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Unread 03-04-2020, 09:17 PM   #1
Ryan349
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Grout fail from human error

So I find myself in a bad situation. At the end of January I finished a shower remodel. Complete demo and rebuild. My substrate is Wedi boards, Wedi pan, all with Wedi joint tape around every corner and change of plane. The shower has a corner bench with a marble top. There are 4 body jets opposite the bench. And a shower head. Thinset: Ardex 77. Grout: Flexcolor CQ

The issue: I was called back today because one of the body jets wasn’t at full power. She also noticed, while cleaning, I completely forgot to grout where the bench top meets the tile (the whole length ? 30inches). She also asked about a stain below the bench, where the wall meets the floor.

I noticed that these tiles under the bench, and on the wall to the immediate left and right of this corner bench, were wet (no shower in 6+ hours). I kept drying the area but still wet. So I started scraping out the grout. Then, unfortunately, around a cup of water poured out from the grout joint. I couldn’t believe it.

I tested grout lines further up, all grout lines tested were hard (leaving a metal mark from my screwdriver).

My theory / solution:

Water was getting in from the missing grout joint and spreading behind the tile, slowly, but spreading. Over time it was weakening the grout until the grout started to fail. My plan is to scrape out more soft grout, let dry with a fan blowing on it for a few days, then re grout.

What do y’all think?

Thanks
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Unread 03-04-2020, 09:58 PM   #2
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The one important part that I'd like to know about is how the bench was constructed.
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Unread 03-04-2020, 10:38 PM   #3
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Is this a rebuild from this shower you told us about back in 2018, Ryan?
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Unread 03-05-2020, 04:21 AM   #4
Ryan349
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The bench is made from 2 inch wedi panel.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 04:23 AM   #5
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CX,

No.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 09:40 AM   #6
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Did you use a spot-bonding method to set the wall tiles one, Ryan?
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Unread 03-05-2020, 10:01 AM   #7
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No. Spot bonding is not an approved method.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 07:30 PM   #8
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Did you install the marble slab on the seat? Was it set in thinset like you would tile? The reason I ask is most fabricators I've seen will spot bond a slab seat with silicone which leaves pockets for water to collect.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 07:50 PM   #9
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No. The seat was installed with thinset on the wedi and back buttered on the slab. Where the tile on the bench meets the slab there was a missing grout line. The water went through that grout line, went down behind the tiles (over time over the past month) and then made its way down.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 07:53 PM   #10
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I'm still having trouble figuring out where this missing grout joint is and where the captured water came out. You got a photo or two you could post?
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Unread 03-05-2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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Name:  93BC0043-8E62-47C5-9B39-9DA92D7A29E0.jpeg
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The blue is where the grout was missing. The missing grout is where the water came out
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Unread 03-05-2020, 08:58 PM   #12
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How much of an overhang is there on the bench top?

If the bench is properly sloped, I wouldn't think a significant amount of water would get through there, at least not enough to cause a problem.

Regardless, unless the grout just wasn't given time to cure, it shouldn't have mattered. Wouldn't a person see similar amounts of water in the areas where the wall meets the floor? If so, why aren't you having the same problem in other areas?
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Unread 03-05-2020, 09:02 PM   #13
Ryan349
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There was no grout. And there was 4 body sprayers
on the opposite wall spraying directly to the missing grout joint. Grout cured for 2-3 weeks before use.

Over hang is around 1.5 inches. The bench is properly sloped.
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Unread 03-05-2020, 11:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
There was no grout.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan post #1
So I started scraping out the grout
The grout from your first post is what I was referring to.

I'll just say that whatever amount of water gets to the waterproofing layer should either make its way to the drain, or evaporate back through the grout and tile. But that's something we already know.

I don't have a real answer for you, Ryan. Barring someone coming up with a valid explanation, I'd just replace all the grout and see what happens.
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Unread 03-06-2020, 01:01 PM   #15
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Yes, what you are describing is the most likely culprit. Having an open joint at the top of the piece with water under pressure hitting that grout joint will lead to water getting behind the tile. Flexcolor CQ isn't permeable so no evaporation would occur. Over time it would collect behind the tile and soften/discolor the grout. On the plus side, I believe you can thoroughly dry the area, regrout with Flexcolor CQ, apply color matched silicone sealant to the grout joint where the grout was missing (it is a change of plane based on your photo), and you should be good to go. I would also suggest removing the grout from the bottom of the bench where it meets the floor and let any collected water drain from there, then use silicone at that change of plane as well.
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