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-   -   Cracked Bathroom Floor Tiles (http://www.diychatroom.com/f84/cracked-bathroom-floor-tiles-111348/)

klmeenan 07-19-2011 10:17 PM

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tiles
 
I will never buy a home that has been tiled by the people that have tiled my house.:censored: First, I have a cracked tile on the platform my tub sits on in my bathroom, now I go to clean another bathroom and I have discovered 8 cracked tiles on the floor.:furious:

I think the tiles have cracked due in part to not putting enough thinset at the edges of the floor and the builders/tilers may only have one sheet of plywood under the tile. All the cracks are near where the floor meets the wall, tub or vanity. I haven't pulled up the tile yet, as I am looking for replacement tiles first. I have to assume (based on my bathroom tub tile issue) that there is only one layer of plywood under the tile. The basement is finished so I don't even know floor joist spacing and unless its printed on the top of the plywood, I won't be able to tell anyone any info about the plywood once I yank up the tile.

I will be pulling the toilet out and at this point I am thinking I should also take out the vanity as I think I will need to add plywood or hardi to the floor and I don't want the vanity to feel short. What am I supposed to do about the tub? If I add hardi or plywood then the tub will seem short.

Thanks for any guidance that you all can give.

Bud Cline 07-19-2011 10:21 PM

Boy are you mis-informed!!!:)

klmeenan 07-19-2011 10:31 PM

I don't mind being mis-informed Bud. I just need you to straighten me out and give me some guidance on what I should do.

Bud Cline 07-19-2011 10:51 PM

Quote:

I have a cracked tile on the platform my tub sits on in my bathroom
Who built the platform? Cracked tiles on a tub platform wouldn't be the fault of the tile installer unless he built the platform also.

Quote:

I think the tiles have cracked due in part to not putting enough thinset at the edges of the floor and the builders/tilers may only have one sheet of plywood under the tile.
You shouldn't install tile over plywood to begin with. It can be done but it shouldn't be done, it is way too problematic. As you now have found out. THAT, would be an installer issue.:)

A shortage of thinset at the edges wouldn't cause tile to crack. What would cause the tile to crack is if the tile is jamb-up tight against the walls or if the grout is filling the necessary 1/4" gap at the edges. All perimeters should have a 1/4" gap that does not get filled with grout. Have no idea what you have there.:)

Quote:

looking for replacement tiles
Not likely to find them. How old is this tile installation?:)

Quote:

I have to assume (based on my bathroom tub tile issue) that there is only one layer of plywood under the tile.
And why is that a problem? Is this stone tile or ceramic tile?:)

Quote:

I think I will need to add plywood or hardi to the floor and I don't want the vanity to feel short.
If you were to add Hardi, you are saying you would notice a vanity that was 1/4" to 1/2" short? Are you kidding me?:)

Quote:

What am I supposed to do about the tub? If I add hardi or plywood then the tub will seem short.
Havin' a hard time buying that also. Sorry!:)

Why have you chosen Hardi as you cure-all?

Got some photos?:yes:

klmeenan 07-19-2011 11:34 PM

Who built the platform? Cracked tiles on a tub platform wouldn't be the fault of the tile installer unless he built the platform also. - as usual you are right. I don't know who build the platform it could have been either the builder or the tiler.

You shouldn't install tile over plywood to begin with. It can be done but it shouldn't be done, it is way too problematic. As you now have found out. THAT, would be an installer issue. - This is what they did in my master bath that you and Mike kindly gave me some direction on a temporary fix that I have a year and a half to save up to redo the whole bathroom.

A shortage of thinset at the edges wouldn't cause tile to crack. What would cause the tile to crack is if the tile is jamb-up tight against the walls or if the grout is filling the necessary 1/4" gap at the edges. All perimeters should have a 1/4" gap that does not get filled with grout. Have no idea what you have there. - I will take some pictures in the am and will post them so we both will know what has been done.

