stace242

Tile and grout question.

Stacey West
4 years ago
We have just had some tiling done that looks fantastic. Only problem is I have noticed in a few little areas the grout is not flush with the floor tiles.

It was only completed 2 weeks ago but I am starting to notice dirt is going into these areas (see photo).

This may be a silly question but are we able to make up more grout (we have left over) and fill it in to make it flush?

Comments (20)

  • Stacey West
    4 years ago
    Can anyone answer this question for me?
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  • PRO
    dts builders
    4 years ago
    Hi Stacey,

    To install grout on top of existing grout will only be a temporary measure. There is no 'mechanical key' as we say to bond the grout together and it will crack and crumble away eventually.

    The other point to note is that you will very likely have a colour variation in the grout if it is not mixed with the exact water ratio as the original and to be honest there are not many tilers who measure their water content. If you can live with the possibility that the grout will come out eventually and the chance of a colour variation go for it otherwise it's one of those things that we all live with.

    If you decide to do it, let us know how you go, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
  • Stacey West
    4 years ago
    Thank u dts Builders.
  • Stacey West
    4 years ago
    Thank u chookchook2.
  • georgi02
    4 years ago

    Hi Stacey, If you've had the grouting done by a qualified tiler (assuming you've not done a DIY) give them a call and get them back to fix it. Most professional tilers will happily fix it up - they'll understand that it's a clients right to expect work be carried out to be of good quality and they don't want a client to give them bad review to future potential clients or possibly miss out on doing work for you on other projects in the future. Just remember the advice that DTS Builders has given you and know that whether they do it or you do it the process will be the same: 1) remove the existing grout (if it's a DIY - you can get a bit for a Dremel tool that makes it a lot easier if you've got a steady hand and a lot of grout to remove - or you can get a special manual grout removal tool from your local hardware); 2) ensure that the grouting lines are thoroughly cleaned; 3) buy fresh grout so there's no colour matching issues and do it again; and 4) seal it. Good luck.

  • wendan26
    4 years ago

    Stacey the grout has probably shrunk a little as it has dried as in the case of all grout, but by all means get your tiler to have a look at it to make certain it is as it should be.

  • micshack
    4 years ago
    Be aware that removing the grout to replace it can result in tiny chips in your tiles (at the very least). Speaking from experience, I'd say live with it.
    The grout is probably not dirty at all. More likely it is due to the shadows/reflectance of both grout and tiles. Turn the flashlight app of your phone on and check it out.
  • krc33
    4 years ago

    Hi Stacey, if the work was only completed two weeks ago, I am assuming you must be covered by some type of insurance and warranty if you used certified trades people to complete the job. If this is the case, I would get back in touch with them a.s.a.p. and state the problem. They will need to come back out, scrap out the old grout and redo. You have paid good money for beautiful tiles and you are entitled to expect good workmanship. Good luck.

  • ctwalker1967
    4 years ago

    Yes you can scrape out the old and replace with the new - you cannot simply put grout on top of grout - there is a scraper you can get from hardware store like Bunnings in Australia...... years ago I didn't like seeing discoloured grout as well so I used to get on hands and knees (stop laughing) and clean with cloth rather than a mop cause the mop pushes the dirty water from cleaning into the grout lines - that helped..... but those days are gone once I had children!!!!

    But what you can do it is get a sample pot of paint (flat paint works best cause the grout absorbs but sample pots now usually are in semi flat paint) in the colour you want and small paint brush and simply paint the grout.... do a few lines at a time (don't worry if you hit the tiles - they are glossy) and then have a cloth ready to wipe over the tiles in that area so that you have no paint residual on the tiles. That gives the fresh clean look! (of course clean the grout lines prior and let completely dry before you paint them) Works a treat. I do this periodically - I have tiles which look like your currently.

  • georgi02
    4 years ago

    There is special "grout paint" that comes in a small roll on bottle - I've bought it from Bunnings and used it with success before I could do my bathroom reno but at the end of the day, Stacey's tiling and grout job is only two weeks old and nobody should have to be doing remedial work to fix it after only two weeks especially if it's been done by a tradesman- that's just not cool or professional.

