Can you put a second coat of grout over a newly grouted floor?

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Old 10-24-09, 04:09 PM
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Can you put a second coat of grout over a newly grouted floor?

Our bathroom has had a new ceramic tile floor put in earlier this week. The carpenter put down a "base" needed for the tile. He has done a poor job of grouting. I think he continued to wipe up the tiles as the compound was drying causing the grout to pull up or crack between some of the joints. The tiles are 13 inches square. I'm not sure if he used sanded grout or not. After reading what I have on this site I will be asking him Monday although it's way after the fact...

Should I ask him to put a second layer on and smooth the joints out? On cement, laying a second thin coat on top of established cement is disaster... it cracks with little pressure. Is that what would happen here? I can't ask him to dig out all the "old" grout.

What should I do?
 
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Old 10-24-09, 04:34 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If your grout line is 1/4", there should be sanded grout there. Absolutely, do not have him add grout! It must all be removed and replaced properly. And it is his resposibility to do the job right, so don't be sheepish in telling him to do so. It has to be done correctly. If it is cracking, it was too wet. What type "base" are you referring to? Did he install concrete backer underlayment on a bed of thinset and use thinset to set the tiles?
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:04 PM
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Thanks Chandler for responding so quickly!

The joints are 3/8 inches wide.. the 'base' is "Insulfoam" Foamed plastic 84Z2 He said it was made for putting under ceramic tile. I think he used adhiesive rather then thinset but am not positive.

I don't know if 'cracked' is the proper word. Instead of being a smooth joint some joints are rough... like drying paint that's been disturbed and it's rough looking .. like some compound has been pulled away by whatever he was using to wipe over it.

Some little areas have dips in them like the grout wasn't worked into them properly. He mentioned he wasn't used to doing tiling. The guy that normally does his tiling and the carpenter had a falling out and they weren't working together. I wish he'd just hired someone else to come in to do that part.

There is just no way I can ask him to remove that floor, even if it is small (10 feet by maybe 5 or 6).

Crud...
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:13 PM
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84Z2 is made to go under roofing tiles (terracotta, etc.). I may be corrected later, but it certainly doesn't have a place under ceramic tile on a floor. Only a rigid concrete backer underlayment should be used under the tile. Again, unless I am way out there on my suggestions, your floor won't last longer than it takes for him to cash your check...
If you don't demand that he remove the tile and do it right, it is your money, and your floor, and our advice is out the window.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:34 PM
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Unhappy Can you put a second coat of grout over a newly grouted floor?

(I couldn't get the quick reply to work)

I was wrong about the type of base put on. We can't find the name but it's a foam type board about 1/4 inch thick. All we can find is a section that says 'base board'.

I'll talk to him Monday about the floor. I know he wants to do a good job (he's also a neighbor and built a deck addition for us this summer).

Looking more at the grout may give me the strength.... there's a section I scratched with my nail and broken grout came off. This was broken before I touched it.

(sorry about giving the incorrect information!)
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:37 PM
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Anything less than concrete backer underlayment under ceramic tile will be a disaster. It is probably why the grout is cracking as well. I have sent a PM to one of our tile guys and he should chime in here shortly, so hang on for his answer as well. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 10:04 PM
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While looking at more information on this problem I came across this:

"Grout can shrink while it is drying, and you may notice some grooves that have small gaps at the edges. If this is the case, you need to repeat the application step. Don't be frustrated - it's fairly normal to have to do this twice. When you are shopping you may want to inquire as to whether they carry any non-shrinking grout. It could potentially save you this extra step."
(on this address: How to Re-Grout Ceramic Tile | DoItYourself.com )

If I find that the correct concrete backer was used (hubby said he remembers seeing it was okay for counter tops) wouldn't this ability to reapply grout be the same in low areas of the joints? I would imagine crumbly grout would have to be removed and replaced. I understand that if the backer is wrong the tile would have to be pulled up because it's "the give" that is making grout crack.

Just trying to see what options might be available should the base be the right one. I hope it isn't just wishful thinking.....
 
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Old 10-25-09, 07:29 AM
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The foam board you are talking about is called "Easyboard?"

Custom Building Products :: Professional Contractors :: 1/4 EasyBoard(R)
 
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Old 10-25-09, 11:23 AM
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Hubby said he didn't know, either.

I looked at your link and saw that it would be okay if that's what he used. (crossed fingers). So then he would just need to repair yucky sections of grout... correct?

(I can't get "quick reply" to work. Does someone know if I need to do something to enable it? I click on the icon it tells me to but it isn't activated by my click.)
 

Last edited by ob1knob2; 10-25-09 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Incorrect info
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Old 10-25-09, 11:28 AM
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Thanks, Mark, I was afraid they laid down insulation board under the tile. Good to have the information on the new product. Looks like something more viable than the dusty cbu.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 11:28 AM
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It could have been how he installed the grout, but we need to find out the materials, incliding the grout that he used.

What did he set the "foam board" onto? What are the floor joist sizes and spacing? How long do the floor joists span until they are supported? There are many things that need to be looked at and taken into account before tile can be laid. A failure in determining if your subfloor is adequate for tiling can result in your tiled floor being destroyed.

Not sure what's up with your "Quick Reply." It is working for me using Firefox.
 
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Old 10-26-09, 10:21 AM
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These floor joists are fir 2 x 10, 24 inches apart. We think they span 11 feet. There's 1 inch plywood over them. Linoleum is laid over that then the backer-board which is the correct 1/4 inch EasyBoard. ??? Sanded grout was used.

Carpenter knew about the bad spots ... said he probably stepped on them too soon or something. Talked to him about the joists and he said he felt no give in them. He's taking out tiles involved and fixing it like he is suppose to.

The incorrect joists spacing.... That's something we're going to just have to deal with... not going to tear up the whole floor.... We'll just put on a different flooring (back to linoleum) if necessary later on.

I'm thinking now that I was way overacting. Rather embarrassing!

Guys... I want to thank both of your for your quick replies and help on this! I don't know if I was just lucky but WOW... what a great forum to find out about! I did learn from this.. watched a wonderful video about mixing grout up and what it's suppose to look like. I want to try my hand at tiling a table top!

Thanks again,
Donna in Montana
 
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Old 10-26-09, 03:28 PM
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Even with your joists 24" OC, your deflection is still good for ceramic tile according to the spans and sizes you gave us. That doesn't mean there's no possible issues, you still have the deflection (bend) between the joists. If you start seeing cracked tiles, that's when I would be worried. For now, it just looks like a bad grout install. Come back whenever you have anymore questions. Don't forget to post pictures when you get them.
 
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Old 10-26-09, 04:57 PM
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As long as you aren't getting any cracked tiles, I don't see much of a problem. It sounds like your contractor is stand up actually knew what he was doing and fixed his mistakes.

I would make sure to have some of the same grout on hand to fix any future grout cracks.
 
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Old 10-26-09, 09:59 PM
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I'm not so sure your subfloor thickness is 1". Are you sure it's not a 3/4" sub with 1/4" ply for the sheet vinyl? Big difference. If the joists are 24" oc, that'll surely cause this problem. The max if the sub is 3/4" or more is 19.2". Did anyone read the directions? Your carpenter friend should not have done the tile work.

In addition to the ply question, your vinyl floor may be causing or adding to the problem. Most sheet vinyls are soft and should be removed along with any 1/4" underlayment under them.

Jaz
 
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