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Old 01-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


Hi -

I bought a house in which someone decided to (poorly) install a ceramic tile floor in the kitchen. Many of the tiles are solid, but there are a few areas where the tiles a shifting under the weight of foot traffic...the mortar is coming out of the joints and the tile is visibly moving. I'm guessing that the root of this problem is a poor sub-floor, though I don't know that 100%.

Is there a way to repair this without removing the entire tile floor? Can I remove the problem tiles, try and secure the subfloor, and then put new tiles back in their place?

Thoughts?

Thanks!

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


What did they lay the tiles over?
Plywood, linolinum, 1/4 plywood?
Going to have to check that out first.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


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Can I remove the problem tiles, try and secure the subfloor, and then put new tiles back in their place?
Very unlikely. What I would do is remove the tiles and investigate them and also the subfloor. Try to find out what the issue is. What is the tile coverage? What is the condition of the subfloor under it? It might even be wet, indicating a leak somewhere else that has migrated under the tile. Go to a heating vent and take out the grate. Look at the side view of the layers of subfloor. How much is there?

The primary reasons are subfloor fail or bad adhesive. Tile itself rarely fails, even cheap tile. (Unless of course they did something like put wall tiles in a heavy foot traffic floor.)

Post some pics. See if the tile is fully covered on the bottom with thinset. Maybe the thinset was too dry when the tiles were put down. Or not enough thinset. Or tiles not pressed down into the thinset.

Or subfloor damp, or too flexible.

None of those problems can be fixed by just removing a few tiles. However if the only problem is bad thinset application, then you can replace the bad tiles 1 by 1 as they fail.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


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What did they lay the tiles over?
Plywood, linolinum...
Now that would be a problem! A new element?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
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What did they lay the tiles over?
Plywood, linolinum...
Now that would be a problem! A new element? It might be radioactive!
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


Joe mentioned; linolinum...

Quote:
Now that would be a problem! A new element? It might be radioactive!
Don't pick on Joe, he just doesn't has his spell-checker turned on, and he has little use for a thesaurus too..

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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ok - I will have a look and let you know re: subfloor.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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update:

I inspected the layers of subfloor at the heating grate, and this is what I found: The tiles are sitting on a thin sheet of Luan. The Luan, then, is sitting on top of two successive layers of equally thin material, though I'm not sure exactly what it is. The bottom layer of the floor (the original sub floor) is tongue and groove plank.

Also important is that it just isn't an individual tile. When you walk on the floor it actually causes a "buckle" in a nearby spot. By stepping on one tile, you are causing a different tile to move. This, along with a slight concavity of the floor in the area of question, leads me to believe that it is most likely a sub floor(s) issue.

I really don't want to remove all of the tile + multiple layers of sub floor. Is there a way around this?

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:00 PM   #9
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No! There can only be one subfloor. The problem is in the underlayment and how the whole job was done. The job is totally wrong.

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Bummer.

But so it goes...maybe I'll just put those foam jigsaw things all over the floor
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:54 AM   #11
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Ceramic Tiles popping off


That sure doesn't sound good, as pointed out, bad thinset/adhesive or bad subfloor is the usual cause. About 7 years ago I tiled all the rooms in my house but the front parlor, I tore up the old softwood flooring,and put down 2 layers of 3/4 CDX screwed to one another and screwed to the joists. The a layer of 1/2" cement board screwed to the plywood, and then I laid down 12" square white porcellain tile. I've not had any tile fail in any way, the floors are all rock solid and Ive even rolled a dollie across with a 350# sculpture on it.
Sounds to me like you'll need to start over with a new floor from the joists on up, here's some memorable picks frommy project...
Hang in there, we feel your pain!









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