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Old 01-30-2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


I'm having a problem with the flooring in a new home.

I decided to go with ceramic tile in the kitchen and bathrooms and while most of it looks great, there seems to be a real problem where the tile floor meets the walls, cabinets and tubs. The grout where the floor tile meets the tubs and the cabinet toe kicks keeps cracking, even though it's been 'repaired' several times in the four months since we took possession of the house.

A number of the cabinet toe kicks seem to be a little loose and there is a small place on a tub enclosure that flexes a little. I can understand that if there is movement, it can cause the grout to crack, however, I'm seeing cracking all along the master bath tub/shower enclosure, even where I can't find any flex. Also, it doesn't help that the last time it was 'repaired', it looks like they just slopped on more grout on top of the cracked grout and all it did was just flake off.

So, I'm looking for a solution. As far as I can tell, either everything has to be locked down so that it doesn't move or flex BEFORE the grout is repaired, or some kind of different material needs to be used instead of the grout that is being used to allow for movement. I have no idea what the latter would be. The grout that was used is sanded grout.

Thanks.....

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Old 01-30-2007, 06:41 PM   #2
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


Sounds like this question should be in the Flooring section (Better answers for this found there)

.... Only thing I could suggest is color matched caulking.

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Old 01-30-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


Yep, go with the caulk, it's flexible (at least more-so than grout). You really don't want to grout up to obstructions anyway. Leave that space empty and fill with caulk. Even the big boxes have color match caulk (for most colors).

One question/concern:
Why didn't you take out the cabinets and I assume vanity also. I hope you never want to move the vanity a little, or replace the cabinets with a different size or you'll have to tile under, then cut back the grout and try to blend it. It's always easier (in the long run) to take out anything you can.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:45 AM   #4
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


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Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
Yep, go with the caulk, it's flexible (at least more-so than grout). You really don't want to grout up to obstructions anyway. Leave that space empty and fill with caulk. Even the big boxes have color match caulk (for most colors).

One question/concern:
Why didn't you take out the cabinets and I assume vanity also. I hope you never want to move the vanity a little, or replace the cabinets with a different size or you'll have to tile under, then cut back the grout and try to blend it. It's always easier (in the long run) to take out anything you can.
A flexible caulk will have to be redone from time to time, right?

As far as the cabinets go - It's new construction, so the builders just installed the flooring the way they usually do I guess. So, you're saying that if it was done right, they should have put in the tile floor all the way to the walls and then put the cabinets (including the toe kicks) on after? I'll have to check on that, but something tells me that they did not do that.

Thanks for the reply.....
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:47 AM   #5
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Sounds like this question should be in the Flooring section (Better answers for this found there)

.... Only thing I could suggest is color matched caulking.
Thanks. I'll try posting over there.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


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A flexible caulk will have to be redone from time to time, right?
Well, maybe, depending on the quality of the caulk and the quality of the caulk-er...???, for lack of a better term. But then again, as of this moment, your grout is having to be redone from time to time (if memory serves without looking you said every month or so?)...I can almost guarantee you it won't be that often, so you'll be stepping up.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:58 PM   #7
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


You have proof of one of the old addages of the tile world. Grout will always crack at the junction of vertical and horizontal surfaces, especially if they are two different materials, because they will expand/contract at different rates. Clean out these grout lines and caulk with a color matched caulking, available from the tile supplier. The flex you are getting when you push on the toe kick is common, because they are usually just a piece of particle board, with no kind of lateral support.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #8
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


Just a little FYI. With the tub, as you use it you add weight with both the person in the tub/shower and the weight of the water too. I know this is to late for this project, but for others something to consider. While grouting the shower surround as well as the flooring that meets the tub, fill the tub with water or weights. This will ensure that your grout will not crack as weight is added to the tub. Like stated previously, you are bound to have a crack or two with movement, but this should cure any significant cracks.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:54 PM   #9
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


A silicon caulk would be the best idea, but if you want to replace with grout than clean out the old. Run a strip of scotch tape or packaging tape on tub. Regrout and than cut the tape flush with razor knife. This stops the grout from bonding to the tub and works as an expansion joint to allow for movement.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:51 PM   #10
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Cracking floor grout - Ceramic tile


i also had the same problem as yours, and to solve it i sought professional help at once. everything turned out fine. thanks to my contractor.
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