After removing our carpet, we have decided we never want carpet again because of all the dirt and junk we found underneath it and the padding. We also became aware of multiple cracks in our foundation. We would like to install stone or tile, but I'm scared that after installing new stone and/or tile that a few months later we would begin to find cracks in the stone, tile, or grout. I really don't want to do the whole foundation repair thing right now due to lack of money. I'm tempted to just fill the cracks with some kind of mortar or concrete repair material and then just go right over that with tile or stone. Does anyone have any suggestions that do not necessarily include $5K-$10K foundation repair? Is there any such thing as "flexible grout"? Is there any sub-flooring that could be installed under the stone or tile that might improve its ability to stand up to possible future cracks shifting in our foundation?
If your cracks are numerous it may be indicative of an ongoing issue under the cement slab. Small spider cracks come from shrinkage as the slab cures out but larger cracks are caused by movement. If the cracks are horizontal, a crack islation membrane such as Ditra or NobleSeal may work. If the cracks show vertical shear with one side higher than the other, nothing can be put over the slab to protect the tile from future cracking so it would be a waste of your time and money.
Thanks for your feedback. Most of our cracks fall in the category of either small spider cracks or horizontal. Although, we do have at least two of the vertical type where one side is ~1/16" taller than the other side just so you can feel it when you run your bare feet over it. If I fill the cracks with some kind of concrete repair material, will that be a problem in the future if we decide to get the foundation repaired since it might prevent everything from falling back into its normal place so to speak? Also, if I stay with something that is not very uniform in color, nor texture (i.e. slate), would it be rediculous to think I could just chisel out future damaged tiles and replace them rather than take the plunge on the foundation repair?
Filling in the cracks wont harm the slab down the road but it may be an exercise in futility if the cracks are active. It would be like putting spackle over a crack in the corner of wallboard. If movement is still occurring it will be too much for the repair to handle and the crack will reappear. In the case of tile if the crack movement is severe enough it will show through the tile as a new crack. An anti-fracture membrane will go a long way toward remedying that issue so long as the cracks are not vertical. As I said before, that kind of movement cannot be controlled by a membrane or any thinset covering. If the vertical cracks were not active it would be a roll of the dice as to whether or not the tile ever would crack. For certain they would should a dormant crack go active again. Instances where that could occur would be for example, a heavy rain or flooding situation that saturates the ground under the slab, then dries out over time. The drying would cause shrinkage or compaction of the dirt, possibly enough to create a void under the slab followed by the slab cracking and settling over the area of the void. If tile were set on the slab when it settled the tile would be sheared along the crack.Sort of like having a mini San Andreas fault under your floor.
I think I have this problem I live in south florida and we get alot of rain every year the yard fills with water and ever year we find new cracks in the title and out side on the drive way and lanai. Is there something I can do to stop this.