tile grout crumbling and cracking


Old 01-01-04, 08:13 AM
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tile grout crumbling and cracking

We recently had new ceramic tile counters installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. The grout is cracking in many places (vertically and horizontally) and when I run my finger along the grout lines, a white powdery substance comes off on my finger. We have had the tile contractor out several times to have him repair the problem but it stills recurs (counters are about 1 month old). We requested non-sanded grout on the kitchen counter and sanded grout in the bath counters. Also the v cap tiles on the kitchen counter edge have cracked horizontally and it appears that the crack is directly above where the cabinets below would meet the counter top. My questions are: How can I get the contractor to repair the cracking grout permanently and what could have caused that cracking of the v cap tiles.
Thanks for your help. We had a general contractor for this remodeling job and he doesn't seem to be at all alarmed that this problem keeps recurring.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:24 AM
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Grout and tile cracking are signs of movement. The structure the tile is on needs to be a bit beefier.
Old 01-01-04, 11:02 AM
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As daniel was saying these are signs of movement and this will not fix itself.Coming out and filling in the grout is only a temporary fix and will continue to happen until the problem is solved.

You may end up starting all over again if he cannot fix what the problem is.What did he put the tile over?Please be very specific so we can see if wee can tell you what the problem is and help to locate the problem so you know where to begin
Old 01-01-04, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for your quick reply. There is plywood board sitting on the top of the cabinet. This is covered by a heavy paper. Over the paper is concrete which issurrounded by a steel channel also filled in with concrete. Over this is the tile and v-cap at the edge. the tile was glued to the flat concrete bed, then grouted. As to the cracking grout, it appears only at the position of vertical tiles meeting horizontal tiles and where the tile meets the wall.
Hope I've explained this adequately.
My husband seems to think that the v-cap may not have been covered completely with glue but only at one horizontal and one vertical spot and because of glue shinkage, pressure was created and the tile couldn't handle the stress. By the way, the tile cracking took place before the most recent earthquake. We've had other ceramic tile counters and although the ground occasionally moved, we never had cracks in the grout or tiles.
Old 01-01-04, 12:52 PM
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What is the tile spacing in the bathroom and on the kitchen counters?

Non-sanded grout is usually used only if the spacing is 1/8" or less.
Old 01-01-04, 01:08 PM
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The sanded grout is around 1/4" and the non-sanded grout is no wider than 1/8"
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