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Unread 07-25-2014, 10:28 AM   #1
Rubicon_Dave
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Need professional opinion on V cap install

I have a number of homes that are experiencing V cap cracks horizontally along the radius of the V cap and my tile installer is telling me it's because it's the "cheap Dal100 product" that we spec for our base homes.

I'm not a tile installer but I've been in the construction trades for 13 years and have picked up a few things... In my experience, this is not a good way to install V cap... (see photo below)

The method I'm familiar with involves perforated metal C channel and about an 1/8" gap behind the vertical leg of the V cap. Some guys mud behind the leg, some don't.

In this photo, it looks to me like the leg is tight against the wood with no channel installed. My guess is as the deck mud cures and shrinks it pulls the vertical leg into the plywood decking more, causing stress and an eventual crack.

I've been using the Dal 100 product in all of our homes for the last 13 years and while we've had the occasional crack here and there we aren't seeing the frequency of cracks like we are in this community.

I'm throwing this out to the folks that do this for a living to see what your thoughts are on the install.

For obvious reasons I'm not going to call out the tile company or mention geographical areas...
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Unread 07-25-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
Richard Tunison
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Hi Dave and welcome.

Are the tiles being installed directly to the plywood and to end grain of the plywood,,,,,,and if so, with what.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
Rubicon_Dave
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Our contract calls for mortar bed installation, but that doesn't necessarily mean they did what we asked...

I have them out there today doing some repairs so when the V cap comes off I'll confirm the install and let you know. With as much of the leg that is hanging below the decking I can't imagine there's a mortar bed there.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
Richard Tunison
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I agree. Looks like shoddy work frankly.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 01:40 PM   #5
dhagin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
With as much of the leg that is hanging below the decking I can't imagine there's a mortar bed there.
I was thinkin the same thing.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
Davy
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Even though it's been years since I've used V-cap, I have used a lot of it in the past. I had the same problem once and I did use the metal edge to hold the mud bed. It still cracked, about 35 of them. with the mud bed, mine never stuck down that far below the plywood.

After I repaired that job, I started sticking the top part of the V-cap to the countertop mud and not the face. I didn't want the face left unsupported so I left a 1/8 gap and run a bead of silicone on the face. Maybe two beads making sure one was right along the bottom. Not sure if all that's good or not but I never had any call backs doing it that way.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 07:48 PM   #7
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Years ago when I did mud counters/countertops etc......used metal sink rail along the face,which was filled with fatmud. To prevent what you just described,I,and others in the know,when setting the cap,would butter the back face of the cap,with mastic. Underside top of cap was set with thinset,or pure,if setting fresh,same day etc.

Mine,and others exp,was that when cap was set with all thinset,or all pure...over time,the cap would crack along the face,just as you described. As strange as it sounds,using mastic solved that problem.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 08:50 PM   #8
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
I started sticking the top part of the V-cap to the countertop mud and not the face. I didn't want the face left unsupported so I left a 1/8 gap and run a bead of silicone on the face. Maybe two beads
It's been a long time but we used to do the same thing as what Davy is describing here and it solved the problem. We also would do it with mastic, on the face only in place of the silicone, and that worked too. I just depended on which materials we had on the job.
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Unread 07-25-2014, 11:59 PM   #9
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Looks like typical a&a tile and tile Co work. Shotty at best

Used to see that a lot when they were floating and setting the same day. The ones that glued the face and top cracked. The ones that were just stuck on top were fine. The theory was that the deck was drying differently and putting pressure on the v cap
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Unread 07-26-2014, 05:58 AM   #10
John Bridge
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It happened to my jobs once or twice, and I attribute it to movement of the wood, primarily swelling or expansion. I say this because when I relocated to Texas years ago I couldn't find anyone who knew anything about metal sink rail. So I started setting v-caps over mud on top of the counter but with the front part against the face of the cabinets. Like I say, it didn't happen often.

I think that even when using sink rail it happens because the wood to which the sink rail is attached expands. Can't back that with scientific testing, but that's what I think.
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Unread 07-26-2014, 06:24 AM   #11
Autoplay
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Would tend to agree with ya John. Saw it "with" sink rail,and solution as I stated,was to butter face of em,with mastic.
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Unread 07-26-2014, 09:57 AM   #12
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I don't install v-caps but this guys seems to say the same as others...

http://www.stoddardtile.com/faq/vcaps.html
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Unread 07-26-2014, 01:39 PM   #13
Davy
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I agree with John too, I thought all along that the wood was swelling, causing the tiles to crack. The reason I used silicone was I thought it would stay flexible longer than anything else and yet still support the front edge. I was concerned about a chair or stool bumping the front edge and breaking the unsupported edge.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #14
Rubicon_Dave
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update...

So my guy managed to snap a photo during the repair... no cap strip (metal or otherwise.)

The installer that was there for the repair said they don't use one because "it's too hard to nail into the 3/4 ply and it always splits it"

Really?


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Unread 08-04-2014, 09:34 PM   #15
studderin
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there is a reason no one uses that stuff anymore, and a good tile setter dose not want to use it.
you get what you pay for
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