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Unread 05-09-2020, 10:06 PM   #16
amistuck
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Here we go again! Sharp tiles continued!

When we last left this saga, my plan was to have the contractor lay a new layer of tile over the same type of tile, with latex-modified thinset and sanded grout this time. Well, they grouted this morning (Saturday), and the grout fill is better but STILL lower than the tops of the tile, leaving the sharp edges exposed.

I realized this about 5-6 hours after they left. I called them back freaked out, because by then the stores had closed for the weekend and we can't get any more Laticrete until Monday morning. They advised me to mist the floor every few hours to keep the grout from curing, and that they would add more grout as soon as we could get our hands on some. Monday morning will be 48 hours after the original grouting.

Will this work? Will keeping the floor moist keep the grout from curing such that they can add another layer of grout to try and even it out with the tile tops? (I read somewhere that misting would actually HELP the grout cure!) Will keeping it moist enable them to dig the grout? Keep in mind these are 1"x2" tiles (see original pictures above), we're talking a gazillion grout joints! Please advise! Thank you!
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Unread 05-09-2020, 10:50 PM   #17
jadnashua
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Assuming it is a cement based grout, it chemically cures...adding water by misting actually makes it stronger, it does not slow the actual curing down. Sorry...curing is a chemical process of cement where it literally combines the water to make a new material and causes the cement to grow crystalline spikes that interlock and hold things together sort of like Velcro, except the crystals are rigid rather than somewhat flexible.

A modified thinset MIGHT (most don't) also need them to dry to provide full strength, but it will have no effect on the actual curing of the cement in the grout.
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Unread 05-10-2020, 08:02 AM   #18
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It's possible you're fighting an unwinnable battle.

Years ago differing tile sizes were actually made as different sizes, then fired. Now many are cut from larger tiles after the fact and have decidedly sharper edges and no "rolling" at the perimeter.

Now, of course, you're looking at the installation through a microscope and having completely flush and flat grout joints in a mosaic like that is near impossible when using a sponge to tool it. It's kinda the nature of the beast.

It may be skill of installer, but might also be an unsolvable characteristic of the tile itself.
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Unread 05-10-2020, 08:15 AM   #19
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I bought burlap, which they'll use on this next round. Sheesh.

By the way, would adding some latex additive to the next layer of grout help it adhere?
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Unread 05-10-2020, 04:41 PM   #20
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A cement based grout generally needs the depth to be at least 1/2 the thickness of the tile to bond.

Now, many of the epoxy or single component grouts can be filled in after the fact as they have a stronger 'glue' factor and don't need the same depth to bond to the sides of the tile...they'll stick to the material underneath.

So, if they're going to cut the grout out to try again, you could use a different type of grout. IF they're not, then filling in isn't likely to bond well.
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Unread 05-10-2020, 06:49 PM   #21
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Thanks Jim and Peter. I have a feeling this floor is lost cause. The tile is just too sharp, and we’ve already tried too many fixes. But we’ll Try one more tomorrow morning.
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Unread 05-12-2020, 10:00 AM   #22
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why couldn't he put an epoxy grout over what he has to fill it up and even with surface?? wouldn't that bond to anything? I know this is not a typical application...
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Unread 05-12-2020, 02:34 PM   #23
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This is a guess...another reason why you need to make your grout depth at least 1/2 the thickness of the tile is color consistency. If you added a thin layer of epoxy on top of it, it MIGHT bond sufficiently (don't know that for sure - the stuff will bond to itself, though), the color consistency and texture might be lousy. This is a question you'd best ask the manufacturer. If there are areas that don't have this issue, you couldn't add epoxy without cutting some out, and then, it may be just as good to do the thorough job of it if you wanted to switch.

Tile that isn't cut is usually made with a slight rounding or bevel on the edges to soften them. If you make the cut, it is good practice to do that yourself. A cut edge to a typical tile will usually appear to have a variable grout width compared to two uncut ones. WHen the whole sheet has been cut, if they didn't soften the edges, doing it yourself prior to install would be quite tedious, but maybe not as much as trying to redo it multiple times! Doing it prior to install would also be tedious, and maybe hard to keep track as you'd probably miss one every now and then, then feel it when done.

