Maybe you’re cleaning, or maybe you’re just admiring your home, and then, all of a sudden you see it… a cracked tile! The first thing you are probably thinking about is how you’re going to replace it, but you should also consider why it happened. This way you can prevent the same type of damage from occurring again.
This article will take a look at the common causes of cracked tile so you can keep it from happening in your home.
Cracked on Impact
One reason tile could crack is because it took a heavy blow. This is especially likely with floor tile in heavily trafficked areas. If something heavy drops and hits the tile, it could result in cracking.
Cracked Under Pressure
Another common cause of floor tile cracking could be pressure. Most tiles are in compliance with ASTM C648 breaking strength standard which means they are able to withstand weights of at least 250 lbs. but if a heavy appliance lands too hard on the floor, cracking can occur.
Tile was Installed Over a Control Joint
Control joints in concrete are kind of like preplanned cracks. Since it’s a given that cracks will occur at some point, control joints work to make sure they happen in a controlled fashion, basically in a straight line rather than chaotically. Since cracks occur over a control joint, this probably isn’t the best place for tile installation.
Installation Occurred on Improperly Spaced Joints
Joists are wood beams that run under the floor and work to support everything above them. If they are placed too far apart, they will cause bending and warping that can cause any tile installed above them to crack.
The Concrete Substrate Has Cracked
Concrete might seem like the perfect substrate for tile, but it will crack over time causing the tile above it to crack as well. If tile cracks are long and continuous and stretch across several tiles, it’s likely the substrate is to blame. To keep this from happening, a crack isolation membrane should be installed beneath the tiles. This will allow the tiles to move separately from the concrete.
Concrete Substrate Did Not Have Time to Cure
Newly poured concrete has a high-water concentration. As it cures, the water evaporates and the concrete shrinks. This helps bind the concrete together but it can also put stress on the tiles. The Tile Council of America recommends that concrete be allowed to cure for at least 28 days but some contractors do not adhere to these regulations and tile cracks as a result.
Inferior Quality Tile
Inferior quality is rarely the cause of cracked tile but it is a possibility. Purchase your tile from an established retailer to make sure you are getting a product you can trust. No one wants cracked tile! Now that you know the common causes of cracked tile, hopefully you will be able to prevent it from happening in your home. Here’s to a successful installation project that withstands the test of time.