Cracked grout in garden tub shower surround [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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ugly john
04-05-2011, 07:47 AM
Hello all. I'm brand new to the site - I just found it yesterday while searching for ideas on putting up a backsplash in my kitchen.

I have a garden tub in my 15 year old house with a tile surround. These are the plain white 6" builder type tiles. The grout on the back wall is cracked and missing, and the wall gives a little when pushed on. None of the tiles have fallen, and the problem doesn't seem to really be getting worse. The tiles are all in good shape, with no cracks.

Of course, my house was built using green board. Yippee.

So my question (although I think I already know the answer): can I remove the tiles with the missing grout, let the green board dry, reinstall tiles and regrout? Or am I looking at a complete shower redo?

I'm a single dad of an 18 year old who needs a car, so funds are limited. Plus, I'm not sure I want to tackle a project that I suspect is going to get pretty big when I have never done drywall or tile construction or repairs. So, cheaper is better, but I want to do it right also - getting another 5 years out of the existing tile would be a success in my book.

Oh, and I'm a colorblind engineer, so my designing skills are zero. If I was going to do it myself, I would have to find someone to help me design what it should look like.

Suggestions? Hire a contractor? Keep the garden tub or go to a stand-up shower? Do the kitchen backsplash first to gain a bit of experience then jump in with both feet?

Thanks for your help.

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04-05-2011, 08:05 AM
John, by all means, do the kitchen backsplash first. You get a feel for the work by experiencing almost every aspect of tile work, but the job itself doesn't pose any particular challenges with respect to the tile or setting materials. In other words, if you mess up, your house won't fall down. :D

As far as the garden tub, if it doesn't have a shower head, you could remove only the grout and any loose tiles, allow the greenboard to dry, then do a temporary repair. By having a shower head, the wall is exposed to more water than a tub surround, so a repair won't last very long.

The good news: you have an 18 year old that needs a car. You got a built in labor force for all the grunt work. :D The bad news: you have an 18 year old that needs a car! :eek:

If you want some design help, your local tile stores often have design services that you can use. You can also take some pictures of your bathroom and find some pictures on the web that you like and some of use could help you through it.

Houston Remodeler
04-05-2011, 08:26 AM
Got pics?

If you post a few we can give you an idea of the scope of the job.

It may be best to install some plastic sheeting and duct tape as a temporary patch until you can collect the funds.

ugly john
04-05-2011, 08:55 AM
I'll try to post pics tonite.

It's been like this for a while :o, so a bit longer won't hurt anything. I'm on a slab.