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Old 09-26-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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A flexible grout?

Hi there. I've got a kitchen floor i grouted about 6 months ago, using polyblend (home depot's) sanded grout. it's about 1/16th" grout joints i think. fairly tight.

The tile is laid directly on a plywood subfloor, which i screwed the hell out of. Problem is, there is a creak in one spot. Enough that the grout is cracking up for a couple tile lengths.

Is Mapei a more flexible grout? what about epoxy mapei? any suggestions here? I don't think i can pull the tiles up and fix it from underneath. I was thinking maybe regrouting and grabbing a matching caulking for the spot that cracks up? Is there another product someone would recommend? i don't mind regrouting.

I'm picky for cleanliness, and i used what i assumed was the best sealer, sealed it 4 times, and it's still getting dirty.
Please help! its a small kitchen and a complete eyesore!!
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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Location: Colorado
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Hi Sarah,

A grout out there that has a bit of flexibility is StarQuartz urethane. I think it's a fantastic product,


That's not your problem. You can't tile directly to the sub floor sheathing. Tile requires an underlayment like cement board or a membrane. If installed correctly, you can use a second layer of plywood of appropriate thickness and grade as the tiling substrate. This requires an appropriate EGP thinset.

But for starters, you need to check you joist deflection. You can use the "Deflecto" calculator located in the blue bar above. You'll need the dimensions and unsupported span of your joists. The calculator isn't for engineered joists.

"Shut it down!"
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #3
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Hi Sarah, welcome. I agree with Matt, the movement in the plywood is the problem. You might take the grout out of the problem area and replace it with caulking that matches but it's only a bandaid.

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Old 09-26-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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thanks guys. I know the subfloor is my problem. I did put a second layer of 5/8" plywood on the floor, so i have 1 1/8" subfloor. I thought i had done this right, and have found out recently you should never tile over wood subfloor.

At this point, i may need to go for a bandaid solution. I'm 7 mths prego and not able to pull the floor up. grouting is as much work as i'm willing to do at this point.

there are so many types of grouts out there that i thought one may take care of my issues!
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Sarah.

You should be able to find a urethane caulk that matches your Polyblend grout. They may even have it at Home Depot. It's what would normally be used in an expansion or control joint. Yeah, it's a band-aid, but you know that.

Best of luck to you and your new arrival.
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
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