Is the cold Cracking the Tile?


Is the cold Cracking the Tile? - I layed down a floor and ceramic tiled it around the door. From the cold the tile keeps cracking. How can I fix this problem?


ANSWER - Cold weather should not cause ceramic tile to crack particularly if it is an interior application.  It is possible that if you have a very porous ceramic tile that you have installed outdoors for an exterior application and it is subjected to wetness and freezing then you might get some cracking or spalling within the tile.

Chances are you have other deficiencies in your tile installation.  Generally speaking when there is a problem there are compounding factors or deficiencies that have resulted in the problem.  Cracking can result from several different common conditions.

Over a concrete slab if the slab is cracked then that crack can telegraph up through the tile.  Shrinkage cracks can be isolated with a crack isolation membrane.  Structural cracks (has vertical movement) requires a special repair.

Wood subfloors can have too much deflection that can cause cracking in tiles.  The floor can't have more deflection than L/360, so in other words you should not be able to feel the floor bounce when you jump up and down.  If there is a backer board or wood underlayment applied on the wood subfloor and it isn't installed correctly then the movement within the joints of the board panels can cause cracking in the tile above it.

If the tile was not bonded (attached) well to its substrate then that could cause the tile to come loose and then be subject to cracking as it is traveled over.

If you have not installed movement joints (expansion joints) at the perimeters and throughout the floor then that could further contribute to the tile cracking.

Chances are your problem involves more than one of these factors and together they result in your tile cracking.

Depending on the deficiencies you might be able to do repairs or you may need to replace the floor.  For a copy of the CTaSC installation guidelines for ceramic tile or stone click "CTaSC Installation Guidelines".  Good Luck.

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