grout washing out


  #1  
Old 02-15-08, 08:10 PM
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Exclamation grout washing out

Hello,

I hope someone can help me. I am unsure what to do about the grout in my bathtub wall surround. I have 4x4 porcelain tile with black sanded grout. the tile spacing is about 1/16" and up to 1/8" in some places. very fine grained sand from the grout washes out when it gets wet. Additionally, when the shower is dry, i can wipe my finger over the grout and my finger turns black. How big of a problem is this? Do I need to completely regrout the tiles? can I clean the grout and apply a sealer to prevent it from washing out further? My tub also is in need of reglazing or replacing. Should I just completely remodel the tub/surround? For the most part the shower still looks like it is in good condition. Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. If pictures wil help, please let me know.

Thanks,
Chris
 
  #2  
Old 02-15-08, 09:12 PM
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How old is this job? Initially, you may lose some sand from the surface of grout, but not after a couple of weeks of regular usage. This leads me to believe that it wasn't grouted properly. How hard is the grout, can you 'dig' it out with your fingernail? Try to cut it in an inconspicous spot with a knife or a nail or something. If the grout is soft enough that you can easily remove it, it seems to me the best solution would be a re-grout, no need to pull tile to solve this problem. If the grout is not soft, maybe you just need to seal it well. Don't pinch pennies on a good sealer. I can think of another product that may help you, it's grout dye. You can buy it the same color as existing, and it actually paints a solid layer of color on top of the existing grout that should hold the sand in. I'll try to remember to check back on this thread and see if anything I said helps.
 
  #3  
Old 02-15-08, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for our quick reply.

I have owned the house for 3 years and the grout job is older than that. 10 years maybe. some areas will come out with my finger nail, but not all areas. Could I remove and regrout just the soft areas then reseal? PerhapsI should try a quality sealer first and see how that works? I am unfamiliar with the grout coloring you mentioned.
 
  #4  
Old 02-16-08, 11:25 AM
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Some basic info first. If you have 1/16" grout joints non sanded grout should have been used.

What do you know about the construction of the tub surround. Whats behind the tile, drywall, greenboard, cement board? Do you know if the tiles were set with mastic or thinset? Grout doesnt just fall out of grout joints like that. Could be the grout was never applied right in the first place, could be defective grout or could be that theres movement causing the grout to crack and fall out of the joints. I dont suppose you know what kinda grout was used? Has this been happening all the long or is this a new occurance?

Sealing the grout wont help. At the very least, you will have to remove the grout and replace with a non sanded grout. Id try to determine the cause of the grout failure before Id replace it.

Yeah pictures would be helpful.
 
 

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