Cracked Saltillo

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Old 01-31-08, 05:16 AM
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Cracked Saltillo

We had Saltillo installed on the first floor approx. 1600 sf over concrete slab. We now have hairline cracks running through 10 to 15 tiles in 3 different rooms. I have checked it appears the saltillo was laid over typical hairline cracks in the foundation. These cracks are less then 1/8" and I'm not sure if they are static or not. I would like to replace these tiles myself. I have heard that a special saw is used to cut the grout lines then simply chisel the bad tile out being careful not to damage the surrounding tiles. I have seen some crack prevention thinsets on the web, do these really work and is there any otehr special tips or tricks in repalcing these tiles.

I have some experience laying the saltillo since the contrator worked out when he was about 75% done originally.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 06:56 PM
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For the budget minded there are handheld grout saws sold at home centers for about $5-$7.

A RotoZip or Dremmel can also be used with a special "tile bit". A right angle grinder with a "diamond blade" can also be used.

Cut away all the grout surrounding the offending tile and hammer away until the old tile is removed. Scrape the floor and go again. No big deal.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 08:16 PM
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Sorry to step in, but why did the tiles crack? Were they installed over a slab that had a crack? No crack insulation membrane? Something going on with the soil beneath the crack? Moisture issues? Other? Just asking because replacement of cracked tile is not guarantee it won't crack again. The reason I ask is that cracks in tile and grout are usually a sign of movement.

"I have some experience laying the saltillo since the contractor worked out when he was about 75% done originally." What does this mean?
 
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Old 02-01-08, 04:16 AM
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I agree that replacing tiles without fixing the reason you had cracks in the first place is probably going to guarantee future cracks.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 05:21 AM
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Update

Yes, there appears to be hairline cracks in the concrete foundation. I verified this by looking in a closet that is still carpeted and pulling it up adjacent to where the cracked saltillo butted up to the closet wall. The crack in the found is a hariline crack less then 1/8".

I have heard of crack prevention mortars (Megaflex) or underlayments (Easy Mat) and was wondering if anyone had expereince with them or not.

Live in Houston Texas so there is always movement between summer and winter (dry to wet).

By saying I have some experience I mean I know how to lay the Saltillo already as I had to finish the original job myself because the contractor walk out on us.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 08:24 AM
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Too late now man!

Repair the bad ones and expect more. Use a flex thinset, it will help but unless you are ready to take it all out and start over totally this conversation is moot.

I do have one question however: SINCE WHEN is a 1/8" wide crack in a cement substrate a "hairline" crack?

Are the sides of the cracks on the same plane or is one side higher than the other.

Houston soils are super unstable with heavy concentrations of clay and tiling directly onto concrete in that area is highly questionable. I know I know, it's done all the time.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 02:20 PM
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To the untrained eye it appears to be on the same plane. Any flex product you know that is better then the others?

Thanks for the reply!
 
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Old 02-01-08, 02:34 PM
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MegaLite, MegaFlex, ProLite, FlexBond, VersaBondFlex, Custom Flex.

All available thru Home Depot.
 
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