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  1. #1
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    Default Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Did you tap on the other tiles to see how many were loose sounding (sound hollow)?

    Quite possibly a bad tile job. Quite common in Florida ... ALL TOO COMMON in Florida.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Did you tap on the other tiles to see how many were loose sounding (sound hollow)?

    Quite possibly a bad tile job. Quite common in Florida ... ALL TOO COMMON in Florida.

    I appreciate the response, I had walked on them when inspecting the stove and that pantry area then when I had to inspected the floor but didn't notice any give in the tiles. I just don't want to raise an ugly flag. any suggestions on how to write this up should I raise the poss of foundation issue in the write up??

    "Cracking noted in ceramic tiles. This could be an indication of inadequate subfloor installation being an uneven floor, bad tile tile installation" "or" ??


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Hard to tell but it looks like the crack spans across several tile which would be "telegraphing" the crack in the concrete below. A crack in and of itself is not a cause for concern since all concrete cracks. Evaluation of the rest of the structure would tell you more about that. If they choose to go back with tile, make sure that provision to "decouple" the tile from the slab to protect from future cracks in the new tile.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Hard to tell but it looks like the crack spans across several tile which would be "telegraphing" the crack in the concrete below. A crack in and of itself is not a cause for concern since all concrete cracks. Evaluation of the rest of the structure would tell you more about that. If they choose to go back with tile, make sure that provision to "decouple" the tile from the slab to protect from future cracks in the new tile.
    I appreciated Jim I was thinking the same thing since it spans into the adjoining pantry and across center of tiles but how big of a curing/settling crack it might be..since the house on only 10 yrs old
    can you suggest a way to write it uop witout raising any flags? any help is appreciated Thx


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Redmond View Post
    ..since the house on only 10 yrs old can you suggest a way to write it uop witout raising any flags? any help is appreciated Thx
    Why do you want to write it up without raising any flags?

    Your intent should be to 'raise the flag' that this may be something to consider (it may be costly, ever replace a tile floor because the tile was laid wrong? it is expensive, do you want to be the one to pay for it?).

    If the tile is on a slab, always, always, always tap on it with some tool or bounce a golf ball around on it - loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas will sound back has hollow areas.

    There were a lot ... A LOT ... of loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas of tile all over South Florida from the 1980s and 1990s, even into the 2000s, what brought the issue to the forefront and the reason it stopped or was greatly reduced is that home inspector began writing it up.

    Especially on new houses - the the original contractor/builder address it and pay for it. On existing homes, let the seller address it and give a credit for it. Why 'stick it to the buyer' (your client)?

    The problem still exists, and not just in South Florida, and it is due to improperly laid tile.

    When tile is properly laid, the tile 'becomes one with the slab' (basically speaking, the thinset is solidly adhered to the slab, the tile is solidly adhered to the thinset, thus the tile is solidly stuck to the slab. When the slab cracks, that crack is telegraphed through the tile in a direct line with the slab crack below.

    If the tile is not solidly bonded to the slab, any tile cracking caused by a slab crack may not have any relation to the slab crack location, and tile should not 'crack' on its own when solidly bonded to the slab and the slab would have to crack too. The tile may chip out where something fell on it, but if the tile is fully supported by the slab, the slab is going to have to crack too.

    For tile installations which are intentionally separated from the slab with a crack separation membrane, and there are several options available for doing that, then the intent is to separate the tile from the slab, and in those cases, the tile should be laid on a full mud bed which is laid on the crack separation membrane, not set with thinset to the crack separation membrane as is most often done in residential settings when crack separation membranes are used.

    Carry a couple of golf balls with you, bounce one around on the floor, then give them to your clients and let them 'look for loose tiles' - most like doing it ... it also makes them part of the inspection and they begin to realize some of the limitations you have against you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Redmond View Post
    ..since the house on only 10 yrs old can you suggest a way to write it uop witout raising any flags? any help is appreciated Thx
    Why do you want to write it up without raising any flags?

    Your intent should be to 'raise the flag' that this may be something to consider (it may be costly, ever replace a tile floor because the tile was laid wrong? it is expensive, do you want to be the one to pay for it?).

