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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Daniel Island, SC.

    Default Cracks in bathroom tile.

    Inspected 2006 house on slab. The tile in one bathroom is cracked from the tub to the toilet and behind the toilet. This originally happened in 2007. Homeowner had the builder repair it. It has since happened again and gotten worse. In the other bathroom, the cracking is happening at the door entrance in the first tile. This was also repaired in 2007. Settling? Stress? Cracking through a piece of tile seems significant.

    Jim Murphy

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    Homeowner says the builder repaired it. In what way did the builder repair it?

    Replacing cracked tiles repairs the cracked tile but does not repair the cracked slab. If the crack runs though the toilet flange, it might be dumping water between the cracked slab every time someone flushes. Creates a sink hole leading to further settling.

    You need a more definite explanation of how and what the builder repaired. Then you will know why the tile cracked again.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    state of jefferson

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    agree with bruce and post a maximum weight limit on that toilet!

  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    Either a hole below from water running through it or swelled soil lifting that area. Time for the plumber to run a camera snake down there for possible evidense of a leak. Or the hole foundation settling all around the home. Could be a number of things. More than likely taking some foundation measurements will tell you what is up or down and how much and then a possible fix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    Bathroom backed up to an interior wall? Exterior wall? Corner of slab (inside or outside corner - which)?

    Cracks at each location could have different causes.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )

  6. #6
    Dave Felix's Avatar
    Dave Felix Guest

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    OK, I have been lurking for some time. I guess I have to make my first post eventually, no?

    These guys have some valid points about leaks and such. In addition, these cracks could be cause by settling. In any instance, after all possible causes were evaluated and repairs made to leaks if present, the proper way to repair the tile would have been to tear it all up and replace the tile over an isolation membrane such as DITRA to prevent the tile from recracking. If you install tile over cracked concrete the cracks WILL eventually transmit thru the tile. If you don't "isolate" the tile from the cracked concrete you will continue to have cracked tiles no matter how many times you replace the tiles. My guess is that the contractor replaced the affected tiles only, but even if he replaced the whole floor worth of tiles, if he didn't address the crack issue he didn't fix the problem. This includes installing tile over sawcuts that are made for crack control. Ditra is a product that basically gives you a second base for installing your tile that is not bonded to the cracked concrete floor. It should also be used for "fresh" concrete such as new home construction , where cracking could occur due to settling or shrinkage.

    BTW: I am not a represetative for DITRA nor am I a distributor for them. I have nothing to gain from posting their product here. I have done my share of tile installs and that's how I came across this product. I am only posting this for informational vallue for you guys. (Knowledge is power, correct?)

    In case any of you are interested here is a link for Ditra:
    Schluter-DITRA - Schluter-Systems

  7. #7
    gary gramling's Avatar
    gary gramling Guest

    Default Re: Cracks in bathroom tile.

    Jerry and Dave are both correct.
    If the slab is cracking, there could be many causes. you could have differential soil settling or expansion underneath the foundation. Shooting the levels throughout the house could give you some direction. You could have shoddy concrete work where the integrity of the concrete was sacrificed by a foreman wanting to hurry the pour and added too much water. It wasn't too many years ago (15-20) that, instead of rebar, they could have used a heavy duty wire mesh for reinforcement. In our area, nitrates are a major factor in concrete failure. Need more info.
    Ditra works well as an underlayment; but, so does vinyl flooring glued upside down to the concrete. You can also use "felt" which you can find at Lowes, etc. The trick is to get a good bond between the underlayment and the concrete. Then, set your tile to the underlayment. I do this for all tile installations. Concrete will crack; and, when it does, tile laid directly onto concrete will crack, too.


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