One of the most disappointing discoveries for a do-it-yourself tile installer is to find a crack in your ceramic tile floors. Knowing how to lay ceramic tiles and understanding the reasons why cracks may arise, will allow you to apply the adage “prevention is better than cure.” Here are a few common reasons for cracking.
One reason is because of the subfloor beneath the tiles. If your subfloor is wood, you will first need to install a concrete board. Why? Wood moves or flexes when you walk on it. However, tiles do not move. Without the concrete board to give support, the tiles will start to crack and break as the floor beneath it gives way. Although some installers skip this step, it will cost you more in the long run if you have to remedy the problem by taking up the entire ceramic tile floors and re-installing the tiles on top of a concrete board.
A second reason is because the ceramic tiles were placed on top of a concrete slab that was not given enough time to cure properly before the tiles were installed. If this is the case, the concrete could develop hairline cracks in it which in turn will most likely cause the tiles to crack. This is called “reflective cracking”. If you subfloor already has cracks in it before you begin your tile installation, it would be good to install a crack isolation membrane first.
A third reason that tiles can crack is because not enough care was taken to ensure there were no gaps in the adhesive beneath the tile. Adhesives go hard after they cure. Therefore if there is a gap in the adhesive and someone steps on the part without the adhesive support, the tile can break. It is essential that the adhesive is spread uniformly beneath the ceramic tiles. The only way to know if this is the case is to pry up the tile and take a look at the adhesive.
So knowing how to lay your ceramic tile floors will help to avoid these problems.
Need more information on ceramic tile floors or other tile products? Here at Tile Factory Outlet, we have experts available to assist you with any tiling question. Want the best deals on floor tiles? TFO can’t be beaten on quality and price. Why not visit us yourself and see what we mean? Visit our TFO showroom in Sydney or our online tile store today.