My bathroom floor grout has several cracks - and appears to be rusting. See the image for an exemplary area.

enter image description here

These cracks appear - in differing severeness - around the bathtub and along the wall, where toilet and sink are situated. The rest of the bathroom is free of these cracks.

The areas in question are not regularly flooded (at least haven't been so by me, what previous tennants did I do not know), so what comes to my mind is a busted/cracked fresh water pipe, which slowly leaks water into the floor.

Has anyone seen similar cracks/colouring before? If so, what caused them?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? What is the best way to repair and prevent cracking grout in a shower stall?
    – bishop
    Feb 11 '20 at 18:14
  • @bishop not really, since I'd just ask my landlord-company to get it fixed - I rather want to know, whether I need to worry and act immediately or can lay off the fixing for a while.
    – Erik
    Feb 11 '20 at 18:20
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    Well, grout fails over time for a variety of reasons, as indicated in the answer I linked. "Flooding" is not required to fail grout: being regularly damp, scrubbing too hard, poor workmanship or material all contribute. Failure almost always happens first in the areas closest to the water, which also happens to be where the pipes are. Chances are, the failure is one of the common modes, not a leaking pipe. ("When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras.") That said, if you have a concern, please raise it to your landlord. It's in everyone's interest and they can decide how to proceed.
    – bishop
    Feb 11 '20 at 18:25
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    So, a belated update: I notified the landlord company of cracked tiles (yes, the problem got worse) and they sent someone to fix them. After removing the cracked tiles he discovered that the floor indeed is damp, and a wooden board started bulging. So I'm in for a whole new bathroom sometime this summer.
    – Erik
    May 15 '20 at 12:20

"I rather want to know, whether I need to worry and act immediately or can lay off the fixing for a while."
In answering this specific question it's obviously not going to get any better without remediation. However, it isn't an emergency situation as long as you can keep that area dry. If it's just you, that might be workable but if you have a wife and three kids using it- good luck. Even small amounts of moisture seeping under that tile may cause mold, mildew and possibly other issues.
So if it's a landlord issue - why put it off?

  • 2
    And if you don’t notify your landlord , it could affect your deposit when you move out. I’d take pictures and notify the landlord in writing. If he chooses to wait until you move out, that’s his call. You should not be penalized if things get worse.
    – Lee Sam
    Feb 11 '20 at 20:24

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