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Help needed Grout Failing On Stone Floor Laid On Ply

Discussion in 'Tile Cleaning & Restoration' started by Simon Heslop, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Simon Heslop

    Simon Heslop Junior Contributor

    Happy Christmas !

    If anyone is bored and looking for a diversion:

    Going to grind and hone a limestone floor in the new year which was laid on ply and has a bit of bounce which is causing a lot of the grout to fail and fall out.

    If the grout joints were all cut out and cleaned is there a silicone product that I could replace the joints with allowing the floor to move with no more cracking but will dry properly so foot traffic doesn't damage it or make it dirty?

    Or would it be sufficient to cut out the old grout and replace with an epoxy based grout and put in a silicone movement joint every 3-4 metres?

    Any advice gratefully received.......
  2. ATS Diamond Tools

    ATS Diamond Tools Tiling Product Supplier

    Nothing short of reinforcing the substrate properly is going to solve this.

    The issue with trying either of the above solutions is the job then becomes "your problem" and could easily turn into a "I wish I never touched it".

    Pull it up and lay it correctly on a properly prepared substrate.
  3. Alan jackson

    Alan jackson Tiling Products Support

    Run Forrest run....
  4. branty1uk

    branty1uk Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Julian Sidney likes this.
  5. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    Yeah, you're Gona havta' pass up on what was probably a good paying job for you. Tell the customer the problem. Silicone is not a permanent solution, yes it will flex with the tiles but it's only a matter of time before the tile's bond to the substrate fails too. Epoxy isn't that flexible in that sense either so will more than likely fail like any other cement based grout. Do the grind and polish if they insist and provided you've made the pitfalls very . Any repair as we said short of a full replacement is going to fail so my guess is they will decide not to get it ground & polished.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
    Simon Heslop likes this.
  6. Joe @ Hillhead Tiling

    Joe @ Hillhead Tiling Awesome Contributor

    Wet grind and polish could cause more harm too quite easily, water getting in plus the weight of machine on the tiles.
    I bet there is tiles loose or about to be alrready.
  7. Joe @ Hillhead Tiling

    Joe @ Hillhead Tiling Awesome Contributor

    Then that big fat Santa dude probably on it with a big sack this morning ....oops
    Simon Heslop likes this.
  8. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    Let us know how you fare out Simon. I've been in corners like that. Your experience and better judgement say to walk away but the carrot dangled in front of you is hard to ignore. I've been able to distinguish which customers will accept if I do what they ask there'll be repercussions and not kick up a fuss. Thats a dodgy game though as its hard to trust anyone.... especially where money exchanging hands is concerned :cautious:
  9. Simon Heslop

    Simon Heslop Junior Contributor

    Its a floor we have done a couple of times (once a year when a tenant moves out) and have told them already the only proper solution is to re-lay however if a several movement joints will give the floor enough shock absorption to protect the majority of the grout and stop it all falling out so quickly then they would be happy. They would be delighted if there was a silicone/caulk we could use throughout the floor instead of cementitious grout but not sure there is a product that would cope with foot traffic and mopping.....
    It won't become my problem, have written them tiling specs for their hotels for refurbs and they know this floor was laid on a poor substrate.
    AMA Tiling likes this.
  10. Simon Heslop

    Simon Heslop Junior Contributor

    fingers crossed!!
  11. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    What width of joint have the tiles got? Have they a chiseled or rectified edge?
  12. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    I still Don't understand why they just won't go and have it prepared properly & re-laid..... As you say, not your problem.
  13. Simon Heslop

    Simon Heslop Junior Contributor

    Its only a 2mm joint and its a straight edge with no bevel or anything to complicate matters. I use a makita glass cutter to remove grout, battery operated and the blades only 1-2mm wide.......takes a while but does a good job without masses of dust
  14. Simon Heslop

    Simon Heslop Junior Contributor

    80-100m2 in a fully furnished basement flat and tenants due in a couple of weeks, only done 3 years ago........levels would change as more ply needs glueing and screwing on to strengthen the floor base. Its not a small or fast job........
    Plus I'd recommend porcelain so do myself out of a nice annual limestone refurb!!
    AMA Tiling likes this.
  15. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    Ok, should have asked are the tiles square, rectangular, modular. What size are they ? What shape is the area in question and what kind of lengths or spans are we talking about. I'm taking a linear expansion won't suffice. Possibly run a caulk every 2 or three rows of tiles in both directions leaving squares of 2x2 or 3x3 tiles with a silicone /caulk perimeter. Tbh we're clutching at straws as in my experience the grout in the remaining joints will still fail.
  16. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    To do it all with a silicone would be possibly more forgiving of movement but be also an expensive & time consuming job. The maintenance going forward would be tricky. Would have to be a quality silicone suitable for stone.

    I'm also wondering is there anything pourable of a viscous nature that would fill the joints but allow a bit of movement. Either resin or cement based? Any future Honing or grinding would not affect it either. Maybe Dave Carr can suggest sonething.
  17. Kendo

    Kendo Junior Contributor

    How about trying the grout mixed with liquid latex?
    Maybe try it on a small area first.

    Sticks like sXXX to anything, retains the colour of the grout, is slightly flexible- not as much as silicon but more than straight grout.

    It comes in 1 litre containers- like pva. It's white and sets in about 20 minutes.

    Here's one supplier after 10 second googling:

    Best to try first.
    Simon Heslop and DavidCarr like this.
  18. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    It's said that non flexible grout with liquid additive added is more "flexible" than designated or one part flexible grout. It may be the answer but if the existing is cracking and coming out of the joint it probably won't last much longer than what's already in it.
    Simon Heslop likes this.
  19. AMA Tiling

    AMA Tiling Top Notch Contributor

    It's hard to put your weight behind a solution when you already know what the only lasting remedy is. I've been in these positions before where doing it right isn't an option for the client. The solutions are experimental at best. Some do what you hope, stem the tide and create short term satisfaction. Others surprisingly May last as long as the installation exists. Luck of the draw I guess ;)
    DavidCarr likes this.
  20. Kendo

    Kendo Junior Contributor

    I fitted out a bathroom showroom- 22 displays floor to ceiling tiles and a tiled floor (I also fitted all the bathrooms)
    The walls were all stud partitions and 12.5 mm plaster board.
    All the joints wall to wall were done with latex and colour matched grout. It still looks as good as it did 6 years ago.
    DavidCarr and AMA Tiling like this.

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