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Old 02-19-2006, 08:03 AM   #1
mollyDI-Try
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Question shower floor grout won't dry

I recently had a contractor re-do my shower and he installed 2x2 travertine tiles on the shower floor. It looks great, but I notice that the grout lines nearest to the floor drain (in the middle of the shower) take a really long time to fully dry, over 24 hours. I can tell they are wet because they appear dark. The contractor sealed the tile/grout with Aquamix penetrating sealer, and when I first noticed this problem I applied an additional coat of the sealer to the floor (after it completely dried). I am still seeing the problem - any suggestions? A third or fourth coat of sealer perhaps? Or do I need a special grout sealer?

Thank you,
Molly
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:08 AM   #2
kevjob
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what kind of mortar was used under the tiles? is it just around the drain?
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:08 AM   #3
John Bridge
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Hi Molly,

I don't think you have a problem. It always takes a little longer nearer the drain. The fact that the tiles do dry out tells me it's nothing to worry about. I would not apply any more sealer. The floor needs to breathe.
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:50 PM   #4
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thanks for the quick reply

I believe thinset was used under the tiles (not mastic) so it looks like I am ok, thanks for the re-assurance.
Molly
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:33 AM   #5
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Similar - but different

Same symptoms in a floor I just did. Started out that way at least. Grout looked wet around drain after rest of shower was dry. I figured that was ok. Now a third of the floor has the same appearance, and the shower has not been used in over a week. (Bone colored custom grout, with many splotches of darker color.)

So I chiseled out a few pieces from the darker areas, and found that the color was consistent all the way down to my tec superflex base. Then I went to an area of the shower base that was the correct color and chipped out a section there, only to find the darker color just under the surface.

I am really pissed here. I have used custom and tec for years with no such problems ever before. I know if I mix a bag of grout and pour it into a large heap and let it dry it will be uniform in color throughout.

My under-educated guess here is either of two things.

1. The drypack base got wet (still figuring out how) and through some mystical phenomenon had some reaction with the grout.

2. The guy I did the job for owns a cleaning company and in the month that the job has been done he has used some crazy cleaner which has "sucked up" the color to the top, which is now going down the drain.

Either way, I am chiseling the whold floor area out today and regrouting, but I just want to know why this happens, because obviously, any callback is a bad callback.

Thanks
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:41 AM   #6
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You had a lithger color on the surface, but the correct color below the surface? That sounds a lot like too much water in the sponge during clean-up.
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:52 AM   #7
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No, let me clarify. With the exception of the darker (wet looking) splotchy areas, the color on the surface is the color desired, and matches the color shown on the bag.

The splotchy areas is darker, and looks "wet". After chipping away a couple of the "good" areas, i found the color below the surface is darker. Not the color of the bag.

And - The rest of the bathroom is done in same fashion, but no other problems anywhere other than this shower floor. The shower floor is done over dry pack. The walls are durarock. The floor is plywood.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
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OK, the shower has not been used for a week, but how long was it used before you noticed the problem?
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:28 AM   #9
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Weep holes plugged or the liner on the floor?
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #10
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Yeah, that's sorta where I was heading...
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:10 AM   #11
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Angry weeping

yes, the weep holes are clear, i specifically checked this several times. The floor was pitched, then the vinyl sheet, then well pitched over that(with many spacers around drain holes) then the tile. And I checked the weepholes just before screwing down the top portion of the drain.

as far as the timing goes, the grout around the drain never looked perfect.

I seem to think the problem came from the floor being wet/damp a few hours before I showed up to grout it. I vacuumed thoroughly, but you know, it wasn't "dry"

If the floor was damp before grouting (due to a curious homeowner testing the diverter without a bucket) would that cause a discoloration of grout?

I hope this is the reason, because I would hate to think it will continue to happen.

but I will play along. the weepholes are clogged (hypothetical). How does that permanently darken the grout color? I can understand the grout getting wet if water is sitting in it, but after drying for a week?

Is the solution a pre-mixed color?
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:21 AM   #12
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OK, not too much water in the wash, since the color runs thru.

Not a drainage issue, since the weepholes are clear.

Discoloration is spreading, which makes me think it's still a drainage issue.

I don't think it is a bad batch of grout.

I'm stumped.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:42 AM   #13
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Appreciate

Me too.

But I have to say I really appreciate the appraisal & opinion.

If the grout was never sealed? Would that? It was a joint effort and I personally didn't do it, I was told it was done, but am doubting everyone at this point.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:14 PM   #14
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Angry Madness!

OK now I am decending into the twighlight zone.

I chiseled and scraped out all the dark sections of grout. Then I made a new batch from a different box, same color. I grouted in all the holes and spread a thin haze over the entire shower floor. I left. When I went back today.

Around the drain, and at 3 small locations, randomly, the new grout had still the wet color, as before. Minimal water in the mix. No water in the shower for the last 3 weeks.

What could make grout "dry" with that wet appearance. And I misted the floor with a spray bottle today just as the Custom box says to do... The dark spots showed through the wet floor, looking just a bit darker.

Bleach? Is that an option?

Ready to just sprinkle some holy water,give a refund on my involvement in the shower floor, and run into the local church.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:23 PM   #15
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picture before regrout

Here is a photo before the regrouting - 2 months after install
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