QUESTIONWhy is the countertop Edge Trim Cracked? - We recently moved from a townhouse that we rented. The townhouse is over 25 years old. It has white tile squares for a counter top in the kitchen. There was a crack along several tiles on the side of an island that housed the dishwasher and sink. The landlord believes that we dropped something on the tile to cause it to crack. There are no chips in the tile. We kept our mail and cat food on that side of the counter. Do you have any thoughts on what could cause this crack?
ANSWERANSWER - There are several possible reasons why the ceramic tile edge, which I assume is what is referred to as a v-cap, cracked along several tiles.
Historically the v-caps have tended to crack for a variety of reasons. It could be due to shrinkage in the mortar, but this normally happens right away. It could be due to excessive movement in the framing under the v-cap. That is why they normally install a metal flashing along the edge before they install the v-cap to make it more sturdy. There could be voids under the back of the tile and if something bumped into the edge it wouldn't be adequately supported and can cause the tile to crack. The tile should not have been installed with voids behind it, but some installers will do it purposefully to try to avoid cracking that can be caused by shrinkage within the mortar.
So if there is a crack along the v-cap edge it should not be your fault. It is just an indication that the countertop was not properly constructed. If it was properly constructed then it should be resistant to cracking, although it could still chip if it were abused or it happened to be subjected to intense impact of a hard sharp object.