Why is the grout cracking and coming loose at my floor tile?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Two Reasons For Tile Grout Cracking

The most common reason for popped grout is inadequate thinset coverage holding the tile to the floor. First the tile begins to see-saw a little, then the grout bond cracks and starts to come loose. There will usually also be cracked tile, but sometimes the tile remains intact. If the problem is just at a few tiles, you can remove and reinstall or replace just the offending tiles. Cracked grout everywhere means the whole area needs to be redone.

    The second most likely reason for cracked and loose grout is that the floor structure under it was not designed for tile and is flexing because it is not stiff enough. We see this in mobile homes when the homeowner installs tile directly over the plywood floor without a Durock-type backer board. Also, a backer board may be in place but inadequately screwed down or has no thinset beneath it. These two scenarios are more likely to have both cracked tiles and popped grout.

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about STRUCTURE AND ROOMS:

What are the building code requirements for notching and boring holes in a wall stud? 

What causes dark or light "ghost" lines on ceilings and walls?

Can you access or exit a bedroom through another bedroom?

What is the difference between a carport and a garage? 

What are simple ways to find the cause of a ceiling stain?

What is the minimum size of habitable rooms in a house according to the building code? 

Why is my garage ceiling sagging? 

How can I identify what kind of wood flooring I am looking at?

Why does my concrete floor slab sweat and get slippery?

What is the minimum ceiling height for rooms in a house? 

Why are there score line grooves in the concrete floor of the garage?

How much can I cut out of a floor joist? 

How can I tell if my floors are sloping?

Why do the floors slope in this old house? 

What are the common problems when a homeowner converts a garage to conditioned living space, such as a family room?

• How can I tell if a wall is load-bearing? Which walls can I take out? 

   Visit our STRUCTURE AND ROOMS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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