Cracked tile advice

19 Jun 2012
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United Kingdom
I need some advice please.

Had a new kitchen built and floor tiled with underfloor heating installed.

This was end of July

Floor has just started to crack on two different sides, only hair line cracks but across the middle of 2 tiles.

Builder has said he will lift the tiles to examine to see what's wrong and will replace and not charge however we need to buy the tiles.

The tiles are not cheap, isn't he liable for them as the cracks are not our fault?

Thanks for any advice!!
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Two tiles? Can't be that much. Besides, how do you know it's his fault?
Thanks for the quick reply.

Have to buy a box of tiles. Only think his fault as all new and all his labour or can this 'just happen'?

It depends on the suitability of the tile. Some tiles don't like the expansion/contraction that underfloor heating produces. Personally I always keep a box of spare tiles because it's a real disaster if they are no-longer available when you need them. Are they big tiles? The bigger they are the more problematic.
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Hopefully as so recent they still stock them.

They are large 60' tiles - do you think his offer is fair then?

When he lifts the two tiles should he be able to easily see the issue?

Well to be honest no I don't think he'll see a thing. Tiles are very hard, which makes them brittle and prone to cracking. It's a bit like flexing a Rich Tea biscuit. It'll take a bit then crack in the middle. Compared to the tile, the grout around them is very soft and absorbs movement. With tiles that size there's much less grout compared to the area of tile than smaller tiles - hence the grout doesn't provide much of a buffer zone. Personally I think they are the wrong tiles for the job - so best to have a few spare anyway, they may well go again in the future. Then again they may not. It could be an installation issue whereby the tile wasn't touching all the adhesive and one edge was 'floating'. Go around and press a few to see you feel any flex. Anyway, best not fall out over it, you need spares anyway.

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