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Old 03-02-2009, 06:14 AM   #16
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cracks in duracermic tiling grout


A tub "surround" are those small partial walls that actually touch the bathtub...they could be the walls where the showerhead exits from, the opposite wall and the sidewall where the soap dish normally is. These walls are about 4-5' high. Then there's the small wall about a 15" high that runs the length of the tub. But they're all walls and I don't know if there is any warranty on tiles placed on a wall; most warranties cover workmanship, fading, abrasion and stuff like that. Nothing to do with suitability for the purpose, especially not if installed by a professional.

Suing may be an option in your Small Claims court...you would have to show a flagrant breach of contract first, (not just that you don't like his way of doing things) then prove that it cost you x dollars to do what the first installer wouldn't do. He has to be given first 'refusal', if you will to correct it - which it sounds like he did. If he can't or won't fix it, then you will have to show that there is a "standard" he didn't work to (like the Building Code or something like that) and that that standard applied in this case. Good luck with that! Remember the onus is on you to prove your case - just a bunch of pictures of your grout won't do zilch for you.

You can't sue for shoddy workmanship - you can only sue for an infraction of the law. It ultimately comes down to you chosing the right person for the job, and whereas you may - eventually - get your case heard by a judge who has nothing better to do, the delays and costs wouldn't make it worth your time.

From what I understand, you are waiting for the rep from Congoleum to see if it's an installers problem or a problem with his company's product. Keep his card - you may need it. Know what? unless he admits that this batch of grout was at fault and that x hundreds of customers have all had the same problem, the best you'll get out of him is a new bag, or tube, of grout. He cannot compensate you for a bad installation job, he'll just wish you luck going after them. He might be able to say your floor was not strong enough to avoid this deflection, ask him to check, and that'll give you some ammunition to chase the installer. But a parent company won't hang their installers out to dry like that, their reputation isn't worth losing.

Best thing? March into the installers offices and talk to the boss. Ask for a written report (perhaps from an independent flooring inspector) on why that is happening, keep written notes of time and place etc and copy Congoleum on all the correspondance. The installer won't want to risk losing Congoleum as a supplier and the boss will have to cover his backside by doing all that he can to satisfy you.

Something should give...

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Old 01-17-2010, 10:50 AM   #17
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cracks in duracermic tiling grout


I had Duraceramic installed in my kitchen with the recommended Duragrout which is an acrylic based product. Overall, the grout is holding up wonderfully with the exception of where the grout meets up against the wood (oak) flooring in the family room. All across that line, the Duragrout is cracking. I assume its because the wood moves (not only from stepping on it, but from differences in temperature and humidity) separately from the Duraceramic tile. I've heard of using silicone sanded caulk in applications where stone or tile meet hardwood floors. Does anyone know if it would be appropriate in my application?
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:19 AM   #18
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cracks in duracermic tiling grout


I don't have specific knowledge of the complexities of suing in small claims court, but frankly I am astonished at the willingness of individuals such as CCarlisle and Bob Mariani to make statements regarding the basis of suit, likely outcome of the suit, and procedures. For example:

Mariani: 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.

Is it really true that you need to have someone fix the problem before you can sue, and you can only sue for the cost to fix the problem? People sue in small claims court all the time (I have been an expert witness in several cases) without getting the problem fixed. I have no idea on what basis Mr. Mariani has reached his conclusions.


CCarlisle: Suing may be an option in your Small Claims court...you would have to show a flagrant breach of contract first.

Based on this logic, small claims court is limited to breach of contract issues. And it has to be a flagrant breach, whatever that means. No tort violations? No common law claims? No product liability claims? Let me quote from the Massachusetts Small Claims Court website:

Unless your suit is based upon property damage sustained in an automobile accident, it cannot exceed $2,000.00. The claim may, however, be subject to statutory damages or attorney’s fees in excess of $2,000.00 (e.g., consumer protection cases or certain landlord/tenant cases). In those cases, the base amount may not exceed $2,000.00 even though the potential award may exceed that amount.

No indication that claims are limited to flagrant breach of contract cases, it would appear that the only criterion is that the claim be for less than $2000. I assume that every state that has a small claims court has standards for the amount of the claim.

I am not going to go through the rest of CCarlisles post, so far as I can tell the legal advice is unsubstantiated and should be ignored.


My suggestion is if the OPS is interested in pursuing legal remedies, they should contact an attorney. Nothing on this website should be relied upon insofar as legal matters are concerned. If they are interested in fixing the problem themselves, or understanding the problem so as to hire the correct contractor, this is a good forum.

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