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Prevent Cracked Tiles at a Joint

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Bill in Texas needs some help with a cracked tile. What’s going on at your money pit?

    BILL: About six years ago I added a 15×15-foot room to my house and the concrete slab of that room is attached to the slab of the house. And then we laid one foot-square ceramic tiles on both the floors and the tiles went right across that joint. And then about three years later or three years ago, a hairline appeared in those tiles right over that joint …

    TOM: Yep.

    BILL: … and over the three years, that crack has increased about 1/32 of an inch; which doesn’t sound large but it looks big.

    TOM: (chuckles) Yeah, and it’s annoying I bet, too.

    BILL: Yeah, I plan to take those tiles out and cut them – cut new tiles – and put them in so that the grout joint between the tiles is right over that slab joint. Is that the right thing to do? Is there something else that I should do to help that situation so I don’t have trouble?

    TOM: No, you’re absolutely right. Because you’re getting some movement between the old and the new parts of the building and you’re always going to have that movement. That’s a very normal thing to happen, Bill. So you want to work with it. Your idea of taking the old tiles out and perhaps doing a different tile pattern there, where you do have a grout joint over that seam, will help. You are going to have some movement there still and you are going to get, still, a bit of a crack there. There’s pretty much nothing that you can do about that that’s going to stop that …

    BILL: OK.

    TOM: … you know unless you did some real major work, which we wouldn’t recommend.

    BILL: No.

    TOM: But putting the seam there would make a difference.

    BILL: OK, well that sounds good. Thirty-secondth of an inch isn’t too terrible in three years, so I guess maybe I’m going to come out OK.

    TOM: There are people – as hard as this may be to believe, there are people in America that have bigger home improvement problems than you, Bill. (Tom and Leslie laugh)

    BILL: Oh, I – oh no, I hear what you’re saying. Listen, I appreciate you all so much. Listen to your show every Sunday and really do love it.

    LESLIE: Thanks, Bill.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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