What Causes a Floor Tile to Loosen? Leave a comment

Many residenceowners have asked me, “Why do floor tiles loosen?” It’s superb to me, with the advances in floor preparation and modified mastics, that tiles can still come loose. It is possible to understand why floor tiles come loose without using the assistance of a flooring professional or common contractor. Enable me to inform you why this happens.

First, it is necessary to understand what holds the tile to the floor. Tiles, whether or not made of ceramic, porcelain, slate, granite, or marble, are all held in place by a substance called thin set. Thin set is a Portland cement based mostly material containing a particular mix of additives which give the combination the ability to gently flex under strain and return to its authentic position. This strain, additionally known as load, can be the results of climatic changes, such because the passing of the seasons, or from a physical nature, equivalent to the burden of a person or item positioned on the tile.

Generally the strain or load will be too much for the thin set. If a heavy object is placed on the tile floor, reminiscent of a piano, it could be very attainable to overload an individual tile. If this happens, the bond between the tile and the thin set may be broken and the tile can sheer away. As soon as sheered, the tile will by no means re-bond with the thin set. The result’s a loose tile only held in place by the grout surrounding its four sides.

Next, the construction of the floor needs to be considered. Earlier than putting in any type of tile floor, the contractor or flooring professional should survey the sub floor. The sub floor have to be constructed rigid enough to help its own weight, the burden of the tile, and the burden of the items placed on it. Most local codes state that if the floor is framed with 2×8 floor joists, sixteen” on center, and sheeted with a 5/8″ plywood materials, it could be tiled. Bear in mind, earlier than starting any construction project, check with your local building code officials. Better safe than sorry.

In lots of properties, the floor just is not built or framed sturdy sufficient to help its own weight and the burden of a tile floor. When floors will not be framed sufficiently they have a tendency to move perpendicular to the airplane of the earth. This up and down motion stresses the bond between the tile and the thin by as applying an excessive amount of weight or load in a single area.

The bond between the tile and the thin set might very well be sturdy enough to accept an overload just a few times. The number of times is directly related to the quality of the thin set. Inevitably, even the most expensive thin sets will fail if subjected to continual overloading.

Last, the commonest reason why a tile will loosen from its thin set is improper installation. Careless contractors tend to tile weak floors. The thin set must be blended according to manufacturer specification. If combined too wet or too dry, the thin set will not properly cure. This improper curing ends in a weak floor.

Over time, most tiled floors will have a tile pop loose. This is to be anticipated and will be repaired. If over the life of a floor, many tiles pop loose, a more severe problem is the cause. In my expertise, human error is the cause.

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