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Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

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Old 01-02-2018, 08:24 PM   #21
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

I still can't find where he said he uses the dot method, someone help a blind man out
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:26 PM   #22
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

Originally Posted by Mltileguy View Post
Hi , I completed a large Tiled shower in the fall of 2016. The shower has 9' tall ceilings and is approximately 8' long by 4 and a half ft wide. I used 1 5/8" hardi screws as always and staggered the 3'x5' sheets of 1/2" Jet backboard to the studs. Spacing my screws no more than 8"" apart. Then took good quality meshed tape and tapped all inside and outside and field seams with thiset. All screw heads were filled as well. Then after drying I coated all surfaces with a couple coats of Hydro Ban. And then tiled all the walls, bench ect. About 3 to 4 months I get a call from the home owner and she says she says she has some cracking that needs to be fixed. I let here kbow that i would look at my calendar and put a time that is good for her on it. Im think ing in my head that some settling occurred and or shrinking so not a big deal. She sends a pic of a tile with a crack down thw centerish if the tile. I was stumped.
I go up to look at and total intentions to take care of the problem. I notice the tile has cracked through the actual tile ( not grout joint ) starting at the 9' ceiling down to about 1' above thw pan. Its happened at about every 16" .so I at this point very concerned and let homeowner know im going to have to order more tile because I need to pull the cracked tile off to see what can be causing the cracking. So being that the job is about 2 and a half hours out of town one way. I told her i need to get my ducks in a row and get the new tile so I'll have to put you on my schedule at the another date once the tile comes in. So of course this is have going on while I am very busy and have a full schedule.
I've been a tile Setter for approximately 24 years . I learned from my dad who was a tile Setter for 38 years. I have had my license since 03 and work with various Builder's tile shops directly with homeowners Word of Mouth exedra. It's typical that I work with builders that request me back over and over to do their projects because they like the quality and detail I take in my work from prep to finish. Anyway that's a little bit about me. I do lots of showers per year anywhere from 30 plus. So back to this problem at hand I went up there because of naturally being concerned and always conscientious about my work in my clients to see what the problem was fix it. When I saw the cracks I was dumbfounded couldn't understand so my second time up after receiving the new tile I proceeded to tear off tile and noticed of course that chiseling with a hammer and a cold chisel was very difficult the tile bonded really well I did use the spotting method because the framing wasn't that great. So as I was cleaning off and kind of dissecting the wall I noticed that some of my areas where I had seen taped and then waterproof / anti fracture with the hydro ban that I seen the hairline cracks going actually through the backer board and the seam s that had been tapped but vertically only and then telegraphing through the tile.
Question Anyone Ever Seen This Happen?
I am stumped. Please help. Thanks
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:01 PM   #23
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

What's on the other side of this wall?

How old is the framing?

Crack right over the stud or in between studs?
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:46 PM   #24
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

You boast about your quality and detail from prep to finish but then you used the dot method due to "framing that wasn't that great".

Why ask what might have happened?
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:00 PM   #25
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

Was the framing fresh lumber?

Maybe the dimensional lumber shrank, pulling in the backer board and tile causing a vertical crack.

Using the dot method MAY have allowed more deflection in the tile as the lumber moved.
"A smart man learns from his mistakes; a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:45 AM   #26
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

The only time I have seen the dot method work is on a full mud job from the 40s where the mud was 3 or 4" thick and the black heavy mesh was used.

I never understand why after realizing there might be a problem, someone just continues on.

If you do not have the time and money to do it over, do it right the first time.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:20 PM   #27
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Re: Cracks In Tile And Backer Board

did the OP state if the cracks were nearly straight from the ceiling down (i.e. a straight line)? If he installed a natural stone or possibly a ceramic, the seam crack is more likely to radiate through.

While it's not certain how the cracks occurred, I would bet Kerdi board would have allowed an issue that came from behind the backer board (ie movement horizontally with ceiling forces or vertical forces w/ the studs drying out) to not effect the tile.

I would inspect the surface of the tile looking for damage, in case the homeowner applied pressure from inside the shower. ceramic breaks easily enough. It's going to be hard getting the waterproofing tight without tearing that wall out.

good luck.


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