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Old 01-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #1
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Hollow Tiles


Hi gang, so I tackled my first ceramic tile flooring job. Overall I am very pleased with the outcome considering I installed 6" x 24" wood look tile, I learned so much. However I did mess up as a few of my tiles are hollow sounding in the middle, not the ends and I do recall spot coating some of them toward the end. I don't know what I was thinking I just lost focus and was trying to lay them, first timer and inexperience and some dumbness. Anyways the good news is I checked the entire 125sq foot area and all are solid except maybe 3 or 4 of them in a particular area that is mostly non-traffic.

Besides the most likely inevitable and obvious of ripping the tiles ( I did not grout yet) up and putting them back down properly is there any adhesives or caulk like solution that I could possibly squirt into the joints and fill the hollow spots up sold at my local HD or Lowes? Liquid Nails? Please note again I did not grout and also note these tiles in question are mostly in non-traffic area's except for maybe one. Thanks in advance for your time and help!
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Last edited by cbaur88; 01-24-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
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You're lucky they're not grouted. "Hook" them up and reinstall them if it's fresh. Otherwise hammer, chisel & small putty knife.

Wondering what size trowel you used and if you back-buttered the tiles. At the same time you can see how much adhesive transfer there is on the area of the tiles that sound solid.

Jaz

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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You're lucky they're not grouted. "Hook" them up and reinstall them if it's fresh. Otherwise hammer, chisel & small putty knife.

Wondering what size trowel you used and if you back-buttered the tiles. At the same time you can see how much adhesive transfer there is on the area of the tiles that sound solid.

Jaz
Thanks Jaz, I actually used 1/2" trowel. It was my first time so I learned allot. I did back butter some of the tiles that weren't level with the surrounding tiles but I did a poor job of back buttering and totally realize what I did wrong.

I installed the tiles last weekend, how hard do you think it's going to pull them up?
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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Large tiles are often warped, so hollow sounding centers are fairly common.

The thin set has developed most of its strength by now, but with the right tool you might be able to remove a few without breaking them. Something with a hook might do it. Otherwise a hammer to the center of the tile.

Which specific thin set did you use? Please take a pic of the back of the tiles with the most and least adhesive transfer for us to see.

Jaz
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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Large tiles are often warped, so hollow sounding centers are fairly common.

The thin set has developed most of its strength by now, but with the right tool you might be able to remove a few without breaking them. Something with a hook might do it. Otherwise a hammer to the center of the tile.

Which specific thin set did you use? Please take a pic of the back of the tiles with the most and least adhesive transfer for us to see.

Jaz
Will do Jaz, although I know what I did and pretty embarrassed to show the back side at least I know what I did wrong and know what to do next time. I basically back buttered the front and back of the tile and little in the middle vs. doing the whole thing and I don't know if I back buttered it enough I used HD Custom Building Products Porcelain Tile Fortified Thin-Set Mortar and also Custom Building Products 50 lb. White Marble Granite and Travertine Premium Medium Bed Mortar. For some reason I blew through thinset more then I thought I would had to run to HD a few times. Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #6
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Don't be embarrassed, our "Tile Police" will not pay you a visit and no one will paper your trees.

As I mentioned before, large tiles are often warped to a degree. If anything, you need more thin set in the middle. Take two tiles, place them face to face, and them back to back. You may be able to see the warpage. This is normal and one reason you're not supposed to set them in a running bond pattern. (50% offset). A 1/3 offset is recommended. I noticed you did that most of the time.

Is that room on a slab?

Jaz
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
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Don't be embarrassed, our "Tile Police" will not pay you a visit and no one will paper your trees.

As I mentioned before, large tiles are often warped to a degree. If anything, you need more thin set in the middle. Take two tiles, place them face to face, and them back to back. You may be able to see the warpage. This is normal and one reason you're not supposed to set them in a running bond pattern. (50% offset). A 1/3 offset is recommended. I noticed you did that most of the time.

Is that room on a slab?

Jaz
Thanks for the chuckle Jaz, yes that's a concrete slab underneath. Yes I tried to offset 1/3 as I read from other sources online. I will be tackling tomorrow and I'll try to get some pictures up here. Thanks again!
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:31 PM   #8
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Don't try to goof around with squirting something under there. Replacing the tile is actually less difficult than you think - once you accept the fact that the tiles have to come up, it's not too bad.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
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Don't try to goof around with squirting something under there. Replacing the tile is actually less difficult than you think - once you accept the fact that the tiles have to come up, it's not too bad.
Jeff, you were so right it really wasn't as difficult as I thought. I smashed my first one and it came out like butter because it was so poorly laid. Other two hook up way too easy using the back of a hammer. I know what I did wrong after I heard the hollowness but to actually see it was good, lesson fully learned. I am so so so glad I pulled them up, I feel so much better that I did the right thing

Attached are some pic's of pulling them up and part of the floor finally grouted. When I combed the thinset it wasn't even high enough to touch the bottom of the tile. Only the ends of the tile were touching the thinset on the floor, geez what was I thinking...........Thank God I only did a little area like that I must have been getting tired and not thinking straight. Thanks Guys!!!!
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:00 PM   #10
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That is much more common than you think, don't feel too bad. I have taken up quite a bit of tile and I see that all the time.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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That is much more common than you think, don't feel too bad. I have taken up quite a bit of tile and I see that all the time.
Thanks Jeff, I am just so grateful to have realized this and seen it first hand. Something I will never forget. Looking back kinda glad it happened to me in the small amount that it did.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:31 PM   #12
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cbaur88,

Back buttering just the ends makes it worse, as you know.

Did you also check the tiles for warpage? Was the floor not flat also?

Jaz
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:33 PM   #13
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cbaur88,

Back buttering just the ends makes it worse, as you know.

Did you also check the tiles for warpage? Was the floor not flat also?

Jaz
I didn't Jaz just slipped my mind I was so pre-occupied with pulling those tiles up. From what I saw before I laid the tile with my 6 foot level everything was pretty level. Only spot that was low was back toward the sliding glass door, major dip all the way across the length of the door. I had to build that up with concrete repair and built it up a little with some thin-set to get it level.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #14
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Did you remove any tile that was only partially hollow sounding? Was wondering on the adhesive transfer on the part that sounded solid. You want at least 85% transfer contact.

Jaz
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:46 PM   #15
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Did you remove any tile that was only partially hollow sounding? Was wondering on the adhesive transfer on the part that sounded solid. You want at least 85% transfer contact.

Jaz
Yes there where one or two I pulled that only sounded hollow partially but I pulled them because they were in high traffic area's and I was afraid they were gonna pop and grout crack. Most of the ones I pulled were just terribly hollow sounding. Thanks Jaz!

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