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Old 02-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
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tiling over cracked tiles


my wife and i are buying a home with 18" square tile in the kitchen set in a diagonal pattern. at least 6 tiles are cracked, but the grout lines are good.

my first thought was insufficient subfloor, but subfloor consists of 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood and mud. Joists under kitchen floor are 16" on center. According to our home inspector, foundation walls are in good shape.

the home seller says cracked tiles caused by dropped items.

Do you have any advice to offer on tiling directly on top of the existing tile even though there's a number of cracked ones. This sure would be easier than removing the old tiles. I've done a number of tiling projects previously.




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Old 02-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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Let's see a picture of these cracked tiles.

You can easily tell if tiles are cracked from impact or other reasons. My money is on "other reasons" at this point without seeing a picture.

What size are the floor joists?
What is the unsupported span of the floor joists?
What is immediately under the tile?
Are any of the cracked tiles loose or hollow sounding when tapped on?
Is the tile grouted tightly to the walls?
How did the tiles crack without cracking any of the grout?
What sound does it make when you tap on each individual tile with a broomstick.
Are the tiles ceramic or stone?


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Old 02-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #3
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So the tile was installed right over the wood? Doesn't sound very promising, but to answer your question regarding tiling over it; no it shouldn't be done. If the tiles are cracked from "impacts" as they say, then you could try and replace the damaged tiles if you can match them. If you want to replace the whole floor then you should rip it up down to the subfloor and start new, taking the proper steps to prep the floor for tile.

I demo'd a few hundred square feet of 12x12 ceramic tile and backerboard a few months ago, using a small SDS chipping hammer. This made it go a lot easier, but it's still a pain. The good news is, if your tiles were installed poorly, they'll be easier to tear up.

Good luck and post pics if possible.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Remove the tile and then go from there. Double plywood is an older method of installing tile that I have never done. You should check the deflection and figure out how to proceed from there. It's probably best to do everything to the 10's just because tiling is very time consuming. If you install over old work you will never be able to troubleshoot your methods from the previous conditions.
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