    If the tile is on a slab, always, always, always tap on it with some tool or bounce a golf ball around on it - loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas will sound back has hollow areas.

    There were a lot ... A LOT ... of loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas of tile all over South Florida from the 1980s and 1990s, even into the 2000s, what brought the issue to the forefront and the reason it stopped or was greatly reduced is that home inspector began writing it up.

    Especially on new houses - the the original contractor/builder address it and pay for it. On existing homes, let the seller address it and give a credit for it. Why 'stick it to the buyer' (your client)?

    The problem still exists, and not just in South Florida, and it is due to improperly laid tile.

    When tile is properly laid, the tile 'becomes one with the slab' (basically speaking, the thinset is solidly adhered to the slab, the tile is solidly adhered to the thinset, thus the tile is solidly stuck to the slab. When the slab cracks, that crack is telegraphed through the tile in a direct line with the slab crack below.

    If the tile is not solidly bonded to the slab, any tile cracking caused by a slab crack may not have any relation to the slab crack location, and tile should not 'crack' on its own when solidly bonded to the slab and the slab would have to crack too. The tile may chip out where something fell on it, but if the tile is fully supported by the slab, the slab is going to have to crack too.

    For tile installations which are intentionally separated from the slab with a crack separation membrane, and there are several options available for doing that, then the intent is to separate the tile from the slab, and in those cases, the tile should be laid on a full mud bed which is laid on the crack separation membrane, not set with thinset to the crack separation membrane as is most often done in residential settings when crack separation membranes are used.

    Carry a couple of golf balls with you, bounce one around on the floor, then give them to your clients and let them 'look for loose tiles' - most like doing it ... it also makes them part of the inspection and they begin to realize some of the limitations you have against you.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Why do you want to write it up without raising any flags?

    Your intent should be to 'raise the flag' that this may be something to consider (it may be costly, ever replace a tile floor because the tile was laid wrong? it is expensive, do you want to be the one to pay for it?).

    If the tile is on a slab, always, always, always tap on it with some tool or bounce a golf ball around on it - loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas will sound back has hollow areas.

    There were a lot ... A LOT ... of loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas of tile all over South Florida from the 1980s and 1990s, even into the 2000s, what brought the issue to the forefront and the reason it stopped or was greatly reduced is that home inspector began writing it up.

    Especially on new houses - the the original contractor/builder address it and pay for it. On existing homes, let the seller address it and give a credit for it. Why 'stick it to the buyer' (your client)?

    The problem still exists, and not just in South Florida, and it is due to improperly laid tile.

    When tile is properly laid, the tile 'becomes one with the slab' (basically speaking, the thinset is solidly adhered to the slab, the tile is solidly adhered to the thinset, thus the tile is solidly stuck to the slab. When the slab cracks, that crack is telegraphed through the tile in a direct line with the slab crack below.

    If the tile is not solidly bonded to the slab, any tile cracking caused by a slab crack may not have any relation to the slab crack location, and tile should not 'crack' on its own when solidly bonded to the slab and the slab would have to crack too. The tile may chip out where something fell on it, but if the tile is fully supported by the slab, the slab is going to have to crack too.

    For tile installations which are intentionally separated from the slab with a crack separation membrane, and there are several options available for doing that, then the intent is to separate the tile from the slab, and in those cases, the tile should be laid on a full mud bed which is laid on the crack separation membrane, not set with thinset to the crack separation membrane as is most often done in residential settings when crack separation membranes are used.

    Carry a couple of golf balls with you, bounce one around on the floor, then give them to your clients and let them 'look for loose tiles' - most like doing it ... it also makes them part of the inspection and they begin to realize some of the limitations you have against you.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Why do you want to write it up without raising any flags?

    Your intent should be to 'raise the flag' that this may be something to consider (it may be costly, ever replace a tile floor because the tile was laid wrong? it is expensive, do you want to be the one to pay for it?).

    If the tile is on a slab, always, always, always tap on it with some tool or bounce a golf ball around on it - loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas will sound back has hollow areas.

    There were a lot ... A LOT ... of loose, unbonded, poorly laid, areas of tile all over South Florida from the 1980s and 1990s, even into the 2000s, what brought the issue to the forefront and the reason it stopped or was greatly reduced is that home inspector began writing it up.

