Dura Ceramic Grout Problems

jimlaNovember 9, 2011

We have had this flooring in our Kitchen/Family Room for 4 years. Still looks great and have not had the problems with chipping or scratches that I have read about on this forum; even with two small kids and two dogs. The grout keeps cracking though in the main traffic areas. The store has been very good about coming out once or twice a year to regrout; no charge. The salesman who sold, measured and spec'ed the job had said after a few years that this should not be happening and that the floor should be replaced; something about it was not installed the way he had spec'ed it. He is no longer with the store. Recently, the owner came out and said the grout needed more latex. Well the cracks are back after two weeks with more latex. The cracks have been linear and parallel to the edge of the tiles and not wavy in the center of the grout line as would be shrinkage cracks (an early theory was that the grout was too wet). In teh Family room, carpet was removed and a subfloor was placed over the plywood. In the kitchen area where the majority of cracks occur, the sub floor was placed over vinyl sheet flooring in solid condition. The transition was worked out so there is no noticable change between the rooms. Any thoughts on underlying problem or more permanent solution?

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Typically..grout cracking with DuraCeramic is because the grout is placed to thin in the joint. The latex thing does not make any sense at all..as DuraGrout is self contained. you add nothing. It sound like they are using a different grout and if so, that may be the problem.Deflection is rarely a problem with grout cracking with Duraceramic unless it is severe.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:25PM
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Thanks Floortech.I would say that initially the grout was applied in a uniform thickness. That is, it was not level with the top of the tile yet did not have a deep valley either. It looked like what I would expect and in low traffic areas, it is still the original grout. During the various attempts to regrout, a thicker grout joint was used (less of a valley) and it still cracked. When the owner came out he brought a laser level and said there was some pitch to the floor. He tried it in another location and said the same thing. But I asked "don't you have to level the laser unit before you take a measurement?" So I don't know that his assessments were accurate. Whats is defection..floor flex? If so is there a way to measure and acceptabe range of what is acceptable? if so should that have been done and documented or figured into the installation design? Our home is a two story with basement about 25 years old.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:13PM
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With DuraCeramic, If the flex is enough to crack the grout, you would actually be able to see the flex underfoot simply by standing and bouncing up and down. DuraCeramic Grout Cracking is very unusual unless its applied to thin, or wiped out with too much water...if applied properly ...it just doesent crack. I do nt like the product in general, i used to..but the product in itself seems to have just too many issues..but your issue is really uncommon. I would say that deflection is not something that is normally calculated into the design because it is the stores obligation in my mind to presume the structure meets legal codes. That is how my company approaches all jobs.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:49PM
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Thanks again Floortech. I know you are responding to my observations and have not seen our floor personally, but what options to I have to rectify this? What course of action would you follow?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:55PM
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We had this product installed in our kitchen. I did a fair amount of research on the product before we purchased it. It has a nice overall look, is warmer than tile but that is where it ends. I would never purchase this flooring again. After about three months we noticed it had pieces out of it that were similar in shape to grains of rice. We lost count as to how many but they were even in low track areas. There were other bits out of it too that are much larger. Dealing with the manufacturer was frustrating as well as they said it was from wear and tear from my husband and I. It also had a large area, about six feet from the window, in which the color had faded. We were told it had faded from sun exposure. We live on the west coast and our kitchen faces the back side of a mountain! I did drop a pan in one spot that left a dent but the uniform bits out of it were not caused by us. As well the grout has separated. The idea is good but until the product is better able to live up to it's claim I would not buy it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:48PM
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You can check deflection with this tool.

go to johnbridge dot com and click on "forums." Click on the "Deflecto" in the blue bar at the top of the page.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 12:45PM
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