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Old 03-24-2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


Four years ago, we had 13”x13” porcelain tiles laid over Ditra in our new home’s kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and hallway/entrance (about 650 sq. ft). Within 6 months, grout cracked and chunks broke out in multiple (mainly traffic) areas. The installers have removed old grout several times and replaced it in a number of areas but the problem returns. The tile dealer inspected and confirmed that the sub-floor construction looks as if it was done to all the correct specifications and there’s no movement. However, there are hairline cracks throughout the entire area.

Now, there’s another prolonged debate between reps from Schluter, the tile dealer, and their sub-contracted installers about what is actually wrong with the floor. Schluter says the tiles wouldn’t come up so “clean” if the installation had been done correctly. The installer claims he followed all Schluter installation specs to the letter. The dealer says they’ll stand behind the flooring but that they have to work out the “details” before doing anything.

This has been going on for four years and the problem gets worse every month. My main concern is that the TRUE problem is identified so that, when they finally re-do the flooring, the problem actually gets resolved. I’m sure, no matter what they do, we’ll face an awful mess during the process.

Any suggestions for what I, as the owner, can do to ensure that the true deficiency has been identified? I don’t want to just “take their word” for it – the more educated I am, the better assurance I have that they’ll actually solve the problem once and for all.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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Old 03-24-2006, 12:01 PM   #2
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


4 years is a loooong time.
Sounds to me like they are dropping the ball.

I would tell them that you are hiring an independant inspector unless they get to a resolution quick.

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Old 03-24-2006, 06:30 PM   #3
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


And, who would be that inspector?

Schluter always stands behind their products as far as I know, something was done wrong during the installation, there's movement somewhere, could you post what this floor is made up of.?:confused:

Joist size, spacing, length of them unsupported, how many layers of what is over them and how thick, what type of tile and size, what thinsets were used to install them and trowel size, all of this has to be known to have somewhere to start.


For all we know the installer let the thinset skin over before setting the tile or used the wrong type to adhere the Ditra to the floor, talk to me.:D
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


Joists are 16" on center; subfloor is plywood which was screwed down. Reps from the dealer and the tile company said that deflection and movement don't appear to be a problem. The installer would have to provide the thinset info and it sounds as if he's not being terribly cooperative. He was contracted by the dealer so, in my book, it's still the dealer's issue to handle.

I'm not sure how an inspector would determine the actual installation method and thinset prep. Can that be determined just by pulling up some tiles? I want to make sure that the REAL problem is resolved but identifying the real problem seems to be a problem!!

Thanks -



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Old 03-24-2006, 08:50 PM   #5
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


Go to http://schluter.com
Under products, find Ditra, at the bottom of the page is the Ditra Installation Handbook. Its downloadable in PDF format. This will give you detailed info to compare your floor with what they recommend.
It is way toooo long for this not to be settled. Has a rep from Schluter actually visited the property to see the situatuion first hand. Or has anyone called from Schluter? I do use their products, and with great sucess. Knowing the Company, how they operate, and handle complaints, makes me think they don't know about your situation, or there is more to the story that we are not being told. I'll assume that you were informed of Schluter's decision from either the installer, or the store, and no Company rep actually saw the installation. If that's the case, check out their web site and use their 800 number to bring them up to speed.
QUOTE "Schluter says the tiles wouldn’t come up so “clean” if the installation had been done correctly." What does the back of the tile look like?
Like R&D said, There's alot of factors involved. First start with Schluter's site for your info. Good Luck

Jim
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:23 PM   #6
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Cracked Grout/Ditra Underneath


We dealt with the store rep for about a year, then the installer who did three repair jobs for quite a while, now back to the store. There have been multiple people involved because of job changes, etc. During this last "go-around" which started in October 2005, the store rep took up a tile and supposedly sent digital pictures to Schluter but a Schluter rep has never actually been here nor have we talked directly to one. I think it's time to go directly to Schluter and, if the store rep is unhappy about that, so be it! I've tried to keep this from being confrontational but it's getting tougher.

I had downloaded the Schluter specs a long time ago but not knowing what the installer actually did makes it difficult for us to determine what created the problem. There seems to be general agreement that it's not a sub floor issue. Thanks for your suggestions. We'll get this resolved yet!
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Old 03-25-2006, 02:52 PM   #7
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You may need to go directly to Schluter. And to my knowledge, Schluter is a great company.
Not sure how a store can have something drag so long, although there may be factors we are not aware of.

Isn't the BBB around for this kind of reason?

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