    Especially on new houses - the the original contractor/builder address it and pay for it. On existing homes, let the seller address it and give a credit for it. Why 'stick it to the buyer' (your client)?

    The problem still exists, and not just in South Florida, and it is due to improperly laid tile.

    When tile is properly laid, the tile 'becomes one with the slab' (basically speaking, the thinset is solidly adhered to the slab, the tile is solidly adhered to the thinset, thus the tile is solidly stuck to the slab. When the slab cracks, that crack is telegraphed through the tile in a direct line with the slab crack below.

    If the tile is not solidly bonded to the slab, any tile cracking caused by a slab crack may not have any relation to the slab crack location, and tile should not 'crack' on its own when solidly bonded to the slab and the slab would have to crack too. The tile may chip out where something fell on it, but if the tile is fully supported by the slab, the slab is going to have to crack too.

    For tile installations which are intentionally separated from the slab with a crack separation membrane, and there are several options available for doing that, then the intent is to separate the tile from the slab, and in those cases, the tile should be laid on a full mud bed which is laid on the crack separation membrane, not set with thinset to the crack separation membrane as is most often done in residential settings when crack separation membranes are used.

    Carry a couple of golf balls with you, bounce one around on the floor, then give them to your clients and let them 'look for loose tiles' - most like doing it ... it also makes them part of the inspection and they begin to realize some of the limitations you have against you.

    Thank you I appreciate your response. I will definitely carry a golf ball now.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    "At least X cracked tiles were noted throughout the kitchen floor area. Multiple tiles were cracked in a continuing path" ......
    This could be a bad tile install issue, this could be a slab issue that is either current or past or this could be event based damage. I can't even give you good speculation since I didn't do my job very well.
    Unfortunately can't add more since we don't know more.

    - since you apparently didn't tap on the cracked tiles or adjacent tiles we don't know if the tiles are cracked and tight or cracked and detached
    - since you probably didn't pull out an IR camera we don't know if there were any indicators of the source of the problem
    - since you didn't do those things I'm guessing you didn't go outside to look at the walls or foundation curb to see if there were visible cracks at the exterior; also 'assuming' you didn't check the outside to see if there were downspouts outside the wall areas
    - also assuming you didn't pull out the stove to see if tiles under the stove were cracked or not, or if there was a visible separation between the tile and baseboard behind the stove
    - I'm guessing there were no in ground ducts, if there were those should have been checked, sometimes they give good clues, sometimes not

    Your job IS to raise red flags. Your job is to protect the client from what they don't know or understand. Unless of course you are just a rubber stamp for local agents.
    When you provide speculation you raise red flags that may make you look like a goof
    When you provide reasonable or solid information you aren't raising red flags, you are doing your job.
    When you see that type of cracking, that's when you have an obligation to your client to man up, put your investigator hat on and make a concerted effort to gather any possible evidence that would provide clues to the problem.
    Sometimes its possible to figure stuff out, sometimes its just not possible without destructive investigation (which of course is not part of an HI)
    Either way an HI needs to make an effort to figure it out. If you see this condition and you don't try to investigate further then you might as well be a checkbox idiot.
    Another part of this equation that a lot of HI's don't understand, care or realize is that when you don't provide some sort of fact based guidance to your client you are just putting them at the mercy of contractors who may be looking for their next boat payment.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Bad Tile Job or Poss foundation issue?

    Tile cracks are sometimes symmetrical, such as when they follow seams in the subfloor plywood or tile-board. Those you can attribute to a poor tile job, poor prep. When the crack does not follow a straight line, it appears to be due to a shifting of the concrete slab below, assuming a slab foundation. (If it is wood, the wood is too thin.)
    Then if it is the concrete slab, you decide if it is excessive and caused by poor building practice. That could be a drainage issue, expansive clay, or just normal shrinkage. Are foundation slabs pre-tensioned in this area? Then you look to see if there is a root cause outside.

    It doesn't take a great deal of a shift to crack a tile. Check for displacement by laying your 4 foot level across the crack.
    I do think the new owners will want to install new tiles, and that could be pricey, even if no subfloor work is needed.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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