We've lived in our house for two years now and recently noticed that some of the tiles by the front door were loose. The assumption was that they were not well mortared and that removing, cleaning old mortar and grout and resetting would fix the problem.

Started the work today and did find some tiles with poor mortar application, but also realized the leveling compound on top of the underlying concrete floor is cracked by the door sill. I can't tell if the underlying material here is wood or possible metal (flashing?).

Do I need to chip away the leveling compound / concrete that is loose? Any recommendations for repair before resetting the tile?

It appears a previous occupant of the house tried a lazy repair to address the cracking grout by chipping some of it out and applying a color matched caulk in some of the joints. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Per @EdBeal's comment this added threshold and cutting the tile back is one proposed solution as I understand it. enter image description here

  • That transition will always be an issue it would be a better repair to install a threshold that spans both sides of the “crack” if filled with hydraulic cement it will crack , if filled with latex filler it will crack, spanning both sides with a threshold metal or wood and cutting the tiles will be about the only way the cracking won’t come back.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 17:48
  • Generally tiles (the larger the worse the problem), or the tile joints do not last when applied over a wood substrate, even if that wood has a leveling compound applied. Tiles should be laid on a cement backer board that has been properly fastened to the underlying wood subfloor.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 18:47
  • @EdBeal, I've edited in another photo showing the crack spanning across the door opening as well as sidelite opening that we have exposed. Would you suggest a threshold that spans all the way across both sidelites?
    – renesis
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 20:57
  • Also added a sketch of what I understand Ed Beal's comment to suggest.
    – renesis
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 21:27


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