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Unread 09-20-2020, 12:52 PM   #1
hambonius
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Tile thickness ?

Hi,

How thick would one expect 12" x 12" floor tiles to be?

My tiles measure up at a bit over 1/4" thick and were sold to us as floor tiles by a now defunct home supply centre (but have been on the 'honey do' list for over a decade).

The sub floor deflection calculator, with my site data says: "For joists that are SYP or Douglas Fir, in good condition, 9 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide, 16 inches on center, and 12 feet long between supports, the deflection calculated is 0.276 inches.

This translates to a deflection of L / 522.

Since the maximum deflection for tile is L / 360, and for natural stone is L / 720, your floor is rated for Ceramic tile, Congratulations!"

Sub floor itself is 3/4" plywood. The house is ~30 y.o.

Yet these 12" ceramic tiles, which the installer said "seemed a bit thin" for floor tile, but which we chose to go ahead with anyways, have cracked and need replacement of at least 2 high traffic tiles, only a year and a half after the install.

I've no particular beef with the installer over the materials, as we supplied them and thanks to him we made an informed decision to take our chances.

Still I need to devise a course of action. Advice welcome.

Thanks,
Brian H.
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Unread 09-20-2020, 01:16 PM   #2
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Welcome, Brian.

1. How were you made aware the tiles were "floor" tiles?

2. What substrate was installed over the 3/4" plywood before the tiles were installed?

3. What bonding mortar was used to install the tiles? Be specific.

4. Have you any photos of the removed tiles (if any) and the floor area from which they were removed?
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Unread 09-21-2020, 12:29 AM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Brian!

In addition, does the cracking appear directly above the pattern of some of the substrate seams?

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Unread 09-21-2020, 05:08 AM   #4
CRB
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Brian,
Just a couple of thoughts:
Got to say the thickness you state - 1/4" ish - 6mm maybe 8 - not what I think is generally seen as correct for floor tiles of traditional type of ceramic, vitreous or standard porcelain.
[assuming these are not specialised 'thin' porcelain types. Unlikely though at that dimension of 12x12]

Where I have seen these they are budget manufacturer tiles. It is possible to lay them to last, however over and above work and method needs to be done to make it successful - thereby negating any buy saving, and adding to the work involved -and needing a good tiler too.

Even then the glaze / finish is also poor in its making, so in high footfall / wear areas - even a domestic kitchen run - they can show visible wear in a small number of years.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 08:50 AM   #5
hambonius
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thickness

1) I think it said so on the box in various languages.
2) Builder installed vinyl flooring. This was removed and discarded.
3) Flextile Ltd's 57 Scratch Coat is the base but mortar between tiles is unknown.
4) They are still in place as yet.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 08:53 AM   #6
hambonius
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cracking above the pattern

Quote:
In addition, does the cracking appear directly above the pattern of some of the substrate seams?
Not that is apparent to me.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 09:03 AM   #7
hambonius
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abandon these tiles

Quote:
Where I have seen these they are budget manufacturer tiles
Yes, we bought them on sale at a store chain closing out sale, so likely they are not the Cadillac of tiles. Mfg was in Brazil or some other South American country as I recall.

We deliberately did a small laundry room as a test where the much larger kitchen area is the ultimate objective. I think we will abandon these tiles still in hand and use better tile in the kitchen and re do the small laundry room area as part of that project.

Thanks.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 09:29 AM   #8
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A geographic location in your User Profile might be helpful here, Brian. I suspect you're in TTMAC country rather than ANSI territory.

1. Can you give us a link to the product, perhaps?

2. But what was under the vinyl flooring? It's important.

3. Do you know the thickness of the scratch coat and perhaps the weight of the metal lath?

4. Please do take some photos when the broken tiles are removed. That will be very helpful in diagnosing your tile installation failure.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 02:37 PM   #9
jadnashua
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If I'm interpreting what you said correctly about the scratch coat, it's sometimes referred to as a Jersey mud job...a somewhat derogatory name to a proven bad installation technique.

Now, if, as CX was alluding to in his question, it was a significantly thick installation (about 1.5" thick) that would meet the guidelines of an unbonded mud bed, then it should have been fine.

Regarding that first layer, if the panels were not T&G or had all of their long seams supported with blocking, that would not qualify for a subfloor base for tile unless it was a full mud bed.

Without the long seams supported (cleats, blocking or T&G), a point load at the seam can cause the two sheets to deflect differently. Deflection is in two dimensions: along the joists, and in between the joists. They both need to meet at least the minimum specs.
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