Why do my Travertine Tiles have cracks and sound hollow?


Why do my Travertine Tiles have cracks and sound hollow? My travertine kitchen floor is two years old and I have noticed hairline cracks which could be because the travertine was put directly on slab with thinset. However there are hollow sounds on twenty of my tiles which leads me to believe that the thinset is breaking down. I have had two installers tell me that the slab should have been prepared before the thinset. I have had to regrout myself in between some of the tiles. The hollow sound from the individual tiles angers me.


ANSWER - Hairline cracks in the travertine could have developed for a number of reasons.  There could be cracks in the slab that have telegraphed through the stone, or there may be voids under the stone that isn't providing enough support, or the tiles could be loose to some degree and can be susceptible to cracking.
Hollow sounds doesn't necessarily mean there is a problem with the travertine.  Although it can mean the tile isn't bonded or there are voids under the tile where it sounds hollow.  If you are regrouting because the grout is coming loose, then that might be an indication that the tiles are loose and not bonded well.  Or if you have very small grout joints between each tile then the grout might not be able to properly lodge itself into the joint.

It is true the slab should have been properly prepared to make sure the tile would bond to it and that any cracks were mitigated.  The only way to determine if you have a problem is to intrusively remove some of the various stones to see the underlying conditions and to see how the tile was installed.    Through a forensic company such as CTaSC.com it might not be practical to do that depending on your situation.  Inspections performed by qualified inspectors normally cost $3,000 or more to perform the inspection and write a report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *