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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys i have a customer with a sun room and his floor has a little to much flex for my likeing and his grout has started to lift and crack. I didnt lay the tile or build the sun room but he wants me to fix it. Problem is he put the tile down. He used Ditra ontop of 3/8th's which is not enough sub floor in my mind and this is the cause of the issue. Other than taking up the hole floor and beefing up the subfloor if there another way to repair the grout. Maybe a more flexible grout??



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Caulk is more flexible but not more durable. Can you get to the joists below?

3/8? That's unbelievable.

Probably with 24" joist spacing too. :whistling
It very well could be a spaceing problem. The good thing is the sunroom is above ground about 12ft high. I should have good access to the sub floor if need be.
 

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Tile Contractor
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Soon the tiles will likely also begin to crack.

To rehash what you probably already know:
DITRA requires a minimum of a 5/8" subfloor. Minimum, minimum, minimum. The floor also must meet deflection minimums of L/360. Again a minimum.

With information about joist size and joist spacing and joist spanning you can determine the deflection criteria of the existing structure and what the "MINIMUM" thing to do would be since we are obviously talking about a minimum kind of customer.:)

There is no grout that will hold up under the circumstances you suggest you have to deal with.

Using caulk is just plain a stupid idea for a floor.

The simplest path of least resistance is going to be to go below and start installing some beams and lollies.:)

I suppose down below is a "finished area" and he won't allow any modifications.:):sad:
 

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Tile Contractor
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I personally use Ultraflex III. Being a remodeler I'm always dealing with preexisting conditions, usually inadequate. A commercial tile guy suggested it awhile back and haven't had a problem.... yet.
I guess I don't see what that has to do with anything in this situation. Point me to what I am missing.;)

Ultraflex III is a thinset. It's too late for that now, this job is well past the thinset-choosing stage.
 

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Tile Contractor
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Use a wooden broomstick or hammer handle to tap on every tile. If you get a hollow report the tiles are also coming loose. I can tell you Ultraflex III isn't the product to put the tiles back in with either.:)
 

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Tile Contractor
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There are no flexible grouts that will survive that type of deflection. Some will argue that epoxy grout will take the punishment but it won't, it would likely break tile edges once it was adhered to the tiles edge and the flex is allowed to remain in the floor structure.

The first thing to do is to "sound" each tile and see what you are really dealing with. If you get a "hollow report" when you peck on the tile you have a loose tile. If that's the case the tile needs to be demoed and starting over after the floor structure is beefed up would be in order.:)

Also look to see if the tile is grouted tightly to the walls. If so...the floor is doomed anyway and removal is the only fix there also. All tile must have
a 1/4" gap around the perimeter of the room to allow for expansion of the installation.:)
 

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bathroom guru
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I had a client who we did a couple of bathrooms for as well as a laundry room. On the first floor of the house they had tile from the front entrance, throught to the kitchen and dining room, and down a hallway to the garage. I noticed a few cracks when I first met them, but, it wasn't part of the job we ended up doing, however, while we were there, they asked what to do about this reoccuring problem. Seems the brilliant installers laid 1/4" mahogany ply over the old vinyl and 1/4" ply. They used some drywall nails and screws to improperly screw down the crappy ply they installed.

I was at a stage in the one bathroom where we were grouting so I took out of the worst spots and put in some epoxy (just to see what would happen)

It lasted about 4 months (longer than the traditional grout which would crack in a matter of days), however, (as noted above), the grout didn't crack - the tile did!

Their is no easy fix for problems like this, unfortunately. I have found 9 out of 10 times its a demo job followed by a proper substrate prep and proper install.

TILE SHOULD NEVER FAIL!!!
 

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Tile Contractor
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BCConstruction,
In all honesty, if your original post is accurate, you have no business doing anything in the tile industry until you gain some experience. Perhaps working under an experienced tile mechanic, or reading some books on the subject and practicing on your own house.

If you have no knowledge of the mechanics of tile installation, and available materials you shouldn't be working in a professional capacity within the industry.
 

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Tile Contractor
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Careful HS345. As it turns out this guy has a temper and he'll be attacking you next as he has me on another thread. I've been told he carries gun. But has no bullets in the chamber.:):):)
 

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If the tile is still attached to the substrate it is possible to beef up the plywood from below. I wouldn't be guaranteeing anything with the tile already set though.

But as mentioned you need joist spans, depths, centers and a real understanding of what is under the tile. Don't take the ho's word for it! He has already established he doesn't know what he is talking about. When he says 3/8 ply is he talking over the sub-floor or is that the sub-floor? (Unbelievable that would be)
 

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Well,
I see this all to often when the substrate is not prepared properly, you certainly have adopted an issue. There is no real solution except to tear it up, add another layer of plywood but, you may have elevation issues at the doors, removal of baseboard, shaving of doors and an eagle eyed client who is hating every minute of it as his wife is ripping him from a far.
Anti Fracture membrane has it's limitations as well, it looks like a fairly large tile in the photos 12"x24" or 16"x24" the previous post is correct the tile is next on the list for failure. If there is a lot of flex as you have stated BC in the floor there is not a lot to do here or easy solutions.
Contact Mapei they as long as you follow the wriiten specifications they provide and use their products, they will warranty the install for ya, I am pretty sure Laticrete will do the same.
But, Like anything else in life no foundation...... no future.
Regards GTG
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When i left the job yesterday i removed the qtr round and found that there's zero exspansion gap for the tile and this is also not helping. The problem is the sunroom gets upto 120+ some days and freezeing others and the edge grout is cracked all around the perimeter from exspansion. I told him i would get to the floor from below to do a temp fix but in all honesty i will have to take up the whole floor and redo. He now thinks that they added some more sub floor but didnt glue and screw it but just nailed it :eek:. I guess he is going to hold of for as long as possible.
 

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Tile Contractor
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Thank you. I am always open to new ideas and advice.:)
 

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Flooring Guru
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Let's continue to keep this on track.
Anything further can be private messaged to one another.

thank you.



I would think that flexable grout may be an option. It probably will fail, but it's worth a shot as any other option is time consuming and expensive.
unless you can fix from underneath.
 

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Thom
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About 20 years ago I did a shower with customer supplied tile. The customer also supplied this strange grout. It was a pre-mix, sanded grout, in a bucket. It seemed like latex caulk with sand in it. I don't know if it's available or how well it holds up. I did one shower pan with it and have never seen it again.

It was tough to work with, sticky like caulk.
 
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