Can moisture in a Concrete Floor cause the Thin-set Adhesive to Deteriorate and result in Hollow and Tented Tiles?

QUESTION

If moisture leaches up from the concrete floor of a ground floor condo could it cause the thinset to deteriorate? Resulting in hollow sounding tile and some of the tiles tenting up?

ANSWER

ANSWER - Thin-set mortars should not deteriorate from being exposed to moisture.  Most thin-set mortars are used in showers and in pools and fountains.

Moisture that migrates into the concrete slab from the ground and into the tile can cause tiles to expand; particularly if the tile is very porous.  If there are no movement joints filled with an ASTM C920 sealant at the perimeters or every 20 to 25 feet in interior areas not subjected to sunlight or every 8 to 12 feet if subjected to interior direct sunlight then those conditions can lead to the tile debonding, sounding hollow, and tenting.

2 thoughts on “Can moisture in a Concrete Floor cause the Thin-set Adhesive to Deteriorate and result in Hollow and Tented Tiles?

  1. Ramona Neal says:

    We need help in Florida. Our tile is tenting and the grout is cracking. Hollow tiles throughout 90% of the house. We cannot get the builder to do anything. Our house is only 6 1/2 years old.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If there was a flood or an extreme heat of cold event then you could file a complaint with your insurance company if there is evidence it was resultant damages from the event. If it is pre-existing damage then it would not be covered.

      Tile should last for decades if not longer if installed correctly. It is clear that your tile wasn’t installed correctly If the builder has a limited warranty he may or may not be responsible for the repairs. You could file a complaint with the contractor’s board to see if the building would respond to that pressure.

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