What Causes a Floor Tile to Loosen?

Many owners have requested me, “Why do floor tiles loosen?” It is superb to me, with the advances in floor preparation and modified mastics, that tiles can nonetheless come loose. It’s doable to know why floor tiles come loose with out using the help of a flooring skilled or basic contractor. Allow me to inform you why this happens.

First, it is very important perceive 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 primarily based materials containing a special blend of additives which give the combination the power to gently flex underneath strain and return to its unique position. This strain, often known as load, might be the result of climatic modifications, such because the passing of the seasons, or from a physical nature, equivalent to the load of a person or item placed on the tile.

Typically the strain or load may be too much for the thin set. If a heavy object is placed on the tile flooring, comparable to a piano, it is rather potential to overload a person tile. If this happens, the bond between the tile and the thin set will be damaged and the tile can sheer away. As soon as sheered, the tile won’t ever re-bond with the thin set. The result’s a unfastened tile only held in place by the grout surrounding its 4 sides.

Next, the structure of the ground needs to be considered. Earlier than putting in any type of tile floor, the contractor or flooring professional ought to survey the sub floor. The sub ground have to be built inflexible sufficient to assist its personal weight, the load of the tile, and the load of the objects placed on it. Most native codes state that if the ground is framed with 2×8 floor joists, sixteen” on heart, and sheeted with a 5/8″ plywood materials, it can be tiled. Remember, earlier than beginning any building project, check together with your native building code officials. Higher secure than sorry.

In lots of properties, the ground just isn’t built or framed sturdy enough to support its personal weight and the weight of a Tile Installer floor. When floors aren’t framed sufficiently they tend to move perpendicular to the plane of the earth. This up and down movement stresses the bond between the tile and the thin by as making use of an excessive amount of weight or load in one area.

The bond between the tile and the thin set could very well be robust sufficient to just accept an overload just a few times. The number of instances is directly associated 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 producer specification. If combined too wet or too dry, the thin set won’t properly cure. This improper curing leads to a weak floor.