Shower floor just installed, grout looks soaked/wet all the time?

keugenesDecember 3, 2009

We just had our master bathroom remodelled with a porcelain tile and the white grout on the shower floor. We used our shower for four days, when there was a crack in one of the grout lines. We stopped using it so that the contractor could come back out. I then noticed that the grout on the shower floor still looked soaked/wet, and four days later it still does. I even tried putting a space heater in there for about 6 hours last night and it didn't help that much.

My contractor says that it's normal? Still looking soaked and wet is normal after four days? Did they not properly seal the grout? Is the shower pan not draining properly?

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you!!

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You pan's holding water. I'll guarantee you that's what it is. Let me ask you-- your shower pan-- is it copper under the mortar?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:50PM
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I don't think it's copper, we had it contracted out. They said there's a pan and weep holes. How long should the grout look wet if built properly? A few hours, a day, etc?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 1:19PM
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20 minutes to half hour, max.

Whoever you asked knew exactly why you were asking about the copper. (most copper pans, in addition to being flat bottomed, don't have weepholes, either)

However, I'd bet those weepholes are clogged, and it's probably a pretty safe bet that the pan membrane isn't sloped either. I'm not talking the finished slope directly under the tile. I'm talking about what's called a "preslope" under the pan membrane. One way or the other, at the very least about 8" to a foot all the way around the drain will have to be removed and the weepholes cleared to fix the problem. Tell your guy this time to put gravel over the weepholes before he muds them back in.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 5:04PM
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Here's my latest response from my GC on how the shower was installed and his thoughts on fixing the project.

The Shower pan was installed with a pre-slope. A positive weep hole protector was used during installation. The waterproofing system is a 30 mil pan liner that extends up the walls 18" on all sides.

I did ask the tile installer about the typical time for a shower pan to dry out, 24 hours is not unreasonable, but 5 days is not typical. If the discoloration is caused by persistent moisture there is something not functioning properly. That being said, he is very confident in the installation of the pan liner and was personally on site while the work was being completed. He feels the discoloration is likely not related to the Pan holding water. However, we will reserve judgment until we have had a chance to inspect the shower together.

"Assuming" we do not have a problem with the pan draining. One Idea our tile installer offered would be to replace the grout in the floor with an epoxy grout. Epoxy grout is going to discolor less with moisture, if we remove all of the existing grout on the floor we should get a more consistent color when we regrout, and epoxy grout will allow less water to penetrate through the finished surface to the pan liner. Of course, first we have to be sure that everything is working as designed.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Maybe 24 hours for the pan. Even at that, I'm skeptical. But the grout should be dry inside a half hour.

He feels the discoloration is likely not related to the Pan holding water.

Well, we all know I don't know everything (although I like to THINK I do!), but I can't think of another reason the grout would stay wet.

One other thing-- If you're going to carve out that grout and regrout with epoxy, make sure that pan is bone dry first. Otherwise you're going to have problems with the epoxy bonding to the tile and to the mud underneath.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 7:44PM
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