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Unread 10-29-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
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Repairing shower floor grout

Hi all - I have a shower with a pennyround tile floor where the grout appears to be washing away in chunks around the drain. Is there a way to repair this by reapplying some grout or should I call a professional to redo the floor? Concern is water may be getting under the tile given we just noticed this issue and it’s likely been this way for a while.

If it is possible to just reapply, any guesses as to what type of grout was used here?

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Unread 10-29-2019, 06:56 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Lenny!

Sanded, cementitious grout.

Looks like a Schluter drain. Which is used as part of a completely waterproof membrane system. Meaning that water isn’t getting anywhere it doesn’t belong unless the integrity of the Kerdi membrane has been compromised.

Ok, grout cracking always means that there is some undesirable movement going on. And we need to figure that part out.

First questions:
1) Are you familiar with any of the construction of the shower?
2) And is the underside of the drain accessible for viewing?

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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thanks - I don’t know the construction as we bought the house after the bathroom was renovated. Also no real way to get under the drain without ripping up the ceiling. I took off the drain cover in case helpful.

Edit: it says Schluter systems on the drain cover, so you’re right.

Would also note that this shower has a rain shower above the drain and all of the damage is in the area where the water hits.
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Last edited by Lkrav; 10-29-2019 at 09:13 PM.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:17 PM   #4
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Done properly, you have a good shower system there. I can't say for sure what has caused the grout to come up in that area, but it's usually due to movement, like Goldstein said.

It's also possible that the grout just wasn't applied properly and there was an air bubble there. The grout held up for some period of time, then gave way. Who knows?

Considering the alternative, which is usually demolition, at this point I'd probably remove any loose pieces and re-grout. What color to use is anybody's guess, but there are different color charts online and in tile stores, just match it as close as you can.

If I didn't see any signs of leaking, I'd rather grout that one spot every year or two rather than tear it apart, just for that alone. But keep an eye on the ceiling below the shower for the future in case it does leak.

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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:19 PM   #5
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Could it just be the grout was just mixed too wet/soupy? I think that's another reason for cracked grout besides movement.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 05:37 AM   #6
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Yep, too much water during mixing or application could cause cracking. But those joints look pretty full and that can be difficult with loose grout. I’d bet on movement before too much water.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 09:51 AM   #7
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I have a theory...a scary thing!

If you take your finger and push down a little on the tiles adjacent drain, is there any movement? Schluter drain has a depressed area to accommodate height adjustment ring on grate assy.

I've sometimes had small tiles on scrim "droop" near grate, and I'm wondering if there may have been insufficient mortar here.

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Unread 10-30-2019, 06:08 PM   #8
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No movement when I push down. There is a bit of a musty smell in the shower now so wondering if water is getting trapped somewhere it shouldn’t but going to go ahead and grout the few spots with sanded grout and hope for the best
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