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Unread 02-14-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
brente
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mystery grout cracks

alright, another cracked grout thread. this one's a mystery to me. just grouted shower walls and ceiling with mapei unsanded. corners will be caulked. 1/8" lines. the tile is 12" porcelin I think from daltile, made to look like marble. rectified i think they call it. on the walls there appeared hairline cracks in a few spots, but not on the ceiling, within 10-15 minutes of wiping. grout is mixed absolutely properly. this happened one other time last summer with another porcelin shower and unsanded grout, but cracked over night. the floors did not have the problem. i've never had the problem aside from these two. is the porcelin sucking the moisture too quickly? i wiped the tile down prior to grouting. any thoughts would help. thanks, brent
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Unread 02-14-2006, 04:53 PM   #2
Scottish Tile and Stone
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What did you install the porcelain with?
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Unread 02-14-2006, 05:18 PM   #3
Hamilton
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Porcelain doesnt absorb water.... its like .03 - .05 absorbtion or something like that. Its not the porcelain absorbing water too fast. How was the weather?
Hot, cold? Any dry wind blowing through the house? Sounds like a grout that
was mixed wet and dried to fast. Were the shower walls floated? If not was
your cbu screwed in nice and tight? any movement in a wall
might cause something like this. Good luck
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Unread 02-14-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
John Bridge
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Hi Brent,

If you set the porcelain at an eighth and maybe just a hair over, it's the unsanded grout that's giving you problems. I use sanded on that type of tile.
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Unread 02-14-2006, 08:42 PM   #5
brente
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the porcelin is set with laticrete fortified thinset. 253 i think. the walls are hardibacker and there is no flex or play at all. we have about 18in of snow and the high today was about 25. in wv. the house is warm downstairs (65) and upstairs its not much less. i'm upstairs. i don't think a sanded grout would go with the smoothness of the tile, but maybe i'm wrong. brent
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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
Kx250
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I have done a lot of grouting in 12 or more years, I learned fast what brand of white unsanded grout works best, (not customs).

Now I'm not assuming you don't know how, just general statements here.

I would post a long in depth grouting method but I've notice people don't read here they just speed read and sum up, Usually with the wrong Idea.

Grout needs to be a little thicker then normal, but not to thick that it can penetrate joins.

Wiping down needs to be as dry as possible if your in a hurry.

I would probably grout this kind of job 2 times, once then quick wipe,
then let set up a bit then re-grout a 2nd time. let dry and see if theres any shrinking and if there was do what ever touch up is needed.

I see a lot of bad grout jobs, mostly IMO people don't care or are in a hurry,
sanded grout easy in most cases, Unsanded I believe takes some skill.

Just my opinion. but if you did put a lot of effort in the job then its odd that it cracked.
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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:09 PM   #7
Indiana Floors
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My first thought when I read this was the unsanded issue with the 12x12s

Ya see JB, I am teachable.
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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
brente
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i took good care with the grouting. extra dry sponges, though maybe the stuff was a bit wet. i go for milkshake style. mapei gives exact quantities, but i drymixed three bags for the shower/tub/floor/surround and then mixed enough to start, which was what i estimated to be about a bag. so i just mixed it to my preference. ya'll say no unsanded with 12" no matter line width? brent
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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
Indiana Floors
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Too wet is bad, if dont crack it will form air bubbles that will pop after you get the check!
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Unread 02-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #10
pitterpat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brente
i go for milkshake style. mapei gives exact quantities,
I think it might have been a little to wet, "milkshake" is a little too loose.

Did you measure by weight and add the amt of water by the weight of grout powder that you used. Eg of hypothetical instructions: 50 # bag / 6 qt's of water. 25# of grout/ 3 qt. of water, 12.5# of grout/ 1.5 qt. of water and so on. Whatever the instructions on the bag say. Not just the eyeball or feel method. Following the directions on the bag works best.
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Unread 02-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #11
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If the grout is too wet,you'll get what's called "pinholes". The less water you add to grout,the stronger it is,but with that,the harder it is to spread. Also,if you add too much water,you distort the color of the grout.

My helper does 99% of the grouting these days,so maybe I'm outta da loop lol?.?
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Unread 02-14-2006, 11:28 PM   #12
square one
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I'm with JB on this one. 1/8 or bigger joint needs sanded grout, it has nothing to do with the size of the tile, it's the size of the joint that counts( sounds like a quote from Tommy Chong). Why are you using nonsanded? You can't be worried about scratching the tile, porcelian is all but bombproof.
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