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LeslieN 01-29-2009 12:04 PM

Bulges in the floor tiles
I am new here so please be patient with me. I work for a non-profit agency as a Human Resources person. However, being in a non-profit you have to take on a million other jobs as well as your primary job.

To get down to business, I discovered a few large bulges under the tiles along with cracks. I was wondering what would cause such things to happen? I guess I should also inform you that it is an old building that once was a theater years ago - if this helps.

Desprately seeking a solution before I make unnecessary calls.


miami 01-29-2009 12:13 PM

Leslie, I know what you mean - An ex-gf worked at the local Food Bank, and she ended up doing a little bit of everything.

To get good answers - What's underneath the tile? The more info you can provide re subfloor, concrete slab or wood, etc., the better help you'll get. Can you tell whether there is also a problem with the subfloor which is telegraphing up through the tile?

LeslieN 01-29-2009 12:23 PM

It is hard to say... I do remeber when we got a few remodeling projects done that there were mosaic tiles where these other tile currently are placed. The other tiles were not removed prior to the current ones being laid.

There are two - yes two, basements that can have to be accessed from the outside. The difficult thing is that there is a lot of large machinery down there and really no accessing points - for me at least, to investigate.

I am no handy person by any means, but would like to have some idea of who to call before having the wrong people come out.

Nestor_Kelebay 01-29-2009 01:10 PM

I'm presuming that by "tile" you mean ceramic tile, and not any other kind of floor tile like Vinyl Composition floor tiles.

How large are these bumps? Are the grout lines cracked between the tiles on the bumps?

LeslieN 01-29-2009 01:20 PM

There are about 5 or 6 medium sized "bumps". The cracks are towards the center of the tiles and not where the grout would be.

The ceramic tiles are underneath the Vinyl flooring. The Vinyl flooring is what has the "bumps". My hope is that someone spilled a large amount of water and caused this problem to occur. However, I attempted to step on the tiles and there was no rebound. It was relatively stiff.

Nestor_Kelebay 01-29-2009 10:47 PM


There are different kinds of "vinyl tiles".

In the past, a very popular kind of vinyl tile was "linoleum tiles", which as you can guess from their name, were constructed just like linoleum. That is, they had a paper base with a vinyl wear layer. Because of the seams between the linoleum tiles, the paper base was an asphalt impregnated paper so the paper wouldn't absorb water and swell up if someone spilled a liquid on the floor.

It's been my experience that the vinyl wear layer on these tiles is easier to remove than the glued down paper base.

I'm wondering if someone tried to remove linoleum tiles from the floor and left areas of the asphalt impregnated paper base behind and just tiled over the remaining "spots" of paper base with VC tiles(?). The results would be small "bumps" telegraphing through to show up on the VC tiles.

About the only way to find out for sure would be to remove one of those Vinyl tiles and find out what that "bump" is underneath it.

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