Crack in shower tile floor

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Old 07-07-15, 07:28 PM
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Crack in shower tile floor

Hi all,

Had a couple of hairline cracks form in between the mosaic tiles in the shower floor. Decided to regrout those areas. Couple of tiles had small cracks in them already, but during removal of the grout a couple more tiles cracked. Any suggestion in repairing this or do I need to go find matching tiles and replace the cracked ones? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-07-15, 08:02 PM
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Looks like you've got more problems that just hairline cracks in the grout. first of all grout will not crack unless there's movement. And, tiles will not break like that in use, unless you used a sledge hammer. Looks like the deck mud below the tiles has cracked. Just a guess without knowing how it's built.

Jaz
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:17 AM
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Remove the damaged grout and tiles can better see what's below and determine if it's a repair or shower remodel time. Maybe the base is good and they just missed an area with thinset and you just need to put in some replacement tiles and grout. Or, you may find there is movement in the base or the base is cracked which means a more involved repair.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:25 AM
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I was hoping it wouldn't come to that. Any recommendations for removing the tiles? I'm using a dremel with a grout removal blade. Don't want to go to far down and damage the base/thinset. Will the tiles start coming off on their own or do I need to "pop" them out with a blade?
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:52 AM
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Before I move forward removing the tiles, only one tile had a small crack in it. The rest were ok until I started removing the grout next to the tiles. That's when the other tiles cracked too. Granted I removed grout in other places and the tiles didn't crack there. Does that still mean the deck mud below has cracked? I'm not sure how it's built either. We bought the house about a year ago and the crack formed after.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 07:06 AM
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The floor should be built something like in the sketch. More later.

Jaz
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Old 07-15-15, 05:15 AM
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I removed the tiles around the crack to expose the mortar bed below. No cracks visible. Tiles around crack seem to move slightly when I press on them. Maybe the tile adhesive came loose in some places causing the movement that resulted in the cracked grout? Will remove the moving tiles and replace with new ones. Should I have any concerns about the crack between the vertical tile and the mortar bed that's shown in the photo? When I put down new tiles I plan on sealing the crack with the tile adhesive. Never had any leakage issues on floor below this bathroom.
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Old 07-15-15, 05:47 AM
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Yes, if the tile came unbonded from the base it will crack the grout. Grout is very rigid so almost any movement is enough to crack it.

It is common for grout to crack where tile changes plane like going from a horizontal surface to a vertical because it's difficult to firmly attach to substrates together so there can be very slight movement. Not enough movement usually to be a concern but enough to crack grout. That is why it's usually recommended to use a color matched silicone caulk for corners like that. It matches the grout pretty well and is flexible enough to not crack.

In a shower the tile and substrate (mortar bed on the floor) is not the water proofing layer. There is a rubber membrane underneath the mortar bed and running up the walls a bit that contains the water. So, in most cases even if the mortar bed on the floor cracks it should not result in leaking. Your tile may crack but the shower shouldn't leak.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 06:47 AM
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Thank you. I'll plan on putting down new tiles with thinset to correct the issue. Any recommendations on the type of thinset to use? Would something like this work: Custom Building Products VersaBond Gray 50 lb. Fortified Thin-Set Mortar-MTSG50 - The Home Depot. Thanks again.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 08:32 AM
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That should be good. Just make sure the mortar bed underneath is absolutely clean. Soap scum that seeped through and under the tile can reduce adhesion. If your in doubt you can thoroughly wire brush, scrape or lightly remove and roughen a thin layer on the surface with a chisel or etch with muriatic acid. Then thoroughly clean to remove and dust and debris you knocked free.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 03:53 PM
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Since I'm dealing with a small (~10 sq ft) shower space and I'm removing about 1/2 of the tile, I decided to just replace all of the shower floor tile. Can't find much information on what type of tile is recommended for the shower floor, other than not using something too big to reduce slipping. Would tile like this be okay for a shower floor: Daltile Folkstone Sandy Beach 12 in. x 12 in. x 8 mm Porcelain Brick-Joint Mosaic Tile-FK9824BWHD1P2 - The Home Depot

What should I be looking out for when choosing tile? Is there some type of tile that works best for water exposure? Thanks!
 
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Old 08-09-15, 06:16 PM
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Those tiles appear to be just under 2" x about 3.75". The long side should still be ok, just depends on how dished the floor is. For the novice, I recommend you stay close to 2", maybe 3". Still this tile is small enough to provide good grip for your feet.

You need a porcelain tile, (such as this one), which is very dense and absorbs very little water from the backside. Most mosaics are porcelain ceramic.

Jaz
 
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