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ladymare 02-28-2009 03:38 PM

cracks in duracermic tiling grout
two years ago we had a flooring contractor/retail store install dura ceramic tiling on our bathroom walls and floor. We've had continued problems with the grout cracking near the tub floor and wall. The retailer came out on 2 occasions and regrouted it for us but it still is cracking. I called in January to complain again about the cracking (they had regrouted it a second time in September) and I just now got a reply from the retailer that a rep from duraceramic wants to check it out. In between our calls to the retailer/installer we end up waiting 2 to 4 months. Is this a time-stalling tactic on their part? We don't know what to do anymore? What are our legal options? This material was recommended to us by the retailer after he looked at our bathroom. I think he's trying to put the blame on the manufacturer? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, the retailer/installer says no one esle is having this problem? Not sure what that means__like it's our fault that the grout continues to crack?

Bob Mariani 02-28-2009 03:51 PM

Grout is not to be applied along the walls or the tub. Use a colored caulk to match your grout. First remove all the old grout and clean area with rubbing alcohol. It is their fault. Write to BBB, file complaints, do not let them get away with this. Stores typically hire cheap labor, not pros.

mike costello 02-28-2009 04:40 PM

Umm you dont want to use rubbing alcohol on a vinyl composition tile, also the grout isnt a standard type portland base its more of a caulk

ladymare 02-28-2009 06:25 PM

we were told this was an acrylic grout that could withstand moisture/water, are you saying that the installer is the one to blame? Or does it really matter? If we contracted with the store for the product they are the ones responsible for correcting it, right?

Bob Mariani 02-28-2009 06:42 PM

mike... I installed duraceramic last year... used a grout that they send with it. Not a caulk as such. also this may be why it is cracking only along the areas that typical grout and evidently this grout or caulk should not be used, since the elasticity of it is insufficient for these areas. but in either case I feel that the installers/store is still responsible since issues are with the product used under the circumstances present.

mike costello 02-28-2009 07:24 PM

I will agree to an extent, that grout is pretty elastic though. It shouldn't crack at all.

I have seen cases where too much water was used during the clean up-sponging process. If you replace too many polymers with water, the grout can be compromised once the water evaporates.

sportsmansteve 02-28-2009 07:31 PM

I sold and installed quite a few jobs of duraceramic. The first problem is , it sounds like they have made your grout joints too wide. I personally discovered this on the third job. My installers were complaining about the same thing. The best width for a grout line is no more than an eighth of an inch wide. The other reason is the person that grouted it wiped too much of the grout out. This is a common mistake. This is no major concern. It just needs to be grouted again. You must let it set up just a little. Lightly wipe the sponge across diagonally. If there is a light film left, spray a little Windex on it and wipe off with a paper towel.

mike costello 02-28-2009 08:35 PM

Good point, grout joint size would be good to know as well as how wet the floor gets

ccarlisle 03-01-2009 07:10 AM

The way I see it is if the grout is cracking it could be from either the installers didn't know how to grout Duraceramic properly (and therefore it is their responsibility to redo) or the installation is OK but structurally the floor isn't.

Now a Duraceramic installer should know how to do it...but my hunch is that the floor isn't suitable and the Duraceramic rep is just coming in to tell you that in person. It might have a lifetime warranty but there are limits.

Legal options??? well, did you have a contract that was broken?

Bob Mariani 03-01-2009 07:16 AM

Don't you think that an installer would be responsible to tell the customer that the floor is not suitable. Even here, people ask about tile and we query their subfloor before even answering the question. If the HO knew enough to determine the flooring structure, they would be installing the stuff themselves. If a carpenter builds you a second floor which then falls down, would your feel it is your fault not telling him the first floor structure and foundation were inadequate?

ladymare 03-01-2009 07:29 AM

the installer saw our bathroom before we started any work and told us the kind of floor we needed to have underneath. We went with the installer's recommendations and he was in contact with the guys who were ripping out the old walls and floor. My husband had concerns about placing tiles on top of plywood but the installer told us that the duraceramic would be just fine.
Also, we have cracking of the grout on the wall behind the tub.

ccarlisle 03-01-2009 07:46 AM

"Don't you think that an installer would be responsible to tell the customer that the floor is not suitable.."

A good installer would...but I'm not assuming he was... who knows really. He suggested the proper underlayment but what about deflection calculations? Are we to asume he knew that much...?:no:

The grout is cracking around the tub, on the floors and walls...that suggests that 50 gallons of water + bather may be making the floor structure sink. Nothing to do with the underlayment...Right product in the wrong place.:wink:

"...the installer told us that the duraceramic would be just fine."

It may be; but if it were, we wouldn't be debating.

mike costello 03-01-2009 09:20 AM

You used it as a tub surround?
According to Congoleum that will void the warranty

ladymare 03-01-2009 08:03 PM

What do you mean as a "tub surround"? We just went with the material recommended for our bathroom by the floor contractor?

So, is it in small claims court that we would file a suit against the contractor? The tiles cost us over $4000.

Bob Mariani 03-02-2009 04:59 AM

yes, in small claims. But you will need to prove actual damages. Meaning you need to have someone fix the problem and you can only sue for that amount. To sue someone and to prove that they should have known the proper installation requirements will be much harder since most do not know the right way and courts would be tied up forever

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