WHY BACKSPLASH GROUT CRACKS & WHAT TO DO
Yes, tiled backsplashes are gorgeous and an easy way to spice up any kitchen but they do have a few maintenance items you should be aware of, specifically the grout between the countertop and the tile.
Since we build in the midwest, we are very aware of a homes shifting pattern throughout the seasons which can lead to a few cosmetic headaches. A major one being the cracking of the grout where the tile meets the countertop. I wish I was writing this blog with the answer to this, but unfortunately I am not, unless you are looking to move to home where shifting isn't going to be an issue - hard to come by.
The purpose of this blog is to make you aware of why it is happening, and what you can do to help keep it looking its best throughout the life of your home.
Like mentioned earlier, you home shifts from season to season, making walls go up and down slightly throughout the year. During the winter you may have a sheetrock crack that is noticable and disappears in the winter or visa versa. As building gets better, we all do our best to have this minimized but it isn't a flaw in the home, just something homeowner's more so in the midwest must deal with.
Since the tile and the countertop are at different planes they move differently from one another causing this crack. Also, many times a kitchen wall is found on an exterior wall (love our sink windows!), which are subject to more expansion and contraction. If you have a south facing wall that sees the sun more, this also may happen quicker than a wall on the north side of the home as a north facing doesn't warm up as much during the day and cool down at night.
To help alleviate the cracking, you can us a coordinating color (may not be exact) of silicone caulk in the joint. It will not eliminate the cracking entirely, and will not match exactly, but it is more flexible than the grout and will adjust better with the movement of your home.
This article also goes the same for tiled floors and walls as they are at different planes, again moving in different directions as your home shifts.
Hope you found this helpful! Check out kate-lo tile & stone for additional information.