  • ctwalker1967
    4 years ago

    I agree 2 weeks is poor- if the fellow says he will top up don't allow this - it has to be scraped out.

    I heard Bunnings and other companies offer grout pens. I have used my method for 25+ years..... worth a try if you have same pale colour paint (or ceiling paint as this is flat) lying around to try.

  • micshack
    4 years ago
    I think Stacey's problem is in the depth of the grout, not the colour. The grout pens/touch-up options are great, but aren't her problem!
    Best to go back to your tiler ASAP. Be careful not to put him offside or he'll ruin your tiles as he's replacing the grout. It doesn't look like you have very big grout lines to begin with which would indicate someone with minimal experience. If he's inexperienced, replacing the grout may be a dangerous thing to ask him to do (from first-hand experience). Personally, I'd be weighing up the difference between fixing it yourself, leaving it, and perhaps living with chipped tiles everywhere.
  • georgi02
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Stacey's tiles appear to be rectified given how well they're sitting and their size. Grout size doesnt come into play - rectified tiles allow for narrower margins. Traditional tiles that aren't are not perfectly squared which is why traditionally larger lines were used as a wider grout line disguised the imperfect edges. Personally I think it's straight forward - the tiler needs to fix it and if he mucks up the tiles doing that his insurance should cover the replacement of them. Check out the site for more info http://www.build.com.au/rectified-tiles-vs-non-rectified-tiles-whats-difference

  • micshack
    4 years ago
    I'm sorry if I'm sounding a bit argumentative here, however, I have been down this track and can tell you that (like most things in renovation-land) it isn't as simple as you would expect!

    First of all, there absolutely ARE minimum grout sizes for rectified tiles. Yes, they are less than traditional tiles - I think it is 3mm for wall and 5mm for floor tiles.

    In our bathrooms where we regrettably placed rectified tiles, the grout was so poorly applied (ie, not worked into the joins) and the grout lines so thin, that you could push the grout out with your fingernail. The State Mgr of Davco (who supply most of the grout in Australia) came to my home to inspect and advised that whilst Europe had minimum specifications for the laying of rectified tiles, Australia did not. However, as a result of so many people having problems like mine (and many whose tiles popped straight off the wall), the industry experts had been in discussions, and that specifications were expected to be released within a week or two. That was back in April.

    Unfortunately, the tiler we expected to do our job had an accident and so we had to find another. Whilst the new tiler had plenty of experience on new homes (obviously with repetitive tasks), he created a nightmare in our whole house Reno.

    Besides all the rectified tiles having to be completely regrouted, he failed to follow basic patterns in any of the tiles, plus our kitchen and pantry tiles were grouted in the wrong colour (dark grey instead of white).

    A lot of pressure was placed on him to return and fix the job in the bathrooms - by our renovator, the tile supplier, the guy from Davco... After a couple of months he returned to do an hour or two each day over the course of a couple of weeks. Painful! He grudgingly agreed to fix the grout that was falling out in two bathrooms, and managed to mercilessly chip almost every tile in the process. He refused to fix the other problems he had caused.

    I have no way to force the issue, and given the mess I now have to live with in two bathrooms, quite frankly, if I never see him again it will be too soon. There is not a court room in the country that would force him to remove the tiles he's laid upside-down, pay for replacements, and redo the job. Absolutely not!! Many thousands of dollars in tiles versus a $9000 tiling job - no way.

    Your only hope is to withhold payment to the tiler until you're satisfied with the job. But if you're anything like me, I paid him as soon as he'd completed the work, sight unseen, because I was 250km away and believe in paying small business owners ASAP. More fool me!
  • micshack
    4 years ago
    Actually, I just remembered that there IS a Davco grout product that you can place on top of existing grout:

    "Davco has just launched our newest innovative product - Rejuvenation Grout. Now you can bring life to your old grout without the hassles of scraping and damaging your tiles or staying along the lines of the grout when using a grout pen. You can now simply apply Rejuvenation Grout over the existing grout, providing a fresh, new, true-grout finish. Available in 6 contemporary colours. Fantastic in bathrooms but also indoor, outdoor areas and even can be used in swimming pools."

