Kitchen Floor [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-18-2010, 02:56 AM
Ok, so I decided to hire someone to tile my kitchen instead of doing it myself. I supplied the tile and the grout and he provided the mortar and the labor. I've done tile once before in my bathroom and it wasn't so fun; I had to replace the grout one week later more than likely because I mixed wrong.

Anyway the installer came on Monday to level the floor, then came back on Tuesday the lay the tile. I was working in my office all day and was not watching the progress. When he did finally say he was leaving he told me it was all done. So I asked when he was coming back to grout, well he said he finished the whole thing, which surprised me. He said he waited 2 hours from the tile being finished before starting to grout. I asked him why he didn't wait the 24 hours which seems to be the norm (maybe its for DIY'ers like me). And he replied that it wasn't necessary. Anyway I haven't walked on the floor since he finished, but I did walk to the edge to check out the grout and it seems to have the same consistency of my failed grout. Its very sandy to the touch and can basically be dug out with my fingernail with little effort. Basically the same issue my bathroom had. When I re-did the bathroom grout following the directions to a 't' it was extremely solid after 24 hours.

I'm wondering if he did a shoddy job?

Just for background: concrete subfloor, leveled with the self leveling stuff, ceramic tiles (12"), 1/8" grout lines, polyblend grout, living in San Diego (if that matters)

Wondering if I am being paranoid? I'm putting my cabinets in this weekend, and I tested an area that is going to be covered with the cabinets.


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02-18-2010, 05:20 AM
Two hours? No way. The only way that can happen is if he used rapid set mortar over the whole thing, which is doubtful. I've done many jobs and come back the next day to grout, but never after two hours. I would be concerned about the tile de-bonding due to them being walked on too soon.

Can you see the entire installation without walking on it? Do the grout lines look uniform? Do you see any tiles that have possibly been moved because they weren't allowed to set long enough?

As for the grout, it's possible that too much water was used when it was mixed, or when it was cleaned. After the grout has set for 24 hours, check it again to see if it has hardened. Also make sure the temperature is up to normal during the curing time.

02-18-2010, 06:45 AM
Yeah, like Kevin said, the problem is usually crooked tiles or even hollow sounding tiles when you tap on them. If any are hollow, they have broke bond.

02-18-2010, 06:51 PM
I can see 90% of the floor from my living room. The lines look straight, and its been a full 48 hours since the installers left. I tried an edge piece(will be covered by cabinets) and I can basically stick my car key into the grout with minimal effort. Is this a sign of failed grout? or can it take longer to cure? It's very crumbly. Looks good I guess, but I didn't pay for something that is going to fall apart in a matter of months, if not weeks.

Now I was planning on calling the company back and complaining, but wondering if they are going to try and say it was bad grout? Appreciate any assistance with this one.


Houston Remodeler
02-18-2010, 11:38 PM
Is any of the grout left over? Can you make some grout and see if it sets properly?

02-19-2010, 04:11 PM
Yeah, there's about a 1/4 of the bag left. I was going to try and mix up some to see if I got a bad bag. The installer told me he will come back out tomorrow and remove the grout and try it again.

Nothings easy!

Houston Remodeler
02-19-2010, 06:14 PM
I remember my dad telling me

This is why they call it "work"