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Preventing Cracked Tile and Grout on Wood Substrates

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We have a new paper on steps to help minimize ceramic tile and grout cracks when tile is installed on a two-layer wood floor system. The main idea is to carefully stagger the end butt joints of the subfloor and underlayment panels.  Without professional design input, it is quite possible for a tile contractor to place the underlayment end butt joints right over the subfloor butt joints.  Under this scenario, a “kink” would exist over the joist if a load is applied to either or both sides of the joist.  Any kinking action in the elastic curve of the floor sheathing will stress the tile.  You are welcome to read our paper at:


Comments are welcome.


Thanks, Frank Woeste

Frank Woeste, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor Emeritus

Tel. (540)951-0469

Our next short course is:

Design of Code Conforming Decks and Inspection of Existing Decks

February 1-2, 2005 in Tampa, FL.  For details, visit: