Inconsistant Tile spacing, what grout to use

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Old 10-20-10, 12:02 PM
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Inconsistant Tile spacing, what grout to use

I have removed all the grout from my new shower floor after a "professional" tile job gone bad. After waiting two weeks to allow all the moisture to evaporate from the one and only attemt at showering, I am ready to regrout. I am now faced with inconsistant tile spacing which creates various width grout joints. I have 2" ceramic tiles with the majority of them spaced 1/16" -1/8" apart. However, there are several joints that are 1/32", barely wide enough to get a knife blade into. The space where the wall comes down to meet the floor is about 1/32" in places. There are also areas around the edge of the shower that have 1/4" spaces. The grout I removed was sanded. Shouldn't I use unsanded to ensure the grout gets into the narrow joints? But will the unsanded crack in the wider joints? Would unsanded mixed with a grout additive such as Grout Boost be of any benifit or should just mix up a batch of each sanded and unsanded and use accordingly? I was thinking of using Mapei Ultracolor Plus (sanded) which they say can be used for joints 1/16" - 1", but I am leaning toward unsanded. Any advice will be helpfull!
 
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Old 10-20-10, 01:10 PM
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Before you regrout, tell us what happened that you had to remove all the grout, and what has been done to fix the situation. If the shower pan took 2 weeks to dry out, obviously water is not making its way to the drain weep holes under the mud. Maybe no preslope under the pan liner, maybe clogged weep holes, maybe the drain is set too high, maybe other things. Whats going on there? Can you describe for us exactly how the shower pan was constructed?
 
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Old 10-20-10, 03:20 PM
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We're all ears. I'm wondering the same thing. There's more going on there than just the grout.

Jaz
 
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Old 10-20-10, 03:34 PM
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It didn't take the full two weeks to dry, just left it alone to be sure it was fully dry and because I was frustrated and didn't know what to do next. I removed the grout because it was very powdery. You could push a knife blade in it with little effort. Didn't have a clue until we tuned the water on (after letting it cure for 10 days and another 4 days after sealing while we finished the bathroom). Probably didn't help matters when there was a few inches of standing water while we unclogged the drain that the installers trashed with dried mud. I took some grout out while it was still wet. It looked and felt like compressed wet beach sand. It dryed to a compressed powder which came out easily with just a rasor blade and utility knife. I think the shower floor, pan and drain were installed properly. The boss man constructed the floor, then sent some underling to set the tile. There is a membrane liner with gravel around the drain and a sloping mud base over this . The drain is set at correct hight. I do not know if there was a preslope under the liner. I do know that the grout was a mess and the tiles are unevenly spaced. I did not notice the tile placement until I began removing the grout. The narrow grout joints are between the tiles on the slope where the 12" sheet of 2" tiles was compressed and where one sheet or cut sheets were placed together. There was hardly any grout in these joints. On the two wall sides the floor tile butts up to the front of the wall tile with a 1/8 - 1/4 joint space. On the two foot-wall sides the floor tile goes under the the wall tile with very narrow 1/32 (knife space) joint. I am learning as I go. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 10-21-10, 01:30 PM
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I do not know if there was a preslope under the liner.
This will cause problems for you, as the mud bed will not dry out as it should. Water will sit in the low spots on the pan liner. The grout lines may appear to be darker and always wet, never dry out between showers. Mold and bad smells could be down the road.

I did not notice the tile placement until I began removing the grout. The narrow grout joints are between the tiles on the slope where the 12" sheet of 2" tiles was compressed and where one sheet or cut sheets were placed together. There was hardly any grout in these joints. On the two wall sides the floor tile butts up to the front of the wall tile with a 1/8 - 1/4 joint space. On the two foot-wall sides the floor tile goes under the the wall tile with very narrow 1/32 (knife space) joint. I am learning as I go.
Sounds like pretty sloppy work. The tile and grout arent part of the waterproofing, so other than maybe not looking as good as you'd like, it should'nt make any additional problems. Use a sanded grout, as non-sanded will shrink and crack in the larger joints. You can get sanded grout into some pretty small joints. Use all sanded, as you'll want the texture to look the same through out. Without seeing how the grouting was done originally, I have no idea what the problem was. How soon after the floor was grouted, did you use the shower and flood the floor?
 
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