New tile issues

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-10-10, 07:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
New tile issues

Had new tile installed. Old tile was laid with no mesh and was lifting and cracking everywhere. Laid mesh and screwed new plywood. New tile is tiled up to cabinets.
Three problems:
1. When we walk by where the cabinets come out from the wall in an L, there is a loud cracking sound. It seems to be coming from the baseboard moulding under the cabinet. No tiles are loose in this area.
2. Grout around the cabinets is cracking everywhere. Has now lifted out in one spot at the cabinets.
3. Two tiles are definitely loose - one at the sink, beside the tile that has lost it's gout (but no grout is lost touching this tile) and one at the sliding door to the deck. I can feel them wiggle when I step on them and they make a cracking sound.

Advice please!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-10-10, 10:29 AM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a total tear out.

There are many things that must be known and done in order to have a good tile installation:

1. Can your current floor joists support tile? (Whats the floor joist sizes, spacing, and unsupported span?)

2. How thick is your current subfloor?

3. A cement backerboard or other membrane is needed over the plywood (should not tile anything directly to plywood)

4. Correct thinset, i.e. don't use any crap that comes in a bucket.
 
  #3  
Old 09-10-10, 11:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks but need a fix not a tear out

Thanks very much for your reply. Much appreciated. The old tile was laid on the ply. The new tile was laid with new ply a wire mesh. The house is 25 years old. I believe the grout to the cabinets should have been silicone caulked for one. Why the cabinet is making the cracking sound, I don't know. I really want to fix it. Joists are 16" centres but I can't tell the size bc the basement is finished. Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 09-10-10, 01:36 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What was the wire mesh for? You hear crackling because there is movement in the floor.
 
  #5  
Old 09-10-10, 01:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,502
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Laid mesh and screwed new plywood. New tile is tiled up to cabinets.
The new tile was laid with new ply a wire mesh.
I'm not sure who advised you on this method, but it's not an acceptable method, and many failures have been associated with this type of installation. You should have installed cement board or an isolation membrane over the plywood. You could get lucky with this type of install and it could last a few years, or maybe not. Loose tiles, as you describe, are signs that you already have problems.

If you installed grout at the joints between the tile and base cabinets, thats another mistake. Definitely remove the grout and use a color matched caulk in place of the grout.

1. Can your current floor joists support tile? (Whats the floor joist sizes, spacing, and unsupported span?)

2. How thick is your current subfloor?
Answering these questions would be helpful as well.
 
  #6  
Old 09-10-10, 03:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I believe the sub floor is 3/4 or 1 inch ply. When I say wire mesh, I am referring to the old method of tiling. I know that the "new" method is the cement board but I got nervous when the former "new" method was a special scratch coat with no lath and that failed on the old tile. I decided to go with an old method instead of something else new and "fail proof". Guess I was wrong. Now what? We are looking at over 500 square feet of tile and only part of it is failing...the rest seems solid. There is definitely movement in the floor. We bought the house two years ago and there seems to have been some effort to brace the floor. I would have expected that all the screwing down should have done something. There is cross bracing beneath the floor between the joists as well as shims. The joists look to be about 2X8 where I can get a glimpse. I don't know the span.

Thanks again guys.
 
  #7  
Old 09-10-10, 06:57 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,607
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ontario,

That method is called "scratch coat" or "Jersey Mud". AKA Junk. It has failed every controlled test by industry associations who exist with the purpose of bettering out industry.

Unfortunately it is very much used around many parts of Canada especially Ontario & Quebec, and the Eastern parts of the USA.

Did I mention its not an approved method with a high failure rate? It is done solely to give the customer a cheaper way to do things, and it sometimes works ok for some time.

Other than constant repairs, (if you have enough spare tiles), you should consider starting over with approved methods and products. Check back here first however.

Jaz
 
  #8  
Old 09-10-10, 07:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the advice...starting over is a NO WAY. This job was nearly 5,000 with materials. Besides, I really don't think it's the scratch coat per se. I think it's the movement. I realize that it has failed industry standards - it is actually code in Ontario to do the cement board but I, in all my wisdom, talked the guy out of it. I am not even convinced that the cement board would have been fail safe if the joists are springy. Now - how to fix the joists... Thanks again.
 
  #9  
Old 09-10-10, 08:59 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,607
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well.............starting with a good sturdi base is elementary.

I don't know of any home built to minimum standards for floors, (L360 max deflection), That I couldn't install a tile floor and have it look great for 40-50 years.

Jaz
 
  #10  
Old 09-11-10, 06:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry...you lost me...do you mean that even a home with horrible floors would have a tile floor that would survive for that length of time if cement board was used? Too bad for me. Good to know for next time. Now I need to fix the deflection and live with the scratch coat. Thanks again.
 
  #11  
Old 09-11-10, 04:18 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,607
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
No, not at all. Cement backers gives you a tile friendly, monolithic surface to bond tiles to using a Portland based mortar. Cement backers do not add structural strength to the subfloor system.

L360 deflection is the lowest standard in home building for subfloor of rooms other than sleeping rooms. It is also the minimum standard for ceramic and porcelain tile installation. So, when the joists and subfloor deflection is L360 or less, (higher number, like L480 is less deflection), we can confidently set tiles using approved methods and products. Scratch coat is not one of those proven methods.

