What Causes Grout to Crack?


Brick Floor Grout Cracking and Varies in width Excessively - I had a brick paver floor installed in my kitchen in July 2009. The subfloor is plywood, topped with cement board. The installer did not clean the grout off the surface of the bricks well, and there are grout lines which range from 1/2 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches in size. He also installed and left there a brick that is broken through and through. The entire floor is very unsightly, but the owner of the company that installed it will not do anything about it, so I am going to have to pursue legal action. In the meantime, the grout has begun to crack. What would be the likely cause of the cracking?


ANSWER - If the brick is consistent in sizing the grout joints should be very consistent too in width.  Even if the brick wasn't very consistent in sizing, going from 1/2" to 1-1/2" wide grout joints is excessive variation and considered poor workmanship.

If the grout is cracking it is likely due to the brick or floor moving excessively.  Either the brick is loose and when walked upon causes movement and the grout to crack, or the subfloor was not properly prepared and there is too much deflection within the floor causing the grout to crack.

We perform forensic investigations nationwide and have inspectors in most major markets, but if the area is just the size of a kitchen it may not be practical for you to retain our services to investigate the situation to determine what went wrong and how to remediate it.  Good Luck!

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