Any Idea Why My Floor Tiles Cracked?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by JtB, 26 Sep 2004.

  1. JtB

    JtB

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    When my house was built (about 7 years ago), I paid a tiler to tile the bathroom and en-suite floors. Very soon afterwards cracks started appearing in the tiles (you could hear the tiles cracking at night time). The tiles were laid directly onto a chipboard floor and the tiler said they would not crack using flexible adhesive and grout, however they did. The cracks are 60 cm apart and I would assume run along the joins between the chipboard panels. There was some settling of the house foundations during the first few years (resulting in a few minor plaster cracks on the walls), but nothing excessive. Recently I got several tillers to provide me with quotes for lifting up the tiles and re-laying some new ones, but each of them recommended a different method of laying the new tiles. One recommended tiling onto a hardboard base, another tiling on top of the existing tiles and another tiling directly onto the chipboard again using a flexible adhesive and grout. Also, none of the tillers knew exactly why the cracks in the existing tiles had appeared, but one thought the chipboard panels might have shrunk a bit from drying out.

    The last thing I want to do is spend a whole load of money re-tiling the floors if the same thing is going to happen again. If anyone has seen this sort of thing before and could tell me what the problem might be, that would be very much appreciated. Also, I would be very grateful to receive any recommendations on the way forward.

    I've enclosed a few photos of the en-suite and bathroom floors below.

    Thanks,
    JtB.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. big-all

    big-all

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    do you know what is under the tiles the sort off floaring
    the sort of boards on top what is the measurement between the line of cracks

    suspect it wasnt boarded

    big all
     
  4. breezer

    breezer

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    you asked a similar question here
    to me you have answered your own question the tiles have split on or naer the joists

    big-all, jtb did say
     
  5. big-all

    big-all

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    thanks breezer you can see the outline of the
    complete flooring panels if you look carfully
     
  6. JtB

    JtB

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    Thanks guys. I was told though that it should be possible to tile directly onto chipboard floors (with the right adhesive/grout) without this happening.

    Any suggestions for what I should do with this floor?
     
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  8. masona

    masona

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    What you have is the chipboard T&G flooring which is floating, another word each joints should be on the joists, best to rip it out and replace with exterior plywood.
     
  9. JtB

    JtB

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    That makes sense. In both those photos I think the joists are running top to bottom, whereas the majority of the parallel cracks (which are 60cm apart) are running left to right (i.e. at right angles to the joists).

    What still concerns me though is that unless I get sheets of ply that run the full length of the room (i.e. top to bottom), then surly there's always going to be unsupported joints at right angles to the joists (i.e. left to right). Also, would it be OK to lay the ply sheets on top of the existing chipboard and screw them (through the chipboard) into the joists?

    Finally, the joists run unsupported for about 12ft and the internal bathroom walls (constructed from breeze blocks and unsupported by downstairs walls) tend to suffer from hairline cracks in the plaster where they are painted, and small cracks in the grout where they are tiled. I don't know if this gives any further clues as to what might be going on.

    I'm not going to do the job myself, but since I got so much conflicting advice from different tillers, then the advice I'm getting from this forum is very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    JtB.
     
  10. JtB

    JtB

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    I ripped up the tiles in my bathroom and the T&G chipboard beneath is very loose and there's loads of movement. Also, the cracks in the tiles do indeed follow the joins in the chipboard panels. What I did however notice was a damp stain in the corner by the bath (photo below). There are some pipes beneath the bath, but they're not dripping, also I don't think the pipes running through the floor are dripping either because we're not getting any damp marks on the ceiling below. I'm not sure, but possibly the damp stain was the result of water dripping down the side of the bath, but what confuses me is that the bath's not been used for months. The floor doesn't feel damp to the touch, but it sure looks damp. Is it normal for chipboard to maintain the appearance of damp even after its dried off? If not, then it looks like I'm going to have to start ripping out panels to trace a possible leak in the plumbing.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. big-all

    big-all

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    possible causes for your dampness a low point on your floor
    water falls to that corner from the floor or bath and there is
    a path to the flooring
    taps not sealed to the bath properly
    condensation on the pipes
    a leaky drain or pipes
    the wood will discolour and stain when it gets wet or soaked
    has the floor blown [does it feel uneven or thicker]
    it could be old dammage
    it will dry out but will remain stained and or dammaged

    prod it with a screwdriver it should not do any dammage
    if it powders or flakes up its had it

    where your ply connects if not on a joist use 2by 1 battons
    screwed in to tie the edges together
     
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