BTW, stone tiles require a much stiffer floor meeting L720 or better.

Jaz
 
  #12  
Old 09-11-10, 04:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay...gotcha. I was really regretting not using the cement board. Without structural stability, it wouldn't have made a difference. I think I will go with a beam under the joists supported by steel posts. Thanks so much. You are a wizard. Now I am in much less trouble with my husband. P.S. The tiles are porcelain.
 
  #13  
Old 09-12-10, 09:34 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,502
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I was really regretting not using the cement board. Without structural stability, it wouldn't have made a difference. I think I will go with a beam under the joists supported by steel posts.
You are assuming that the entire failure is relating to deflection, and thats probably not the case. You havent told us what you have for a subfloor, thickness, layers etc, and you havent told us what the unsupported span is. Understand that while cement board is not structural, it is an approved underlayment for ceramic tile that can be used over a single layer of plywood subfloor. The scratch coat method that you describe, is not an approved method, and is likely contributing to, and possibly the major issue. If this was done over a single layer of plywood, then forget about it.

Before you do the work that you propose, tell us more about your installation. You think the subfloor is 3/4" or 1" but not sure, the joists look to be about 2x8's but not sure . You need exact details here. How thick is the floor, what materials and how many layers? If more than 1 layer of plywood, describe exactly how the second layer was installed. What is the size of the joists, their on center spacing and their unsupported span? What setting material was used for setting the tile? Give exact manufacturer and product. This is a start. Depending on what you come back with, we may be able to further diagnose the problem.
 
  #14  
Old 09-12-10, 10:13 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay - again, good points, so here we go.

The reason I am basing it on structural instability is for the following reasons.
1. The original installation (only an adhesive mortar - no wire scratch coat) failed in exactly the same places as this new installation.
2. I am hearing cracking when I walk by one cabinet which can be reproduced by shifting my weight back and forth.
3. When we bought the house, we noticed that a beam had been installed in the basement workshop, ostensibly in an effort to support the joists, but it is not touching the joists in the middle of the span. Here, someone knocked in shims but not on all the joists.
4. There are shims between the ply and the joists in other areas.

The ply is the question - I haven't been able to ask the contractor, but I am certain that there is only one layer and that it is 3/4 to 1". I don't know the product and will try to ask him.

The joists are measuring 7" finished (2X8). The unsupported span is 11'9". The beam was installed mid span and is a tripled 2X8, extending 18 feet and only supported by steel posts at each end. Mid span, it doesn't look like it is doing anything, because it isn't touching the joists. It is either sagging, or the joists are arching (less likely?). That is why I thought that I might jack the beam up with a post mid span. I am afraid that I could cause cracking doing that though?

I'm sorry if I am frustrating you guys, but I am honestly trying my best. I am fairly handy for small jobs and pretty good at working things out but my husband isn't. This is all on my shoulders and we really can not afford to rip this out. 99% of the flooring is great. The tiling is at least 500 sq/feet goes through a large foyer, main floor bath, main floor laundry, breakfast room and kitchen. There are three areas of issue, within an area of only 100 square feet, all in the breakfast room and kitchen. That is why I want to fix this by reinforcing, if at all possible.


Ontario, Canada
 
  #15  
Old 09-12-10, 10:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,502
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I'm sorry if I am frustrating you guys, but I am honestly trying my best.
Im not getting frustrated, just trying to help you.

You dont say what the on center spacing of the joists is. If its 16" your floor joists may or may not meet L360 depending on what kind of wood they are. My guess is that thats not the problem though.

Other things you describe are more of a concern. Shimming the subfloor between the plywood and joists can create voids causing movement that could cause tile failure. If you have only one layer of plywood, that would explain the first failure and the current failure. If you are setting tile over plywood, you need two layers totalling 1 1/4". You dont have that. Your scratch coat method will not make up for or correct that. Cement board and isolation membranes can be installed over a single layer of plywood. If you are gonna set tile over plywood, you must have 2 layers.

You did not answer my question about the setting material (thinset) used. Thats real important when setting directly to plywood.
 
  #16  
Old 09-12-10, 12:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi again,

I am wrong. There is a ply subfloor (1"?) and a second 3/8 ply subfloor over top. The subfloor was screwed every 6" before the second layer was applied.

The shims were added after by the tile contractor to try to rectify the cracking sound. Initially this helped but the cracking sound is back. I had thought that the shims were there when we bought the house but apparently not.

There is at least a 2" gap between the joists and the beam in the middle of the span. The beam has sagged. I don't want to jack the beam in the middle because it is dry and it will lift at the ends. For this reason, I am planning to cut the beam and then jack each half individually on either side of the cut, as a start. Then I will use a 2X6 under the cut and install a post with a metal plate under it to disperse the weight.

Lastly, on my next marriage I will marry a handyman. Ha Ha

I answered earlier about spacing, I think, 16" centers.

The scratch coat/thin set was the top of the line product available from the tile vender. I don't know more than that but I know it was expensive compared to the other products.
Hope this helps...

Thanks,
Ontario
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: