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Old 02-23-2007, 10:02 PM   #1
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


I have just installed my first ceramic floor. It is in the kitchen. I followed all installation instructions. The problem I am having is that that grout in some areas of the floor has cracked and turned to almost saw like texture overnight. It is happening toward the center of the floor away from walls. No one walked on the floor. I took out the old grout and regrouted those areas and I am still getting this problem and it is showing up in different areas. I have been to the home improvement stores several times looking for help. But no one seems to know what is going on. The last person I talked to suggested it might have to do with having a crawl space in the house and the temperature at that time. It is very cold here in Baltimore. My wife is going to throw me out if I can't get to the bottom of this. Please help!!!!!

Mark

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Old 02-23-2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


Hi Mark,

It's impossible for anyone to help you unless you give us some information. We need to know, how the subfloor is built. Size and spacing of joists, span, thickness and type of subfloor, how many layers? Are you installing over a tile backerboard or what? What type of adhesive and grout. Be specific. Explain how you prepare the floor, size trowel you used, specific type and size of tile. The size of room, how old the house. Is the crawl insulated, etc.

Jaz

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Old 02-24-2007, 06:27 AM   #3
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


Jaz,

The house is restored burnout about 25 years old. The floor size is 12L x 5W. The subfloor is OSB. The joints are 1/4". There is only one layer of floor. I used backerboard which I layed ontop of existing vinyl tiled floor. I used 1 5/8" screws to anchor down the backerboard. The trowel was a standard groove trowel for putting down the mudd. The crawl space is not insulated. The tile was 12 x 12. All supplies including mudd and grout were bought at home depot based on their recommendations and applied according to manufacturers instructions.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


Mark,

I meant the 'joists' not joints. Joists are probably 2x8" or 2x10" and spaced 16" apart? Also need to know the unsupported span of the joists, you need to measure from below. This is to confirm that the basic subfloor system is stiff enough for tiles.

You say you have only one layer of OSB as the subfloor, (how thick?)but there is a vinyl tile under there. Are you saying that the vinyl tiles were just glued to the OSB, without an underlayment? They are squares right, not sheet vinyl?

What brand and thickness backerboard did you use? Did you spread thinset mortar under it too? Tell me exactly which adhesive you used, and grout too. There is no such thing as "standard groove trowel", I need to know the size of those notches.

Give me specifics and we should figure this out. Getting advice from those nice people is often the source of installation failures, but maybe you found the HD store that has someone that has experience in tile setting?

Jaz
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


MarkD - What Jazzman is getting at, most likely, is you have too much flex in your floor causing the grout to fail. This could be due to not removing the vinyl floor or it could be a result of an inadequate sub-floor or inadequate framing or poor choice of thinset or mastic or some combination of these things.

So - Where to go from here.
Two roads - One, rip it out and start again. Two, live with it. If you go the live with it route you could apply a band-aid. Scrape out all the old grout and replace with caulk. It will have some flex. It may look bad pretty quickly though.

Hmm - Maybe another option would be to somehow stiffen the floor from below then re-grout. Ug.
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


I used it in my basement .... it is rock solid... my heavy duty front loaded washer danced over there for half a minutes when spin drying because one of the leg I didn't balance (too short) and the marble tile is as stable as a waveless lake...

but MarkD200 mentioned one thing seems mistery though, he said no one walk on it and then the grout crack out... this is very strange to me...
you mean the weather alone make the subflooring move... know mother nature is powerful, but don't know is that powerful...

actually, I remember one old time... when a contractor finish one tiling job for me... it cracked out... but I can feel the bouncing movement physically between tiles ...

so may be MarkD200 can tell us does he feel any slight bounce movement at all at his installation, if you do, then that is it, you got poor subflooring and there is no fix besides rebuild the subflooring, if not... then it may be somthing else other than poor subflooring...

Last edited by KUIPORNG; 03-05-2007 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:26 AM   #7
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


The substrate has to be 55 degrees or better for 72 hrs, str8 during and after setting, now if the thinset cured, I'm sure the grout should be fine, my guess, somethings wrong in the prep work, need all the info asked above, shouldn't fail that fast without walking on it, what type of grout did you use, also, I like at least 2 layers of 1/2" or better subfloor BEFORE using a membrane or CBU.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #8
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


We had the same problem and ended up using epoxy grout. Never had any more problems
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #9
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Urgent Help Needed - Ceramic Floor


Five year old thread.

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