QUESTIONWe completed a 4 blocks condominium project about 3 years back and recently there have been complaints of marble buckling up wards on a number of floors. Initially we thought it was a one off problem but it is occurring on the same area at the floors above and below. Also with the adjacent blocks. What could be the cause of this problem?
ANSWERANSWER - When there is a problem it is generally not due to one deficiency, but rather due to multiple deficiencies.
Buckling marble tile or tenting marble tile is typically due to the marble is expanding and is constrained to some degree, and it likely isn’t bonded as well as it should be to its substrate.
The marble can expand due to excessive heat, or due to being subjected to excessive moisture, or it could be due to excessive deflection within its substrate. Compounding this condition could be the lack of movement joints that contain a resilient sealant such as a silicone sealant. Movement joints should be installed at all perimeters and transitions of the marble installation. For interior areas there should be movement joints within the field of marble every 20 to 25 feet. Further compounding these conditions could be that the marble tile isn’t bonded as well as it should be to the substrate, so as the marble expands, the adhesive bond strength isn’t great enough to restrain the marble from moving.
So it can be any combination of the above. The only way to determine for sure what has caused the marble tile to tent and to determine how to properly remediate the problem is to perform a forensic inspection by an expert such as CTaSC.