? re spectralock already in plane changes--cracks! please help. [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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elsieCat
03-04-2007, 12:29 PM
Hi--I posted this in "my" thread last night but I am concerned it will get missed, since the name of the thread is about something else entirely...so I apologize if this is a taboo--but I'm somewhat anxious for the pros' thoughts on this...

So the situation is that our tile guy, who did our shower and tub surround, used Spectralock on the floor. The *problem* is that he used it right up to the vertical walls, and we have cracking in two corners already from settling, I guess. Running cracks about 6" long in all dimensions and growing. (The cracks are in the plane change lines, not breaking any tile, but I've now read the thread about spectralock being able to break tile rather than break its bond, so I guess that is a future possibility as well) I knew it was wrong not to leave a space for grout in the corners, but when I saw the work it was already a fait accompli and I just had to hope. But the cracking has set in already, in a matter of a few months (and no use, even, yet).

He seemed to take the situation in hand when I informed him of it--he said he'd "torch out" a small line along each side and fill it with caulk instead, which sounded like it would make the installation meet the generally recommended idea of flexibility in plane changes.

He came yesterday and once again I couldn't be here when he worked--I came home to find huge wide caulk lines (he's completely capable of thin ones--*I* can do thinner caulk lines than what these were)...in the course of trying to make them thinner, I discovered that he's just caulked *over* them, not removed any of the epoxy grout except for one line about 3" long at one of the cracked joints. The other cracked joints, and the rest of the problematic installation, he just caulked over and left.

This strikes me as an attempt at putting makeup on a potentially serious functional problem, given that it's standard industry practice not to put grout in plane changes, *especially* spectralock, and we've seen already what can happen in a short period of time. I'm really disappointed in what he did, because he had seemed to be a decent honest guy before this, but he definitely told me he'd torch out a thin line everywhere and he didn't.

I am needing advice as to what to do. I can't leave our shower like this. Has anyone ever faced this problem with an installation before? And if so, what have you done? Thanks very much.

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Rob Z
03-04-2007, 12:35 PM
Hi

It's possible that a Dremel tool with the appropriate bit and a steady hand could cut out the Sprectralock in the corners. :)

tilemanct
03-04-2007, 12:40 PM
I would be more concerned with the "settling". The tilesetter is often blamed for a structural problem that should have been addressed by the GC or Architect.

elsieCat
03-04-2007, 02:44 PM
Thanks, Rob. We have a dremel so I'll try it. We also have a rotozip if it comes to it, I guess.

And tilemanct, I hear you--it's an older house, but I do know that at least in terms of deflection, the subfloor was probably overbuilt. The cracking doesn't go down to the mud bed, thankfully--it may not have been settling, perhaps, maybe something to do with how the epoxy grout cured?