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Unread 06-19-2021, 11:46 AM   #1
Darcy
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additive to make grout more flexible?

It's always good to have an excuse to visit the most useful place on the Internet. Greetings, John Bridge people.
I am "repairing" a shower which I did not initially install or tile. It uses 4 inch glossy ceramic tiles on the walls and natural stone tiles on the floor. It's sort of hideous, but that's what we've got for now.
Previously, the plane change between the floor and wall was filled with grout. It was not cracked, but had been placed in a weird way such that there was an angle between the wall and the floor that allowed water that dripped down to sort of "hang" on the grout, which created mildew problems. The grout was not at all cracked, but needed some kind of fixing. I removed the full layer of grout and am now ready to refill the joint.
I know there is a school of thought that says fill the joint with 100% silicone caulk because of movement at the plane change. I am open to this.
I know there is a school of thought that says fill the joint with grout (only make sure the surface doesn't create opportunities for water to collect as it did before). I am open to this and because there was no cracking before I am inclined to think I could do that without too much risk of cracking.
What i am wondering is if anyone has ever modified a fairly standard cement grout (such as the Prism grout from home depot which I happen to have a box of) with Keraply or some other thinset latex additive. Is that a crazy idea or brilliant? I am open to any suggestions and grateful for your advice.
Warmly,
Darcy
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Unread 06-19-2021, 12:36 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Darcy.

I'm gonna vote for crazy. I don't recommend you put anything into a grout that is not specifically recommended by the grout manufacturer. Trouble enough we have with cementitious grouts without potentially adding to the problem.

Pick a good grout (Prism is one) and use it per the manufacturer's instructions.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-19-2021, 10:53 PM   #3
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I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darcy
...such as the Prism grout from home depot which I happen to have a box of...
Many times someone ‘happens’ to have some grout, it’s because it’s been in storage from a previous job. Grout goes bad kinda quickly if it’s opened and usually only lasts a year or two (depending on packaging) if unopened. Is your’s fresh...or kinda old?

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Unread 06-20-2021, 08:53 AM   #4
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Someone here, a month or two ago, mentioned putting paint in their grout to make it more white. Wonder if they followed thru with that and what the outcome was. I’m not advocating that, just came to mind.

On point here tho, I’m with CX and Tonto and wouldn’t use anything but water.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 08:56 AM   #5
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And..... I am of the opinion that iffin the grout at that change of plane intersection does crack, it looks better than caulk almost every time.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 10:21 AM   #6
Darcy
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Quote:
Many times someone ‘happens’ to have some grout, it’s because it’s been in storage from a previous job. Grout goes bad kinda quickly if it’s opened and usually only lasts a year or two (depending on packaging) if unopened. Is your’s fresh...or kinda old?
Good question - about a month old and sealed up pretty decently and stored inside from a recent redo of our other bathroom.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 10:23 AM   #7
Darcy
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Thanks y'all. I am going to move forward using the Prism grout to fill up these joints. I am hopeful I won't have cracking issues since the previous job was sloppy and crappy but also did not have cracks.
I always appreciate the expertise here.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
And..... I am of the opinion that iffin the grout at that change of plane intersection does crack, it looks better than caulk almost every time.
Especially on such a wide (1/4" to 5/16") line.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 04:26 AM   #9
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handyman does bodgy job no cracks........tradesman fixes bodgy job.. cracks, its murphys law
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Unread 06-21-2021, 07:14 AM   #10
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It looks like I'm too late to change the outcome here but I did want to say that the right solution would be silicone in the change of plane. There are color matches for just about every grout color out there, either from the manufacturer or third party suppliers. Most of them now aren't shiny so they look much more like the grout than they used to.

Hard grouting shower corners seems to be one of those hot button topics where many installers line up against doing it and many line up in favor of doing it. However, the industry says to use silicone so if you're not doing that, you're carrying the liability if something goes wrong. And it will. The industry didn't take that position because it was popular or to make you buy expensive caulk, they did it because corner cracking in showers is a very common result of using grout in the corners.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
the right solution would be silicone in the change of plane
Totally. And had there been any cracking before I would have absolutely done that. It's my home so if it has to be redone later that's on me. I appreciate your advice.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 08:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
handyman does bodgy job no cracks........tradesman fixes bodgy job.. cracks, its murphys law
I have no idea who did this before (possibly the renter who lived in my home before I bought it) but it was not a good job. I am an amateur, but the tiling I have done has stood up well over time thanks to the advice I've gotten here. We'll see how this goes. I think it's definitely a gamble, but given the mold problems existing where there is caulk in this bathroom, I'd prefer to gamble with cracks than mold.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 09:38 AM   #13
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Darcy, the use of grout or caulk has little to do with mold issues. The most easily controlled requirement for mold growth in shower areas is moisture. A properly sized and effectively used exhaust fan in the bathroom is about the best mold control device you can have.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 10:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Darcy, the use of grout or caulk has little to do with mold issues
I would have to disagree with that. If caulk isn’t done PERFECTLY it tends to break away and you end up with cracks that allow water to enter. The water then migrates to other areas where it’s sealed up and can’t escape leaving areas that never dry. I think that’s what Darcy is talking about.

Dan would have you believe that grout at change of plane will always crack. That’s not true. I’ve never had a grouted corner crack. AND if it did I would prefer it over caulk. Anyone.... most anyone can make grout look good. Caulk on the other hand can be very tricky and very messy. Besides, a cracked grout joint is purely aesthetic. Nothing more.
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