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Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?



"Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?," in the Ceramic and Stone Q&A forum, begins: "Our tile installatin appears to be faulty because the floor was not properly prepared. There is movement which causes the ..."

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Old November 19, 2008, 06:51 PM   #1
Carole Moore
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Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Our tile installatin appears to be faulty because the floor was not properly prepared. There is movement which causes the grout to crack and fall out. Our installer has decided that rather than take out the whole installation and fix the floor base he will solve the problem by regrouting with Quartz-Lock. Quartz-Lock claims to accommodate some movement without failure ("semi-flexible, low shrinkage and high crack resistance") but their warranty states that "cracking due to deflection or other failure in the substrate is not covered". Comments please and suggestions.
Carole M

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Last edited by Jim McClain; August 28, 2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old November 19, 2008, 07:10 PM   #2
Kman
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


A quick fix for nothing. It's like airing up a leaky tire: works for a while......til it goes down again.

It's very possible that you could have tile cracking in the future due to this problem. Putting in a crack-resistant grout might get the installer past the warranty, which will leave you out in the cold when other problems arise due to the lack of a solid substrate.

because the floor was not properly prepared
Exactly what was done/not done that caused the grout cracking?

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Old November 20, 2008, 08:28 AM   #3
Carole Moore
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Nothing was done to prepare the floor. Our house is 40 years old with an addition about 30 years old. The original house has diagonal 1"x4" board covered with 3/8" plywood and over this, linoleum on some but not all of the installation. The newer floor is 5/8" tongue & groove. The installer assured us that nothing need be done - he would just rough up the linoleum a bit. The most severe grout loss is, of course, in areas that have lino under.
Carole

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Old November 20, 2008, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Sorry but the only thing that will work is to remove it all, fix the substrate and possibly the joist system and then install new tile.

Sounds like the installer has some replacement work ahead of him.

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Old November 20, 2008, 09:36 AM   #5
Kman
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


I agree with the last post. Just out of curiousity, is this tile installed directly to the subfloor/linoleum or is there some type of tile backer underneath?

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Old November 20, 2008, 09:46 AM   #6
Carole Moore
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


No backer. No nothing.
Carole M

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Old November 20, 2008, 12:52 PM   #7
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Carole I realize it's too late now but here's some information that will help you to understand the issues at hand and hopefully help you with your position in the matter:




Tile Over Vinyl Flooring where consumers & DIYers come for answers and flooring professionals help each other



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Old November 20, 2008, 01:14 PM   #8
Kman
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Carole, sorry but you have an inferior installation. There are very specific rules about setting tile directly to plywood and if they are not followed to the letter, a failure is likely. One of them, probably the most important, is to use two 5/8" layers of plywood. From what you've told me, this was not done. Most of the installers on this forum wouldn't even attempt a direct bond under the best condtions....too risky.

Further, adhering tile to vinyl can be a gamble, as you may have gathered from Bud's article. I would NEVER attempt to install tile onto vinyl that is on a wood subfloor. Yours is an example of why it shouldn't be done.

You should refuse the 'quick-fix' and demand the job be done correctly.

Good luck.

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Old November 20, 2008, 01:41 PM   #9
Carole Moore
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Thanks for the information Bud. If nothing else it gives us some fire power when we tell the installer that we won't accept the Quart-Lock grout "fix".
Carole M

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Old November 20, 2008, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Carole,

You should also know that Quartz-Lock is (by most) considered a Top-O-The-Line product for its category. Unfortunately your grout isn't your problem and Quartz-Lock isn't the answer to your problem.

To fix this, all layers should be removed and the installation should begin again from a qualified and substantial base. One that follows the rules. Where you aware there are in fact published rules? Neither is the installer apparently.

