow him to use the existing walls. A lower course of wall tile will also have to be removed and replaced.

Be absolutely sure your chosen installer has experience with Schluter Systems products.
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:55 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


I really appreciate your help Bud; this is a big stressful to deal with.

I take it this is NOT something you would recommend DIYing?
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 07:57 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


And, in the event that we are not able to repair until mid-winter; is there a temporary fix we can apply to slightly lessen the damage during continued use? Not as a fix, but more like a band aid until repairs can be done?
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 08:20 PM   #12
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
And, in the event that we are not able to repair until mid-winter; is there a temporary fix we can apply to slightly lessen the damage during continued use? Not as a fix, but more like a band aid until repairs can be done?
As long as the waterproofing (called KERDI Mat) holds up you shouldn't have any worries but things will only get worse over time. Each time the floor is compressed it is stressing the KERDI Mat more and more. The KERDI-Mat is located immediately below the tile and the tile is only 1/4" thick. What is saving you for now is the manner in which the tiles are joined to one-another, it is substantial. But, each joined tile mat is only 12" X 12" so there are no connecting dots between the tile mats. Those are the junctures that will fail first.
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 08:41 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 123
Default


I really and truly appreciate your help, Bud. This has helped ease my mind significantly. Obviously you have some experience with the system!
Ariadne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #14
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,705
Rewards Points: 558
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
I really and truly appreciate your help, Bud. This has helped ease my mind significantly. Obviously you have some experience with the system!
Yup, I've installed many of those systems, I swear by them. I have had few problems with the Schluter Systems products, and the problems I have had weren't really totally the fault of the product.

Good Luck !!!
__________________
XXX
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 08:47 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: zentral Iowa
Posts: 1,458
Rewards Points: 1,002
Default


This was certainly one case in which the photos helped a lot.

Bud, explain what the chances are of the system being under warranty. You mean to say that all those pre-slopes can be smashed by a lard-ass? I would think that if that were the case, I could smash them by jumping up and down on them, no?
cleveman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grout that was not sealed in shower J187 Remodeling 5 02-06-2012 10:08 AM
Premixed adhesive and grout used as grout in shower littlelady Tiling, ceramics, marble 15 03-28-2011 08:53 AM
Repairing missing grout in shower stall CLM Tiling, ceramics, marble 14 10-03-2010 10:08 PM
Grout question poolecw Flooring 11 10-29-2008 07:32 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts