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Unread 03-29-2020, 06:09 PM   #1
marklevinson1
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Cracks along grout - Bluestone landing front steps

Hey all,

I had installed 2" bluestone slabs on top of concrete block to replace my aging brick and concrete front steps this past Oct-Nov. About 3 months later I had my fridge give out and had a new one delivered. My old fridge was pretty heavy and it seems when the delivery guys brought it down my front steps to remove it from the house it resulted in cracks forming along some of my grout lines. The stone itself still seems solid though. I could use some advice on how best to fix this. I had used Quikrete profinish blended mason mix type S mortar.

thanks,

Mark
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Unread 03-29-2020, 06:12 PM   #2
Kman
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Where are you located, Mark? Any freeze/thaw conditions?
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Unread 03-29-2020, 06:47 PM   #3
Davy
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What was used to bond the stone, the same masons mix that was used for grout?
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Unread 03-29-2020, 07:00 PM   #4
jerrymlr1
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I'm with Davy. What was used to bond the stone other than the mason mix? I have seen a lot of masons plop a mortar bed down with no bonding mortar on the substrate or the back of the stone. Every single time the stone slabs end up popping. Number one reason I try to set the coping stone around a pool that I'm tiling. The good news if that's the case is that they could probably be removed in one piece by cutting the grout joints and installed properly.
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Unread 03-29-2020, 07:24 PM   #5
Davy
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A few months ago I went back to a job where I installed about 600 sq ft of blue stone back in 1998. I used thinset on the slab and on the backs of the stone with fat mud in between. I tapped on a bunch of them and they all were still solid with no hollow sounds. As tile setters, we know that fat mud is a great filler but doesn't bond very well to smooth surfaces. But, stone masons don't see the need for the thinset. It's just an unnecessary added expense to most of them. I've never seen a mason use it.
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Unread 03-30-2020, 02:58 PM   #6
marklevinson1
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I am located in central NJ. The masons mix was used to stick everything together as well as for grout. Are you telling me the only fix is to pull everything up? How would I get that mortar mix off my bluestone without damaging it? I am not 100% following. Should I have used thinset for the grout?
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Unread 03-30-2020, 04:11 PM   #7
Lazarus
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No, you don't need or want thinset for grout. I'm guessing that the most you might need to do would be to pull up only the offending areas...clean the slab and stone and then mix up a very "loose" slurry of thinset and flat burn it on the tiles and slab. Then, immediately put down the mason mix (brick morter) and set the tiles. Tap them down and/or wiggle them into place. Come back the next day and put in your grout.
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Unread 03-30-2020, 05:48 PM   #8
jerrymlr1
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Quote:
Are you telling me the only fix is to pull everything up?
Not necessarily. If the stone sounds solid you can cut the grout out and re-grout. The grout is cracked for some reason though. If it's because of the fridge then the stone might have popped loose. It wouldn't come loose if thinset was applied to the concrete step surface and the back of the stone, essentially bonding your type S mortar much better. If the bluestone is in fact hollow sounding then now you have a substantial path for water migration which is not a good scenario especially in a freeze climate like Jersey.
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