Grout, the mortar that fills in the gaps between tiles, can last for decades when mixed and applied properly. However, it’s possible for it to crack, crumble or otherwise break up after being installed. For those that are noticing the grout in their floor tile is breaking up, it can be very frustrating, especially if the tiling was done recently.
It can be frustrating for business owners and home owners to see that the gaps between tiles are becoming more evident and the binding substance is cracking or crumbling away. While it’s easy to point fingers about what caused the problem, it’s more important to try to identify the cause, so that repairs can get started.
Causes of Bad Grout
Here are 4 causes for why the grout between tiles may be breaking up:
- Improperly mixed: Powdery cement is mixed with water to create the pasty substance that is packed in between tiles. When the ratio between the two is off, it can lead to instability in the binding agents.
- Old mix: Old mixtures will often result in weakness, and this can lead to crumbling and cracking over time. In addition, inconsistent mixtures between old and newer varieties can lead to problems.
- Defective mix: If the cement is not properly created at the manufacturer, there can be an imbalance in the necessary ingredients. When mixed with water, it can lead to a faulty mixture that doesn’t hold up over time
- Subfloor deflection: There are certain conditions that must be met when preparing the subfloor for tile and if it fails to meet appropriate standards, than deflection, or the movement or bounciness of the floor, can cause things to crack.
Repairing Grout Problems
Repairing cracked or crumbling grout requires removing the old stuff between the tiles and applying fresh, properly mixed grout. The grout is applied between tiles just as if they were being laid down in a brand new installation. For subfloor issues, the repair is more intensive and includes major adjustments. It’s best to leave that to professionals who know what ti takes to repair the problem.