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Old 01-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #1
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kitchen floor tile popping up


We have a ranch-style home built on a slab. Over the past two weeks, we've noticed that one or two of the square-foot tiles in the kitchen floor has popped loose and rocks a little if you step on it the right way. That now seems to have spread out to five or six adjacent tiles. My suspicion is that the slab is buckling upwards under that point in the kitchen.

I've also noticed that the crown molding along the wall between the den and the kitchen (probably about six or seven feet away from the tiles) has began to pull away from the ceiling board. It makes me think that the wall is moving.

All of that being said, we bought this house about a year and half ago as a flipped foreclosure. I'm not sure exactly which parts of the workmanship are original construction from 1973, and which parts were patch jobs by the sellers. I'm willing to concede that it's possible that the tile floor was poorly installed on a non-level surface, and the slab itself is fine, and that the crown molding issue in the adjoining room is a red herring.

I'd hate to go to the trouble of fixing the tiles in the kitchen to discover that they were merely a symptom of an underlying problem. Before I go tearing up the floor in the kitchen, how can I make sure that I don't have a problem with the slab?

My wife is itching for me to break out a cold chisel and start pulling up tiles right now, but I'm thinking I need to get a better handle on the full problem first. Thoughts?

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:08 PM   #2
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kitchen floor tile popping up


You may have a clay soil under your house,that expands and contracts with the seasons---

This is a fairly common situation in some areas.

If that is the case you will need an expansion join with a flexible caulk instead of a brittle grout.

You may be in trouble with this one.---Mike---

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Old 01-16-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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kitchen floor tile popping up


I wonder if the weather is impacted the home. I noticed your in GA. I'm in AL and we've have some of the coldest weather over the past 2 weeks.

The only way to find out is to lift up a tile and see what the problem is. Hopefully, its not slab problems, as foundation issues have very limited if any homeowners coverage.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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kitchen floor tile popping up


I agree with Oh'Mike, take up a couple of the tile and scrape the mortar to see if the floor is cracked. If it is not, then it is proably poor installation. If it is cracked the fix would be to pull up the tile (all of them. If one failed then probably all will fail). Get all of the mortar off. It is not an easy thing to do. If you have a good air compressor (5 plus CFM @90 PSI) you can buy an air chisel kit at Box store for about $20. If you don't have the compressor you can rent a SMALL electric demolition hammer (jack hammer). Get the floor smooth. Purchase crack isolation membrain and follow directions for installation over crack. After this is done you are reddy to install tile.
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