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Old November 21, 2008, 08:44 AM   #11
Carole Moore
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Obviously we should have educated ourselves before we started instead of foolishly assuming that the installer ( a prominent Canadian company with a flooring division) knew what they were doing. So - I am now aware that the base should be 1 1/4" (?) but don't know how that could be made up. Do they remove the lino plus felt and glue as you suggest Bud and then build up from the base floor that is there? Or? I have been reading that cement board can be used but would this be over what is there? And what about a anti-fracture membrane? I don't know if you fellows have heard of our Canadian ikon Mike Holmes who has a TV program "Holmes on Homes. He is a big fan of this product as he goes around fixing big contractor messes for little homeowners.
Anyway - our installer doesn't seem to have a clue about what should be done to prepare a floor for a tile installation. It would be good to be able to tell them exactly how they must do it.
Thanks for your input.
Carole M

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Old November 21, 2008, 10:15 AM   #12
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


The substrate thickness of 1-1/4" is arguable and isn't necessary in some cases. The product that Holmes has fell in love with since the manufacturer has become a sponsor of his TV program is Schluter's DITRA. Mike was re-born not long ago and he re-surfaced as a Schluter expert after trading in his sledge hammers and spastic cameramen.

Schluter DITRA is a fine product and is even warranted over a single layer of 5/8" tongue and groove plywood subfloor providing the other structural criteria qualifies. DITRA would be a good choice and is only 1/8" thick. More plywood would be better of course.

In other applications, installations are being made using 1/4" or 1/2" cement board over 3/4" plywood sub-floors. Again, the structural criteria must qualify.

Without seeing your floor my first guess (only a guess) is that the underlayment under the vinyl is probably moving (from daily use) enough to wreck the tile installation. Everything previously installed above the original subfloor surface should be removed in preparation of a new beginning.

The exact specifications required can vary from region to region and I'm sure Canada is the same way. To my knowledge most basic criteria here is based on 2X10 floor joists spaced not more than 16" apart and not spanning more than about 15 feet. The species of the wood also enters into the formulas.

All is not lost but someone needs to develop a workable plan for you to move forward.

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Old November 21, 2008, 04:33 PM   #13
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Carole,
Using two layers of 5/8" is what is generally accepted for bonding tile directly to to subfloor. However, as I said earlier, I don't think anyone on this forum would do it that way. With a 3/4" subfloor and Ditra, or 1/4" cement board of some sort, you can have a satisfactory installation. This method would bring your subfloor and underlayment height to only 7/8" or 1", as opposed to 1 1/4" with the two layers and direct bond method.

Find out the size and span of your joists to start with. The job starts there.

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Old November 21, 2008, 06:08 PM   #14
Carole Moore
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


Some house info: The original part of our house was exceptionally well built. We know this because of taking part of it apart to renovate. The joists are 2"x10" on 16" centers. I don't know what kind of wood they are but it would be what would have been top grade 40 plus years ago - spruce? The old lino is extremely well glued down and a heavy grade - Armstrong, I believe. We have taken some of it up and it is a chore! There is a lighter grade too in what was once a bedroom. I am thinking if the lino has to go that it might be easier to cut through the 3/8" plywood and remove both at once and then put in heavier plywood. Would this cause an asbestos problem?
We have emailed our installer rejecting the Quartz-Lock "fix" and a return to what they said they would do last August. We asked for a prompt reply. Prompt for them seems to be a month or so.
Sure do appreciate your input gentlemen. Carole M


Last edited by Jim McClain; August 28, 2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old November 22, 2008, 12:29 AM   #15
Jerry Thomas
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Re: Quartz-Lock grout - crack proof?


That sounds like Armstrong Designer Solarian... is it 6 ft wide? Most vinyls will have a cushioned top layer that needs to be eliminated before one can install tile. It is very easy to have vinyl tested for asbestos.... only need a very small piece like 1" x 1", but that sample must have some adhesive on it so the lab can test both. Asbestos is found in the vinyl backing and frequently the adhesive too.

Not trying to scare you but from what i have read so far, you would be wise to hire your own independent floor covering inspector who is well versed in tile installations.

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