Why is My Grout Crumbling? What to Do?

why is my grout crumbling

Grout is a dense adhesive used in fixing the tiles to the positions on a surface, and it also acts as a filling agent in the spaces between the tiles to give a smooth finish. The prevalence of a grout mixture bonding the tiles is essential because if there are spaces, the tile tends to break over time. The cleaning will also be difficult as the spaces collect dirt and debris that later makes you put a lot of effort into cleaning. Meanwhile, the grout mixture can break or crack in some places. Why is my grout crumbling? Is that what comes to your mind right now? We are here to guide you through!

How Long Should Grout Last?

The initial function of the grout is to make a smooth surface and contribute to the maximum life span of the tile flooring. Typically, the lifespan of grout is considered to be between 8 to 16 years.

There are many factors that affect the lifespan of a grout filling. Sometimes your mistakes in maintaining the tiles will make the grout crack. The small untreated cracks are a major fact that makes most people spend more money and labor at last. This happens due to a lack of inspections and bad cleaning habits.

Why is My Grout Crumbling?

A grouting compound is an agent that protects your tiled floor or the bathroom walls from water and moisture. It also avoids mold growth under and in between the tiles. 

Many reasons lead to grout crumbling. First comes the inappropriate mixture. Grout is a compound that needs to be mixed with water in exact correct proportions. Water mixing makes the reaction and creates the adhesive paste. When the mixed water amount is evaporated, after the application, we call that it is completely dried. If the water is added excessively, the grouting paste will not form properly and will break into parts when it becomes dry.

The same thing could happen when you do not add enough amount of water. 

Another fact that affects the grout’s lasting period is the quality of the grouting material. If the brand you purchased is low in quality, the grouting of the shower area or your floor will crack sooner than the average lifespan. 

If you do not do a grout sealing, whether the brand and the mixture are appropriate, you will find cracks and crumbling within one or two years. Both types, the sanded and unsanded grouting mixtures, must be treated with a sealant as the final step. This is the tip for avoiding the stains, water, and moisture going through the grouting material. 

Harsh chemicals and bleaching also will cause the tile grouting to cracks and damage. If you have used a tile cleaner with very abrasive quality, the tile grout will need to be reinstalled within a shorter period. 

How to Fix Crumbling Grout?

Fixing a damaged grout can be done as a DIY. But we suggest that you need to have a sound knowledge of the process before you start the project. Follow these steps below, and you will end in success. 

  • First, you have to collect the things required. You will need to purchase a grout powder mixture and a sealant from reputed brands. When selecting the grout, you must measure the space you are going to fill. If there is a space of more than 1/8 inch, you must select sanded grout. Unsanded grouts are suitable if the space between the tiles is less than 1/8 inch. Buy a grout float and sponge in addition. To remove the current grout with cracks, you will have to use a grout saw, white vinegar, scrubbing tools, a dry cloth, and a vacuum. For safety wear, you need to have a mask and a pair of goggles to protect the eyes from dust. 
  • Now the cleaning begins! You have to use a mixture of vinegar and water, prepared in a 1:1 ratio, to clean the grout that has crumbled. 
  • Dry the surface and remove the grout using the grout saw you bought. Remove the grout particles and vacuum the surface to remove the dust. Then, clean the tiles with a wet cloth and make them dry. 
  • Now with the directions by the manufacturer, mix the grout with water and prepare the mix. Apply it on the space and wipe the excess with the grout float. After 30 minutes, use a wet cloth and wipe the amount on the tile surface. 
  • A maximum of 48 hours will need to dry the grout treatment completely. 
  • Finally, after 48 hours, the surface is ready to be treated with the sealant. 

How to Harden Soft Grout?

Unluckily, there is no way to recorrect the incorrectly made soft grout. The only way is to throw it away and use another mixture with the correct proportions. If you have applied the grout between the tiles, you must remove it completely using a grout saw or a grout rake. 

Choosing the correct grout type from a quality brand and mixing the correct amount of water as per the directions of the manufacturer are the keys to making the exact consistency in your grout filling. Before starting the project, have a good read of the process mentioned above. 

Why is My Grout Powdery? 

The problem with a powdery grout filling is the lack of water. If you have used a water amount that is lower than the amount mentioned in the directions, you will end up with this issue. 

There is not any other solution than restarting. You need to take out all the grout you filled and refill it with grout with the correct proportions. Before applying the new mixture, make sure you have to clean all the debris and residuals of the previous coating. 

Does Sealing Grout Keep It from Crumbling?

Exactly, it does. Sealant is the way you can protect the grout and lengthen the lifespan of the grout filling. It also provides you with an easy-to-clean surface. A grout sealer will also give the grout a waterproof covering and thereby will contribute to preventing mold growth. 

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