White grout issues around tub and elsewhere

ckmayerMay 3, 2013

Hi - I lurk, but now am so crabby about my renovation, I'm coming out for some advise. I have a host of issues that seem to be happening on a major remodel, but I'll start with the grout issues we are having. We put in a Mirabelle air tub with three rows of white subway tile around it. Simple right? Well, the first grout job crumbled away as soon as it was touched and in one corner the grout turned a rusty color. The tile is under a window and I thought we had water damage at first, but the tiler said it was gasses coming through the grout and that is why it is discolored. Ok - whatever. It was determined that the grout was old and he came out to re grout it and he also used the same (new) bag of grout to tile behind our vanity which is a tanish/green color. Looks really great. The tile guy told me to wipe the tile after a day or two with a cotton cloth. Fine. I wait two days and as I wipe, the vanity tile, grout is raining off of the tile. I think it is because there was excess on the tile, but when I move over to the tub, the grout is totally cracked and crumbling around the base of the tile where it meets the tub. I rub higher up between the tiles and the group will easily come out. I call our contractor and he says that it will be redone, but usually they put silicone along the edges of the tub - because the caulk can crack there. He says that it will be redone with Power caulk, which I have read does not do well where there is contact with water. Well, today, I come home to the tub NOT re caulked....just a bright white bead of silicone. Please tell me that you should not be able to scratch caulk out between tile and has anyone had experience with power grout? What about the whole gasses seeping through and staining the grout story? Is this all a bunch of bs? I am so sick about this - such a waste of time and efforts. I also now have my quartz counter tops installed and have to have a 70 inch wall of grout removed right over it. It should be totally redone right? Do I have to have that bead of silicone, or should the grout be enough around the base of the tile where it meets the tub? Just looks so junky to me.
Thanks -

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Crumbly grout is usually from using unsanded grout in too wide of a joint. In general, unsanded should only be used in joints less than 1/8" wide. For joints 1/8" or wider, sanded grout should be used.

I have seen grout fall out where it was mixed with too much water, and when placed it was not really worked into the grout joints. So the joints were not completely full, and when the excess water evaporated, it left behind a sponge-like grout matrix. It would simply chunk out.

Changes in plane, like a wall to a tub, are usually caulked. That's because dissimilar materials can move independently. Rigid grout would crack. Flexible caulk can flex. To make the caulk less obtrusive, there are color- and texture-matching caulks out there. Example, you use sage green sanded grout from "X" company, they might also have a sage green sanded caulk to match that grout. It might not be a perfect match, but it's better than picking any caulk off the shelf.

Gas seeping through grout and staining it? Ehhh...I'll pass on that. I've heard a lot of strange ideas while mediating the blame game in the past, but I don't ever recall that one being brought up.

If it was a mud bed, moisture evaporation can carry dissolved minerals from the mud pan up through the grout, and when the water hits free air and evaporates, it can leave mineral stains or mineral grit behind.

If there is a water leak at this window, your stains could be a variation of that.

If it's an orange stain, it could indeed be rust. It could be a nail head used to fasten the cement backer board that is rusting, etc, and it's wicking through the grout. Or something else. Iron in the water, etc.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:09PM
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