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Old 11-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
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Tile failure due to bad installation


Hi all,

I have tile on a slab foundation throughout the first floor of my house. About a year ago we started to experince sponginess in a small area of the living room floor. This eventually led to tile cracking and chipping. Now the problem area has grown to about 20 sq ft.

At first I thought it was a sinkhole. I removed one tile and discovered that the genius who installed the tile placed thin plywood sheathing over the concrete slab fastened with nails, then put a layer of durock over that, and finally laid the thinset and tile. The plywood sheathing is deteriorating and that's what's causing the tile failure.

I know the solution to this is complete removal of the tile but I'm just looking for the reason why someone would do this. Any ideas?
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #2
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Ignorance! x at least 2.

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Old 11-23-2011, 11:49 AM   #3
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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Tell me about it! The only semi-rationale explanation I came up with is the installer wanted to raise the tile level to match previously installed tile in another area, but this is just about the dumbest way to do that. Either way, I'm stuck with a hell of a tile job ahead of me.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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Just so others know why I said x 2, it's because of the plywood and the concrete backer on the concrete slab. I could have added more since the tiles appear to be grouted to the wall instead of leaving a gap.

Raising the level is one reason the guy may have used plywood and Durock on a slab. Another might be that he thought the ply wood make the floor warmer. However you are in Miami, so maybe not in your case.

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