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Unread 08-06-2020, 02:16 PM   #1
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

I had a bathroom remodel spring of 2019. The sanded grout appears to be eroding in some areas of the shower floor. The attached photo shows the large pits that are appearing. Black arrows show pits that are still the color of the grout. Red point to some where the erosion has exposed a pink color. The largest pink spot is about .75 mm long.

The work was done by a licensed contractor. And FYI I have used only neutral cleaners and scrubbed with soft toothbrush, though that shouldn't cause any grout problems.

I think the tile job must have been sub-par and am hoping the contractor will make it right. I am especially concerned that the grout is just a thin coating over something else (of different color) in some places.

What to do?
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Unread 08-06-2020, 03:33 PM   #2
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Looks like lugs/rubber spacing,within the sheetgoods
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Unread 08-06-2020, 03:33 PM   #3
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Welcome, Eve.

Judging from the rest of your photo I'm guessing your tiles are about 2 inches square and were "dot mounted." That means there are a couple of small blobs of a semi-rigid substance on each side of each tile holding them together in a square sheet about one foot on a side.

Can you verify that to be the case?

A link to the actual tiles would be helpful if you recall exactly what you used. You can't yet post the link, but if you'll just spell it out with an extra space in the www a moderator will light it up for you.

Second we'd want to know very specifically what grout was used.

Third we'd wanna know who provided the tiles.

Let's start there.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-06-2020, 06:35 PM   #4
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

Thanks for your speedy replies Rich and CX.

CX, you are right about the tile having the rubber dots - I have leftovers. I'm not allowed to post links yet, but the tiles are 2 x 2 porcelain mosaics: Surface Art Contempo, Seville Series.

I didn't buy online but from a local supplier, Contract Furnishings Mart. The box simply says "Porcelain Mosaics" but there is a sticker with the more detailed info.

The grout used was Prism, sanded

I am inferring that the preferred mosaic is the one with the mesh backing? But surely the performance of the rubber dots has got to be better than this
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Unread 08-06-2020, 09:47 PM   #5
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I could not locate what I think are your tiles, Eve. Perhaps you can post a link when you're able (you need three posts - anti-spam feature).

When I asked who provided the tiles I just wanted to know if you bought them or the tile contractor supplied them. In either case here it appears to me that he should have cautioned you about the potential for this problem. It's actually pretty well known in the industry.

Some dot-mounted tiles seem to work OK as the dots are low enough that a cementitious grout will cover them without the problem you're seeing. Others, not so well.

A fix for your problem? Have you contacted the tile contractor to see what he is willing to do about the failure? That would be my first recommendation.

Do you know how the shower receptor was constructed? Do you perhaps have some in-progress photos?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 08:46 AM   #6
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

CX

I'm afraid I don't know how the shower receptor was made.

I selected the tile at the retailer, gave him my choice and he purchased them for me for the contractor's discount. I don't think I saw a sample that showed these dots.

I went to this forum before contacting the contractor so that I would be more informed about the situation and what would be an appropriate, durable fix. I find that contractors often will provide a quick fix that isn't necessarily the best. I imagine that if they are willing to do anything (since it's been over a year since the job was done) they will just grout right over it. That might be OK but I don't know what is best.

This will be my third post so I will send the link in the next

Thanks
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Unread 08-07-2020, 08:47 AM   #7
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

CX,

Here is a link to the tile on the Surface Art site:

https://surfaceartinc.com/tile/colle...-and-wall.html

It is very clear that the thickness of the grout over these dots is very thin

Hope this works
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Unread 08-07-2020, 08:53 AM   #8
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From that link we wouldn't even have know the tiles were dot mounted, Eve. And certainly wouldn't have known they were mounted such that the dots were going to be a serious problem.

Grouting over an existing cementitious grout with more of same is not going to be a satisfactory repair of your problem. Not gonna work at all.

If we knew how the receptor was constructed we could at least determine the feasibility of removing and replacing the floor tiles. Perhaps the contractor will give you that information when you contact him.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 09:17 AM   #9
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

CX

Right. So you think replacing the entire floor with a new type of tile, without these rubber spacers, is the best fix?

Looking at what has happened, seems almost impossible to get a reasonably thick layer of grout over the spots.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 10:03 AM   #10
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

CX,

Here are some photos of the tile sheets. You can see that there is some variability in the height of the dots relative to the tile thickness but there seems to be between 1 and 2 mm between the top of the dot and the surface of the tile.

Would you have any suggestions about how to approach my contractor about this? I don't like to be aggressive and demanding but I also want to indicate that I think this situation is at least partly his responsibility. I'm prepared to pay for the replacement tile (not this type). Do you think I should cover all or part cost of labor? It seems to be a problem with the product selected, though I would expect a professional to raise the potential for this problem.

He was very willing to make things right when there were other issues but this is a big fix.

I really appreciate all your help with this.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 05:05 PM   #11
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Eve, a lot is gonna depend upon your relationship with this contractor and even more upon how your shower receptor is constructed.
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...though I would expect a professional to raise the potential for this problem.
As well you should. From his viewpoint, you purchased the tiles and he installed them. If he is indeed a real professional he will also recognize that he was the "knowledgeable professional" in the relationship and responsible for ensuring that his customer was properly informed.

If you pursued legal action, he would simply say he told you about the problem and you told him to proceed anyway. Difficult to prove that didn't happen.

If your receptor was built in the traditional fashion, with a pre-slope, a PVC or CPE liner and a thick deck mud bed, replacing the entire floor is not a terribly difficult matter. If the receptor was created using a direct bonded waterproofing membrane, the possibility of replacing the floor tiles diminishes dramatically, usually to zero.

That's why I asked about the construction. Do you have a copy of a written contract for the work? Do you have in-progress photos?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-08-2020, 03:13 PM   #12
Eve Morgan
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pitting grout in newish shower floor

Thanks so much for all your help CX.

I did email my contractor with a photo and we plan to talk next week. We'll see how it goes.

Eve
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Unread 08-31-2020, 01:24 PM   #13
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CX,

Since you were so helpful to me with my grout issue, I wanted to update you. Contractor very busy, said he'd look at it in Sept.

In the meantime I've been doing some research and learned from grout installation instructions and general grout info that sanded grout should not be used in this situation. I imagine most installers don't read all that since they probably use it all the time. But with this lugged tile, they should have questioned the wisdom of using sanded grout given the depth over the spacers.

So definitely installer error. Hopefully they will redo it. I'm going to ask for epoxy grout this time. I'll offer to pay for the grout, but they should pay for the labor, even though epoxy takes more time. This is a horrible inconvenience.

I just hope they are cooperative. I'm happy I found printed info from the manufacturer about this very situation. Hard to argue against that.

Unless they, like a countertop installer I worked with once did, throw up their hands, say this project is a sinking ship, I'm out of here and leave a thoroughly botched job.

If you care, I can post the ultimate outcome. Otherwise, I really appreciate your input.
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Unread 09-24-2022, 09:21 PM   #14
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resolution

It's been a while since this was posted, but my contractor did make it right. They removed the grout and in the process, the rubber dots, and regrouted. Much better. Belated thanks to everyone for their input.
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Unread 09-24-2022, 10:59 PM   #15
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Thanks for the update, Eve. Of course we care.
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