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Cracks showing in high-end floors

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DEAR BARRY: We had travertine tiles installed in our kitchen and the adjoining bathroom about a year ago as part of a remodel. Two sections, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, are cracking down the middle of the tiles. Our 66-year-old house has a raised foundation, and the contractor says that the backer boards he installed are separating due to settling. Therefore, he denies responsibility. Is he correct? --Jamie DEAR JAMIE: It is so common for contractors and tradespeople to disclaim liability for defects that it's hard to know when the excuses are valid without inspecting the specific problems. However, here are some thoughts on your situation: 1) A 66-year-old house is not likely to be continuously settling. After all, how deeply can a house settle? If a home settled ceaselessly for 66 years, it would probably vanish into the ground. However, it is possible that the old floor has some lack of rigidity and could use some additional supports in the crawlspace. 2...