Grout keeps crumbling in one area

Discussion in 'Hard Surface Care' started by Grout Brothers, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Grout Brothers

    Nov 21, 2011
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    We did a simple ceramic tile & grout clean and clear seal job for one customer, everything came out well then his wife called us and wanted us to come out again and fix some of the grout that she's been having problems with. I came and inspected and saw that in some areas the grout was just crumbling. The customer told me that the floor was installed about 6 months ago and she has been having problems with those areas since it was installed. I re-grouted those areas with the original left over grout that they had and it seemed fine. After a week or so she calls back and says it crumbled again, so I thought that the grout was expired. The next time I came in I brought my own grout that's been sitting in my van for about a month and it gets really hot in my van and humid, but the grout didn't turn hard or anything so it seemed fine, so I used that grout. After a week she calls me again says that it crumbled in the same place... (in her laundry room) so I went out to inspect and it was crumbling on top again. We did the same process, used the same grout in other areas but those areas are fine, the only problems are in the laundry room. So I'm planning to re-do those areas in the laundry room with unopened, fresh grout because I'm guessing that the grout is too old or has seen too much humidity. Has this ever happened to you? What is causing the grout to crumble just in that specific area? I scraped the old grout down to the thinset and cleaned it out before applying new grout, I've never had this happen to me before. Here are some pictures.

    http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w480/odmit16/20120723_145241.jpg
    http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w480/odmit16/20120723_145229.jpg
    http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w480/odmit16/20120723_145143-1.jpg
     
  2. Tron

    Tron Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2010
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    There's probably flex in the subfloor.

    Not properly reinforced.

    The flex will crack out the tile bad.

    Side thought: could her washer/dryer be an older one that vibrates horribly?
     
  3. Grout Brothers

    Nov 21, 2011
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    The tiles do not move, and the grout isn't really cracking, it just crumbles on top. Just looses it's stickiness. The area that i'm talking about is about 1 ft away from the washer and the washer/dryer doesn't look old. Everywhere else in the laundry room the grout is fine except like 3 or 4 areas that are about half a foot long.
     
  4. Pinosan

    Premium VIP

    Nov 22, 2011
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    pm the grout guy or wait a little he may chime in later. he'll probably know what's up. to me it sounds like the blair witch is messing with your work.
     
  5. Tron

    Tron Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2010
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    Improper installation or demonic forces.
     
  6. groutguy

    Premium VIP

    Mar 9, 2008
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    Looks like it got wet before it fully cured or maybe she has a dog that may have pissed on it? I'm assuming you know how to mix and install grout, as some folks like to "overwork it" with the sponge drawing the "cream" to the top leaving it weak and crumbly.

    Like you said it could be bad grout too, I've seen it before.
     
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  7. jmo

    jmo Active Member

    Dec 15, 2010
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    Sounds like some kind of moisture issue to me.
     
  8. Grout Brothers

    Nov 21, 2011
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    the customer has 3 dogs and she said that she had the laundry room door closed until the grout dried (lightened up).
     

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