What is causing my Porcelain Floor Tile to develop Blisters?


I am a residential consumer and am in the process of having a 10 month old porcelain tile project, removed, due to an unexplained tile defect. The tile is in a large kitchen, hall, bathroom & laundry so there’s a large square footage involved. The tile was made in Spain & under the PAC name. Two months after the tile was laid, small blisters appeared in various areas. More blisters appeared while the first ones “popped” and created craters. These appeared in each of the rooms & in no particular traffic pattern area. It was as if the porcelain was going through some “chemical change”, as no one has been able to provide a better explanation! I would like to send some pics but I can only do it if you’re able to respond to this email. Thank you for reading & maybe providing some insight?


ANSWER - If in fact you have a glazed or unglazed porcelain tile that has developed blisters that is uncommon.

Some ceramic tiles can be very porous, and some porous Mexican tiles are vary porous and can spall the way you described.  Sometimes they are called lime-pops because there are clumps of lime that expand and cause this condition.

It is possible to scientifically evaluate this condition and determine what has caused it.  We would perform a forensic inspection by removing some of the various tiles and looking at the underlying conditions and evidence.  We would test the tile for its absorption.  We can have a testing laboratory to evaluate it under an electron microscope to look for identifying characteristics that can help explain what caused this condition to occur.

Sometimes it isn't practical to spend the money to figure it out, but if you don't figure what went wrong, then you don't know how to prevent it from reoccurring.

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