Unfortunately, grout can crack. Cracked grout is unsightly and can make your beautiful, finished bathroom or kitchen turn look old and unkempt. Why is this happening? If you want to truly find out why your grout is cracking, it’s best to get the area inspected; however, there are few common reasons as to why the grout is cracking in your home.
One reason that cracked grout happens is because of a weak grout structure. When too much liquid/water is in the grout mix, it causes tiny pinholes in the grout; after the grout dries, the grout is more susceptible to cracking because of these little holes. Cement also has to be at the “perfect” hydration level for the grout to be strong; too much water can make the grout weaker.
Another reason grout can crack is because of a thinset (glue) that’s applied over the mortar during installed. If not enough glue was applied, it will pull the tile away from the mortar and create air gaps under the tile. This will result in broken pieces of mortar, cracked grout, and broken tiles. If there isn’t enough glue beneath the tile, the tile will loosen over time, even by simply walking on it. When you walk on it, the tile will move up and down, which will also make the surrounding grout start to crack and crumble.
The reasons above show how cracked grout can be the result of improper installation; however overall, the major reason grout can crack is because the tile is moving. There could be a deflection in the flooring for the type of tile you have, or there has been trauma to the area.
If there is no expansion space around the perimeter of the tiled space, the walls will put pressure on the tile causing the tiles and grout to crack. You also need to make sure your tile has proper soft joints and expansion joints to prevent improper movement from happening that will result in grout cracking.
To fix cracked grout or improperly installed tiles and grout, you need to remove and properly install new tile; then, you can re-grout the floor. If it’s only one small area, you might not have to do over the entire floor or wall, but it’s best to get the area assessed.
Once the area has been repaired, make sure the grout is recessed (lying below the edge of the tiles). After the tile and grout are properly installed, It’s time to use a grout sealer to protect the grout from staining and absorbing dirt, water, and other liquids. If you just spent all this time fixing a tile area, you want it to look its best year round. Grout Shield sealers will keep your grout looking brand new. TO learn more about Grout Shield’s grout sealer, click here or call 1-800-631-0716.