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Old 11-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
lsnyc
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Grout & Re-grout for Joints 1/16-1/32"

Hi All-

My floor, a rectified porcelain tile, was installed last month. The [Unsanded] grout immediately began to sag & over the next few weeks started cracking & disappearing. All remaining areas feel powdery to touch. The joints range from 1/16-1/32 [a few may be slightly smaller].

In hopes of getting my contractor to agree to re-grout, I am trying to research best options & alternatives, understanding that the grout itself was not the problem.

I know now, [I wish I had read this forum prior to the installation] that many of you are big fans of Spectralock & Fusion, both of which are recommended for joints 1/16- 1/2". I have found only 1 post here from someone who used Spectralock on 1/32" joints with success.

My question is twofold:
  1. If my floor is regrouted [properly] & at least 2/3 of the current grout is removed, would I be able to switch to Spectralock or Fusion &

  2. Can Spectralock or Fusion be used on joints smaller than 1/16"?

Appreciate any feedback u may have! Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
Higher Standard Tile
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Jen, I have a small amount of experience with Fusion so I am referring to Spectralock in my answers.

1-Yes.

2- I think Laticrete says minimum joint is 1/16". They do recommend to use less of the Part C Filler Powder for small joints. I think it could work for 1/32" but test a small area first, also contact Laticrete 1-800-243-4788 and ask one of their tech reps for advice.

And make sure the installer has experience installing epoxy and/or at follows the directions.

It sounds like the first installer mixed the unsanded grout too wet and wiped it too soon.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Isaac! I will call Laticrete tomorrow. Unfortunately I doubt the contractor will be willing to do a test. They haven't even agreed to re-grout yet [all they have said so far is that they would just grout over & fill in the existing grout which I know is wrong] which is why I am trying to educate myself on proper methods/products. Want to make sure it is corrected properly.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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Welcome, Jen.

The reason grout manufacturers specify the use of their product in joints as small as 1/16th" is that the tile industry specifies that as the minimum joint width to be used in any tile installation. Your joints should all be at least that wide.

Did your tile contractor mention that?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
The reason grout manufacturers specify the use of their product in joints as small as 1/16th" is that the tile industry specifies that as the minimum joint width to be used in any tile installation. Your joints should all be at least that wide.

Did your tile contractor mention that?
Hey Cx-

My contractor mentioned nothing & foolishly I thought they knew what they were doing. I asked if they were experienced installing rectified tile which they said they were. Truth is, I believe they do know what they are doing for the most part but chose to cut corners & rush through the job, thinking I wouldn't notice. Not only do the joints vary in size, the grout is cracking [1" holes throughout] & sagging, tiles are not flat & some areas slope. I pointed most of this out as they were installing since I couldn't help but notice that the grout was not filling up the joints & that they were not consistent but was told it couldn't be helped

Do you think I should accept the varying joint sizes [more importantly can I squeeze Spectralock into them]? It's going to be a battle just to get them to regrout. I can't imagine they would agree to re-install.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:12 PM   #6
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Post some photos of what you're concerned about. Some close ups & some from back a little. Have something in the photos to give us a sense of scale.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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I am most concerned about the sagging/cracking grout. The uneven joints really don't bother me unless they will comprise performance of either the grout or tile. I doubt most people will detect a difference of 1/16 or 1/32".
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Jen,

I think Isaac nailed it when he said they used too much water in the mix and too much when cleaning the joints with a sponge. Some installers add too much water to the grout to make it less physical labor to get into the joints. Bless their hearts. The too often results are exactly what you have.

They should have followed the steps as outlined in this Grouting Tutorial where the grout is mixed to a very stiff consistency

There isn't a JBF Fusion Tutorial yet, but there are some CBP videos on YouTube. If those guys couldn't handle regular grout, I wouldn't let them anywhere near Spectralock or Fusion. Or any tile in my house for that matter.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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Paul-

I agree. I watched them do it. They kept adding more water, never allowed it to slake [I read your tutorial ]. I could see how loose it was. They also grouted some areas right after they installed it which I believe is a no-no. Guess my joints are not happy joints.... and neither am I [Also learned from your tutorial that the bottom of my backsplash should have been caulked not grouted]

So......assuming a professional does the regrouting, will Spectralock work on those teeny-tiny joints?

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Old 11-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
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Yes it should work well
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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You saw them set the tile? Did they get good coverage under there?
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #12
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Must have missed this in the tutorial.. What do you mean by "good coverage"?
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #13
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Jen,

That's covered in this video
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Did they get good coverage under there?
Not sure. I don't recall any swirls but one thing that concerned me was that they did not completely clear the concrete after removing the old tile. There were deposits of black/grey stuff [old thinset?] so the surface was not flat. I'm guessing that could have affected coverage???
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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What floor covering was on the floor before the tile?
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