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Old 05-25-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


A friend of mine did me a favor and retiled my shower stall, it looks good but now after 4 years I can see hairline cracks in 5 of the 4x4 tiles on the floor. I am kicking myself for not using 1x1 tiles as slope of the floor is probably causing the tiles to crack. The slope is good and water never stays on the cracked tiles. I use a squeegie and then towel dry all the tiles after every shower. I can't afford to get the floor retiled so I need a solution to the existing cracks. The tile is white.
Can I force white bath caulking into the cracks and wipe them smooth or will something else be better?

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Old 05-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


A Picture would help----

Tile won't crack by itself. What is the base made of? Something is moving under the tile--that's the usual reason that tile cracks.

As to a temporary patch--Use unsanded grout or Poly Seam Seal (Caulk)

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Old 05-25-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


I'm not sure what you mean when you say you used 4" tiles. What kind of 4" tiles? Are they really 4" or are they 4-1/4"?

MY OPINION:
Tiles that are four inches are too big to follow most regular floor slopes. Three inches would be the maximum unless the floor was originally designed to take a larger tile and I'm sure this one wasn't.

Based on that I am also reasonably sure there are probably some voids under those tiles because they don't really follow the slope. My guess is it is the voids that are causing regular stresses on the tiles. Hot cold hot cold hot cold, etc.

My big concern is that if the tiles are glazed tiles then you now have some serious razor-sharp edges at those cracks that can easily slice your skin. If this is the case as time goes on the broken tiles could easily separate slightly making matters worse or they could move enough to raze one side (or the other) of the cracks making things really hazardous.

Caulking the cracks won't change anything nor lesson the harmful-edge possibilities.

Be careful.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


Well OK, the tiles are actually 4-1/4" square Home Depot purchased. Sorry to use generic size, too lazy to get a ruler and go upstairs.
I have no idea what is under the tile.The 3 (not 5) hairline cracks, which I confirmed while using the ruler, are visible but I can barely feel them.
I'll try the Poly Seam Seal.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


"Polyseamseal???"
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
"Polyseamseal???"
That's what I suggested -(along with possibly using an unsanded grout)--It's a hard smooth thin bodied caulk that is waterproof when dry

I thought that was a good suggestion for a patch on a failing tile installation.

Silicone would make a mess of a hairline crack IMO.

Got a better suggestion?
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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Hairline cracks in shower tile.


Quote:
Got a better suggestion?
Actually no. I would imagine water has already found its way under the tiles and probably no caulk would heal under those circumstances. If the edges are sharp caulk won't change that either. But, it's worth a try I suppose.

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