Posted on: 30.11.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Grouting not only helps to keep the tiles in place, it also enhances the beauty of the tiles. Generally, a good quality grout stands the test of time and lasts for a longer period when installed correctly. However, it may crack or break over time due to various reasons.

Here are 10 reasons why your floor tile grout cracks:

  1. Mortar has aged.
  2. Water has taken its toll.
  3. Faulty installation.
  4. Poor grout quality.
  5. Damage from acid cleaners.
  6. Incorrect substrate.
  7. Seismic disturbances.
  8. Construction activities nearby.
  9. Mistakes after installation.
  10. Inadequate thinset.

Let’s take a closer look at these reasons and find out why your floor tile grout cracks. Knowing the exact cause will make it easier to find the solution.

1. Mortar has aged

Mortar is strong and durable. It holds the floor tiles together for a longer period. However, over time, it may develop cracks. In such cases, the grout needs to be replaced, and regrouting is the only solution.

It may take more than 15-20 years to notice cracks on the floor, even if it has been maintained properly. Improper care can lead to a shorter lifespan for grout.

High-traffic areas like galleries, entrances, hallways, etc. tend to crack more easily than low-traffic areas.

2. Water has taken its toll

Water is one of the enemies of grout. Small water molecules and other minerals present in it slowly penetrate the molecular space of the mortar and break the bonds. Over time, this process leads to the crumbling of the floor.

When water, oxygen, and sunlight combine, they can accelerate the deterioration of grout. The most vulnerable spots for this type of deterioration are in washrooms, near swimming pools, the kitchen sink, or anywhere water is constantly retained or flows.

Keeping the mortar as dry as possible can prevent it from cracking earlier. The good news is that regrouting can solve this problem without much hassle. However, it is recommended to consult a professional for regrouting the floor.

3. Faulty installation

Sometimes, it can be an error on the part of the professional. If the installation was not done correctly, grout tends to crack within a few weeks or months.

Faulty installation may include an unbalanced mortar mix, too much water in the mortar (or on the floor while laying the mortar on the floor and grouting tiles), incorrect water exposure times, and seasonal activities.

Since there are so many factors for faulty installation, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of grout cracking. Consult a professional or the one who originally laid the flooring to locate the problem and find the solution.

4. Poor grout quality

This reason is the most frustrating one. You have taken care of everything. The installation was perfect. After installation, you have taken proper care of the floor. However, there is an issue with the quality of grout.

Poor quality grout does not last long, and the tiles may shift over time. If you know that only poor quality is to blame, please remove the previous grout before regrouting. Otherwise, a good quality grout will not grip properly.

It is best to consult the dealers or manufacturers for advice before selecting the grout. They can help you choose the perfect grout according to your requirements.

5. Damage from acid cleaners

Like water, oxygen, and sunlight, acid is another rival of grout. If you are a cleanliness freak and regularly clean the floor with harsh acid cleaners, I have bad news for you. The reason for cracks in the grout floor may be due to excessive cleaning.

Muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid is a very sharp and corrosive solution. Some DIY videos suggest using it to quickly clean the grout floor. However, muriatic acid can irreparably damage the grout, and the only solution left is to regrout the entire floor.

Additionally, acidic cleaners can fade the natural shine of porcelain or natural stone tiles. In this situation, it is always best to use gentle cleaners to clean the tiles.

6. Incorrect substrate

Sometimes, when tiles are laid on the grout or mortar layer, the backside of the tile may be hollow, and a strong bond between the substrate and the tile is not achieved.

Incorrect substrate can lead to weak connections, grout may break on the sides, or the tile may become loose over time.

To avoid this situation, back buttering of the tiles is crucial. Backside buttering provides extra strength and grip to the tile and prevents the mortar from cracking.

7. Seismic disturbances

Seismic disturbances like earthquakes can cause cracks in the floor grout. When the earth’s crust vibrates due to seismic activities, it may loosen the connections between tiles and mortar. Thus, cracks and joints appear.

If seismic disturbances are the reason for your grout cracks, you may know it from news or personal experience. Even if the intensity of the earthquake was not high, it could lead to chipping of the floor tiles.

8. Construction activities nearby

Just like seismic disturbances, the use of heavy machinery for digging or demolishing a building near your house can have the same effect of crust vibrations as earthquakes and other natural disturbances.

If construction or demolition activities are damaging your private property, you can contact the relevant authorities and get the destructive activities ceased as soon as possible to prevent further disasters.

You can ask the affected neighbors to regout your floor for the damage already caused. Alternatively, check your insurance policy for compensation details.

9. Mistakes after installation

Mistakes after installation include exposing the grout to water, sunlight, or other seasonal activities without proper curing of the mortar.

However, there can be some other post-installation mistakes as well, such as keeping the area damp for prolonged periods, using harsh chemicals, exposing the construction site to UV light, or accelerating the deterioration of the grout in any way.

10. Inadequate thinset

Thinset is an adhesive substance that bonds the tiles, substrate, and grout. It is mixed with the grout at the time of flooring.

If the dilution in the grout mix is not sufficient, it can cause the grout to chip off within a short period. There may be voids between the tile and the grout.

If you are determined to avoid all the mistakes to make your tile grout floor long-lasting, it is advisable to remind the installation technician to properly mix the grout.

However, if your grout already has cracks and you are trying to find the cause, inadequate thinset may be the reason.

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