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What causes your Tile to break?

Updated: May 18, 2023

The first step in mending a tile fracture is determining the cause of the break. If you find hairline cracks in your tile, they may result from less apparent causes like inadequately curing concrete or shifting subfloor or joists. As an example, you'll want to fix the subfloor of your house before retiling your floor.

Finding the source of a cracked tile on the floor or wall might be challenging to locate. Learn what causes a tile floor to get damaged or broken and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. Repairing a broken floor tile may be sufficient if the damage is contained in a single location. A fresh start with a new floor is ideal in other circumstances. Below, you will see six typical causes of cracked tile flooring.

Heavy Impacts

Your tile floor may seem to have a fracture when a large object is dropped on it. The tiles are particularly vulnerable because pots and pans, glasses, and other heavy things are typical in the kitchen. Your floor's center is not affected by these sorts of events. People are more prone to drop anything when opening a door, which explains why they're more popular there.

Heavy Furniture or Appliances

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C648-20 standard for breaking strength testing states that most tiles can withstand 250 pounds per square inch. If an appliance weighs more than 250 pounds, may it damage your tiles? For the sake of argument, let's pretend you own a 400-pound refrigerator. Only 100 pounds could be supported by each tile, putting it far short of its design limit.

Between 170 to 300 pounds, a full-sized refrigerator is typical. There is no way that a fridge full of pots and pans could do any harm. A big oven or a cabinet falling on the tile would cause a harsh, focused impact. The safety of your appliances and furnishings should be the first concern of the moving company or flooring contractor you choose.

Joints in the Subfloor Concrete may be controlled.

Concrete subfloors with control joints may break in a more equal, straight manner, reducing the amount of damage. Tiles might be placed over the control joints by an unwary installation. If a tile crack extends over numerous tiles, it is likely to be caused by a problem with the subfloor. It is most probable that a control joint is to blame for a long, straight crack on your floor.

Joists Not Properly Spaced

When tiles are installed over plywood flooring, the joists may be the source of your cracks. Because plywood has a tendency to sag and bend, it might be challenging to install tile over it. In the process of gluing these two materials together, the subfloor's wooden beams become vital. It's possible for the wooden flooring to buckle and fracture if the joists are spaced too far apart. A problem with poorly spaced posts shouldn't exist if your home is up to code. Fixing the subfloor first should be your first priority rather than replacing the tile.

Factors in the Environment

More porous the tile, the more moisture it can store and the more susceptible to temperature variations. Terracotta, ceramic, and porcelain can break with high-temperature fluctuations. Expansion joints in tile flooring allow each tile to expand and contract in a controlled manner. A sound installation will not be affected by seasonal temperature and humidity variations.

Damaged or faulty tiles or a job is poorly done.

Some prior homeowners or the installer might be to blame if your tile is cracking. Before using them, always verify that your tiles fulfill ANSI and ASTM testing criteria. A home constructed to code by a reputable builder may avoid most cracking difficulties. Cracking may occur if the tile is installed before the concrete has been cured for 28 days. The tiles might also be damaged if they aren't bonded correctly. A non-waterproof adhesive will lead to tiles crumbling in bathrooms and around swimming pools. Working with a knowledgeable tile installer is essential because of the many faults made throughout the installation process.

If a beautiful tile rises or breaks, it loses its beauty. A beautiful, well-installed floor is worth its weight in gold, so you want to be sure it's going to endure as long as possible. A fracture in your beautiful tile may be devastating. As a result, do not allow this to deface your lovely property.


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