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Old 08-04-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
rebech34
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Loose tile question

Hey there, Newbie here.
I live in Houston, TX where we suffer from draught almost every summer.
This summer it is on its worse course.
I bought a house 2 years ago. It was built in 1965 and sits on a slab.
Previous owners installed Italian tile in probably 1300 sq/ft of the house - the rest is hardwood floor.
It's been about 13 month now that I feel that in certain places in the house, the tile is loose. It started with "what was that..." and now it's actual cracks in the grout and sensation of tile move. it's probably in 4 spots in my house, 5-7 1 foot tiles at a time. Unfortunately, we have no spear tiles.
I had a structural engineer check the house and generally speaking, there is no foundation problem and he thinks it was just a sloppy job.

Since it's such a large area of the house, retiling the house with a new tile would cost me no less the 10K - right? Can't afford that at the moment....
What's my second option? Have someone regrout the tiles? would that help? is there any way of injection adhesive underneath the tile?

What would you do? HELP
!!
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Roy,

Welcome to the forum,

You may also have expansion joint issues. As the slab warms with the heat we have been having, throw in some sunlight and if you raised your thermostat or suffered a rolling blackout all would lead to expanding tiles. Runs of tile longer than say 25 feet or 400 sq feet need an expansion joint. If your 1300 sf is continuous, its certainly something to look for. When the tiles become loose, do they "tent" upwards?

You can have those tile re-set along with checking and perhaps installing some expansion joints.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:43 PM   #3
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Sounds to me like the tile was installed poorly. Many things can happen from the slab being dirty or contaminated or the thinset being allowed to skin over while setting.

Pull a loose one up and take a few pics for us
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:45 PM   #4
rebech34
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Paul hi - thanks for the quick reply!
I've noticed that the tiles in those areas are not in the same level. some are raised, some are sunk... it's not consistent (to the tiles defense - some are just fine...) but yes, some of them lift up.
It's interesting but it definitely seems to be the big draught that influences this whole situation - it's so dynamic now, in the summer...I wonder if they're going to settle in the winder if Iím not going to touch them...
You've mentioned expansion joint - what's that?
I'm not a very technical guy....
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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When tiles are installed there are gaps left open (or caulked closed with a squishy material) which allow for the expansion and contraction of the tile. These gaps are common all around the perimeter of the installation, normally hidden by shoe molding. When these gaps would be seen, they are caulked with an expansion joint grade silicone (or similar). Commercial installations commonly use metal strips with allow for expansion.

Where in Houston are you located?
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #6
rebech34
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Meyerland/Westbury....
So what am I looking at? Redoing the whole thing? Regrouting as a temporary solution? Not touching it for now?
Who should I call in?
I'm lost....
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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If you have time over the weekend I can stop by and take a look for you. My main worker lives in your neighborhood right near the HD. If you click on the link below my signature line you'll get to my web site and phone number
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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Whatever it costs, Paul is a master at his craft.

(PS...Paul, do I get my payola now or later?) lol........
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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You're running a healthy tab at the moment Laz.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #10
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Cash please....and in small bills!
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:19 AM   #11
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I stopped by today and took a look at his floor. As we suspected it is classic tenting as the tile spans nearly every room in the house without expansion joints and the tile is grouted up against the baseboards. The installers did do a nice job undercutting the door jambs, but failed on the expansion areas.

The family is discussing their options which include a whole new tiled floor. Repairing the loose tiles and adding expansion joints would be quite an undertaking considering the linear footage along all those walls, and the difficulty in getting expansion joints at the doorways for diagonally installed 18" tiles. Its a hard call to make.
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