It's really tough to literally fill every grout line perfectly to the top on a sharp, square-edged tile. Best to leave those to a wall where it won't be as much of an issue, or chose something else.
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Unread 05-12-2020, 02:53 PM   #24
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Well, if you are unwilling to rip it all out, you hate the way it is now, and you are unwilling to grind out all the grout to half of the depth, you may as well give it a shot adding more grout, any grout and see what happens. Yes, it is against all instructions and best practice. But if you hate it now, I don't see much of a harm, other than wasting time and 30 bucks in grout.
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Unread 05-12-2020, 05:10 PM   #25
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Epilogue (or at least I hope it is!) and one last question:

On the suggestions re: using an epoxy grout, we talked to the tile retailer and the contractor, and the contractor said epoxy is a bear to get off of the tile. So we ended going with more Laticrete. But thank you for the additional options!

48 hours after the initial grouting, which was still too low, and having kept the grout damp all weekend, the contractor regrouted yesterday (Monday) morning with more of the same Laticrete permacolor (a sanded grout that supposedly already contains a latex additive). Then they let it firm up and wiped off the excess with a folded-flat piece of burlap. This worked much better than the wet sponge wipe down. They came back this morning and dry-buffed more off and then wiped it down a few times with a damp-but-not-wet sponge.

The results are MUCH better this time around. The grout is close to even with the tops of the tile. While we can still feel some sharpness on some tiles, it no longer feels like walking on broken glass, and should be cleanable without tearing up the mop/sponge.

Whether this second layer of grout will adhere properly or not is now the question. How will be know whether it's not adhering -- what are the signs of failure? I'd appreciate any advice on what to look out for. Thanks!

Next time, we will know a whole lot more about tile and go with a tile where the edge is beveled! Many thanks again to all on this site for your timely and helpful suggestions. Stay safe & well.
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Unread 05-12-2020, 05:41 PM   #26
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If it didn't bond well enough, it will become evident as that layer will crack and spall off of that beneath.

FWIW, most cement-based grouts these days are modified.
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Unread 02-14-2021, 05:32 PM   #27
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Cove joint grout & tile cracking

I utilized this forum for our bathroom remodel last year and found it extremely helpful and so am giving it another go. Same bathroom (1 year old), different problem.

The problem area is between the shower pan and toilet, an area we never step on. Entry into & out of shower is on the opposite wall. Photos show what's happening, but here are the problems:
1) We noticed a piece of white grout sitting on the floor near the shower pan. It had fallen out from the around where the black tile meets the shower pan.
2) Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the gray grout in the cove joint where the wall meets the porcelain floor had also cracked, for about one foot or so out from the edge of the shower pan.
3) Also, the black piece of tile that sits atop the shower has a diagnonal crack in it.
4) Finally, while taking the attached pictures, I noticed that the white grout inside the shower, both below and above the black tile, is also cracking.

Based on some other issues, we think the contractors made the white grout too wet. But, this wouldn't explain what's going on with the gray grout or the tile that's cracked. What are your best guesses as to what's going on here and what are the best fixes for each numbered problem (besides ripping it all out and starting over, which i would do if I won the lottery). Thank you!!!
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Unread 02-14-2021, 09:14 PM   #28
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Is that an acrylic or fiberglass tray? If so, thinset or grout never really sticks to it; and as it flexes it tends to crack the grout. I dealt with that for 20+ years until we parted ways.
On the floor, it looks like it may have shifted or sunk. If there’s been leakage around the toilet, the weight of the toilet (and the occasional user) can cause warpage of the subfloor.
Or both could be due to something completely different.
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Unread 02-14-2021, 09:36 PM   #29
amistuck
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Cove joint grout & tile cracking

This is a 1951 house -- we replaced the original 50s bathroom with a new 50s bathroom (minus the bathtub). The shower pan is Kohler cast iron with porcelain. The remodel began with taking everything out (including the toilet), demo-ing several inches of mud floor, and rebuilding the supports because some of the underflooring had rotted from bath/toilet overflows. The new subfloor has new joists/braces, so it's hard to believe that the new floor sunk in one year. Any other theories?
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Unread 02-15-2021, 01:01 AM   #30
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AmiStuck

- After reinforce the sub-floor, have you checked its level?
- Your shower pan, the Kohler cast iron is quite heavy. So have you leveled it after placing the shower pan on the floor? If you did that, at least, you can know or verify if the sub-floor is leveled or not.
- Maybe the way you set tiles is not leveled.
- One of your photo showing that you screwed almost right on the edge of your tile. To me, the edge is not an ideal spot for putting screws into. Maybe you screwed so early after setting up tiles & grout.
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