Stone tile that is starting to crack is a major cause for concern. Cracking is one of the more common problems with tile and grout flooring. Cracking can be the result of all sorts of things, many of which occur below the flooring. Cracking is commonly due to a weak underlayment and a flawed structure settlement. Here is a closer look at the common causes of cracking and the options for repairing cracks in the stone tile.
Weak Underlayment That Causes Cracking
Flooring with a weak underlayment will experience cracking at some point down the line. As people walk along floors, they apply pressure over fairly small areas. If this pressure leads to the flexing of the underlayment, the tile will weaken since the tile does not bend. As grout cracks or loosens, the tiles will gradually crack.
Structure Settlement Cracking
If the conditions of the soil below the home change because of the presence of moisture or the shifting of soil, the structure will move downward or settle. While this move might not prove structurally significant, it can lead to problems with building materials like your flooring.
Cracking in tiles that result from settlement issues might prove difficult to remedy. These projects tend to be complex and costly. In most cases, we will have to remove portions of the floor and the underlayment between the foundation and floor. We will repair the cracks and rebuild the floor.
Solutions to Cracked Tiles
If your tiles are cracked, replacing them might not prove to be an effective fix. We will need to examine your floor in-depth. We might spot something like tiles that flex beneath the feet. This is a sign that the tile is separating from the underlayment below. The solution to such a stone repair challenge might be filling the voids beneath the tile.
Something like tile glue might do the job after drilling small holes around the perimeter of the tiles all the way down to the underlayment. After injecting the glue, it will move on down to the void and dry across the next 24 hours. We can address the weak underlayment with several different approaches.
An approach that includes the use of new grout might also help. Flexible grout often proves to be the optimal solution. This is a pre-mixed urethane grout that is quartz-based. There is no need for any sealing. Once the grout dries it will prove flexible to reduce the stress on the tile.
Why Flexible Grout is so Helpful for Flawed Tiles
Flexible grout often proves to be the best solution for customers as well as our team. This product is urethane-based, meaning it will not stain any portion of your property. Flexible grout will never require any type of sealing. This is an affordable solution for repairs relating to a poorly installed underlayment. It is much cheaper to use flexible grout that replaces part or the entire floor. Flexible grout is favored by our installation team as it is comparably easy to install.
How to Know if Tile has Separated From the Underlayment
You can tell if your tile has disconnected from the underlayment with a fairly easy test. Knock on one of the tiles. If there is a hollow sound like there is something empty beneath the tile, it is probably in the process of disconnecting from the underlayment. While the tile might partially connect along a portion of the middle or a corner, separation is certainly occurring. It will not be long until the tile starts to crack.
Replacing the Cracked Tile
If the crack in the tile is especially large, replacement might be the only option. If a replacement tile with a similar color, shape, material and size is available, it will blend in quite nicely. Some property owners have tiles leftover from the installation. If your tile is beyond repair and you do not have any extras, we will recommend a tile retailer.
Our team will break apart the cracked tile, chisel out all of those broken pieces, scrape the adhesive and prepare a flat surface for the new tile. It must be noted replacement is the last option. We will exhaust every avenue for repair before suggesting tile replacement.
Call us today at (949) 229-4030 and schedule a consultation to determine which tile service is right for you.