Tile were done in 2002 - I am looking at replacing all of the tiles with new tiles. I apologize for not being clear about it. I have a tendency to think everyone thinks the way I do.

And why is that a problem? Is this stone tile or ceramic tile? currently it is ceramic tile. However, my husband wants stone while I prefer ceramic as I would rather save the stone for my master bathroom.

I don't know if I would notice the 1/4-1/2 height difference. I figured it would be better to take the vanity out to ensure that a height difference wasn't noticed but I would be thrilled to not have to take it out. It would be that much less work to have to do.

Whatever you recommend to use on the floor over the plywood I would be glad to use. This will be for a ceramic tile. the space is 5'3" width by 4'3" length not counting the bathtub. There is a 30" vanity/lav immediately to the left and to the right is the toilet. Directly across from the vanity/lave/toilet is the tub.

I will have pictures in the am.

klmeenan 07-20-2011 07:42 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Oops, sorry meant to post these this morning.

First picture is the tile to the left of the door entering the bathroom. 2 tiles are cracked and you can see the wood of the vanity. Second picture is hard to see but the crack goes through 2 tiles. This is to the right of the toilet which is to the right of the vanity. Third picture is across from the toilet at the end of the left side of the tub. This crack goes through three tiles. Last picture is at the front end of the tub where you enter the bathroom.

I will be chipping out the tile in the morning and I will take pictures of whatever is under the tile.

Bud Cline 07-20-2011 09:40 PM

If you don't want more problems you should remove all of the base tiles so that you can also remove all of the grout that is packed tightly under them and against the walls. I'm betting that's your problem from what I see. The position and direction of all the cracks are tell-tail. And you are correct. It is installer error.:)

When you replace the tiles at the door-way you should also undercut the door casings a little more than they are now. The casings are stressing the tile. This is due to the intermittent expansion of the plywood below.:)

klmeenan 07-20-2011 10:52 PM

Thanks Bud! I am taking out all the tiles in the morning. The only tiles that will still be in that bathroom by noon tomorrow are part of the tub surround.

Bud Cline 07-20-2011 11:02 PM

I should also mention that those tiles on the floor don't look like tiles intended to be used on a floor to me. I think I am seeing six inch wall tiles that have been used as floor tiles. Not the best idea if that is the case.:)

klmeenan 07-20-2011 11:20 PM

Is there a way to check, after I yank them all out, to see if they were wall tile? I was thinking to put in larger 12"x12" just so there is less grout. I will be checking the tile store either tomorrow or Friday to see what's currently in stock.

Bud Cline 07-20-2011 11:28 PM

Quote:

Is there a way to check,
Yup, usually. Most wall tiles are made with a white bisque. Take out a tile and post a picture of the backside.:) They are very soft (compared to floor tiles) and break easily. Too easily.

Wall tiles can be used on a bathroom floor but they all also tend to be very slick and not suitable for a bathroom while at the same time the standards will tell you they are acceptable deep inside of a residence where they don't see a lot of shoe traffic. GO FIGURE!

In reality wall tiles should never be used for floor tiles.:)

klmeenan 07-21-2011 08:47 AM

2 Attachment(s)
First picture is where I popped out the floor vent. Second is the back of some tile i popped off after hitting it

klmeenan 07-21-2011 04:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Finally a piece you can see more of the back

Bud Cline 07-21-2011 07:05 PM

Still hard to say from the pictures I thought it would be easier to tell. Is that a white bisque?

Scratch a piece (backside) with a sharp object like a screwdriver and see what happens.

Notice the sparsity of adhesive coverage.

The standards require a minimum of 80% coverage of adhesive but I have always disagreed with that. I would think the "target coverage" should be 100% with 95% being acceptable. If a floor tile is not fully supported cracking will surely develop.

klmeenan 07-22-2011 11:35 AM

2 Attachment(s)
First photo is where I scratched the back. It seems to be white with a taupe/beige coloring on top. You can see it's white through the body if the tile in the second picture.


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