For production tract housing and condominiums…a suggested part of the homebuyer move-in package…each new homebuyer should receive a tube of ceramic tile grout caulking which can be used to fill settlement cracks that appear a few weeks or months after occupancy.
These tubes of grout caulking…made by most of the major tile grout manufacturers, can be purchased by the tile contractor in a large quantity at the lowest price. Because the tile contractor knows the specific tile grout colors used in the house…and the type (sanded or un-sanded)…the tile contractor is in the best position to purchase the correct grout caulking tubes for the homebuyer move-in kit.
The requirement to provide the builder with grout caulking should be included in the tile contract.
Similar to the idea of providing the homebuyers with small cans of paint for minor touchup…giving the homebuyers tubes of grout caulking is a proactive measure aimed at getting the homebuyers to do some of their own maintenance work instead of calling the builder.
Even if the homebuilder clearly tells the homebuyers during the walkthroughs that ceramic tile grout settlement cracks are a normal part of the settling of the structure…along with wet lumber shrinkage due to gradual drying out…tile grout cracks are so noticeable and unsightly that new homebuyers treat them as if they were major defects requiring the builder’s attention.
If the simple technique of squeezing out a thin bead of caulking along the crack area…then running a finger or a wet cloth evenly along the crack area…forcing the latex caulking into the crack…then the homebuyer can perform this task if they have the correct grout caulking in their possession.
This can eliminate a call-back item in customer service…which on a large project can add up to man hour-hours in coordinating access and making the repair.