    This is the product that was used in our bathrooms to give extra strength. They had to remove the existing grout wherever possible first though, because it was like powder in some places.

    The only problem you may have is that it's only available in limited colours. Oh, and of course, it's more expensive! They sell it in Bunnings and all tiling joints.
  • ctwalker1967
    4 years ago

    Good to keep that in mind - thanks for the info.

  • georgi02
    4 years ago

    Hi Micshak, No, you're not argumentative at all - your frustrated and understandably angry about your experience and are coming from that place. I didn't say that there weren't minimums, I said that rectified tiles allowed finer than traditional grout lines.

    Happily for me, I've had a similar issue to Stacey and were fortune to have great building team who ensured that my problem was fixed as soon as I raised it with them and they covered fixing the issue and resulting damages from their pocket - it wasn't even a conversation topic - what I got was "absolutely, yeah, that needs to be fixed, no worries" - the difference between great people and the guy you sadly got.

    Your story almost bought me to tears but did bring home the advice I had from more experienced family members on personally checking license and trade affiliations such as HIA and checking the trades insurances as well as being on site every day and only paying when I was happy for the job. It goes to show - just because you're a good person, doesn't mean that everyone you meet is a good person.

    Know that I believe that poor tradesman and badly behaved tradesman who don't produce reasonable quality work should be publicly flogged and branded because of the heartbreak, stress and financial hardship they put people through.

    Stacey needs to be able to give the option of having the problem fixed and the tiler/builder the chance to regain his reputation before trying to fix things yourself - despite your horrible experience, most are tradies are hardworking good people and want to do great work for you to keep good will for their business.

    Sadly for you anyone who is going to prohibit this man from getting work/money isn't going to do much except be background noise. Davco, the tile supplier etc aren't able to stop him from getting work - but you sure can and I'd encourage you to go after him with unrelenting vengeance) - go to the appropriate licensing board and talk to them. Go to HIA if your tiler is a member and the Fair Trading body in your state as a matter of course - they should be able to force compensation. I would threaten to get on every website, blogsite (including TrueLocal), the local paper and social media to tell as many people as you can about your experience with this tradesman naming names and showing what appalling work was done if you don't receive a refund/compensation/a first class quality fix within 14 days - and then if you're not happy follow through with the shaming and make sure he knows about it by sending him links/snapshots/clippings naming him and his business and let him know you're so upset that this will continue to be refreshed on a monthly basis until you receive satisfaction or he's out of business. If he indicated any businesses or people that would recommend him or gave you a list of previous jobs, I'd be sending letters to them (with photos and supporting correspondence) letting them know - and copying him. Builders all talk ;)

    Oh - and you could always do what a friend of mine did - have friends ring the gentleman in question to book work then cancel at the last minute after you've done your shame campaign siting the fact that they heard that he was a shameless, substandard tiler and their going with a more reputable tiler. Evil, but no more than than deserved.

    Stacey - I honestly hope you have more my experience than poor Micshak's. Let us know how you get on.

  • Stacey West
    4 years ago
    I have spoken with the fellow and he is more than happy to fix the problem. As I said it is only in a few very small area's. I just know it will irritate me over time when cleaning.

    Thanks for ur imput everyone.

    Sorry about the unfortunate experience some have experienced.
  • Emme Eve
    last month

    Tile is the most popular option for flooring because of its durability. Grout is basically the mortar found between the individual tiles. Grout becomes stained most of the time because it was not properly sealed with a grout sealant when grout was put down. Generally, foot traffic will always wear off this sealant over time. And once the sealant is compromised, the grout is susceptible to staining.


    Helpful things:


    Routine maintenance - Regularly cleaning tiles will ensure that they last longer. Mopping and sweeping tile floors on a weekly basis will keep dirt and stains from building up on the tiles themselves and in the grout between them.


    Help from professional - With proper maintenance, your tile flooring will last longer. Many carpet cleaning companies provide tiles and grout cleaning services. These professionals are very much helpful and they will add new sealant to tiles and grout it found missing. Even many of these professionals will remove bacteria and dirt from both the tiles and grout.


    If you have still had a problem then it is good to have your home inspection.