Grout [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Monty Smith
01-08-2003, 05:06 PM
I recently had a new shower installed and the grout between some of the tiles in the walls and floor has cracked, separated from the tiles and sunken in. The grout lines were to be 1/8", but due to non-uniform spacing of tiles, some grout lines are wider. Will this cracking cause any problems? What is the proper way to correct? Thanks.

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Bill Vincent
01-08-2003, 06:42 PM
Monty-- It sounds like your installer used unsanded grout where sanded grout should have been used. The rule is unsanded up to an eighth of an inch, and from what you say, that's the SMALLEST joint you have. The problem sounds like the grout's shrinking way too much as a result of the joint size. Although you could try regrouting with the same grout over the top of what's there, the right way would be to score out the existing grout and regrout with sanded grout. This will be just as much of a task as it sounds like, but worth the effort in the long run.

01-08-2003, 07:01 PM
Welcome Bill and Monty! Glad to have you aboard!

Bill, it looks like Monty's got you covered.

Monty, check out the Pro's Hangout and have a cyber beer on the house. :D

01-08-2003, 07:10 PM
I think Bill has Monty covered :D

John Bridge
01-08-2003, 07:32 PM
I think Bob has had a couple cyberbeers. :D

Hi Monty, Welcome. :)

I'll go along with Bill, except that another thing that could be happening is that the tiles weren't put in correctly to begin with. If you'd care to tell us a little more, we could have some tile gods stop in here and pronounce judgment. :D

Monty Smith
01-09-2003, 09:40 AM
Yes unsanded grout was used. The tiles (5" x 5" on walls and 2" x 2" on one foot square mesh on floor) were all in theory set with 1/8" spacing, but due to non-uniform placement and spacing of wall tiles some of the grout lines are less on one side of a tile and greater on the other side. Also some tiles are a little askew. The floor tiles are preset on the mesh backer and the spacing was between 1/8" and 3/16", due to irregular edges of the small tiles. No, this was not a perfect tile job, but I was not sure if I was just being too picky. The general appearance of the tile job is good, but when one looks closely, the mis-spacing of wall tiles is evident. I am just concerned that with many cracks and voids in the grout I am looking at poorer moisture containment and mildew in grout problems sooner than should be expected with new tile and grout.

Can just the cracked areas be scored out and redone with sanded grout, leaving the remaining grout lines with the unsanded grout?

Is caulking of the cracked grout areas an acceptable remedy?

01-09-2003, 09:54 AM

Bill Vincent
01-09-2003, 01:22 PM
Monty-- You won't be happy with the appearance if you have sanded grout in some places, and unsanded in others. The same is true if you try caulking the offending joints. It's all or nothing, or put up with a less than satisfactory look to your new tile.