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Unread 09-26-2005, 07:52 PM   #1
lchris
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Question Removing Tile w/least possible damage

We have a home that was constructed 2 years ago and are completely hopeless at home renovations (opposite of handy). A number of the ceramic tiles cracked and our builder is in the process of removing and replacing the tiles. We know nothing about removing and replacing tiles and are concerned about damage to other parts of the flooring in the area.

Specifically - he doesn't have enough tiles to replace all the original tiles that cracked and the tiles in the house are no longer available. He has suggested re-doing a portion of the floor with a completely different type of tile, using an inlay, or replacing the entire tile surface with different tile. The flooring right beside the tile area is hardwood.

Would removal of the tile in the area beside the hardwood be likely to cause damage to the hardwood or is it possible to remove the tiles (easily or with difficulty?) without damaging the hardwood? Also, is removal of the tiles likely to cause damage to the plywood under the tiles or can new tiles be installed directly on the same plywood?

We would appreciate the advice as we're not sure where to turn and don't trust the builder!!
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Unread 09-26-2005, 08:06 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome Chris! And if your name isn't Chris, you'll need to shoot us one.

I think what needs to happen is that you need to address the reason the tiles are cracking in the first place. My guess is the new tiles will crack just like the old ones if nothing is done to the structure below. How much surface has this tile on it?

Yes, tile can be pulled up w/o damaging the hardwood next to it, but only if you take steps to avoid damage. I assume the builder is taking care of all this?

I think removal of all the tiles and addressing whatever problem is lying below them is the best step to take to avoid future problems.
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Unread 09-26-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
Mike2
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Hi Chris:

I certainly agree with what Kurt just said and will take it a few steps further.

Tell us what you can about the floor. What size are the joists, how far apart are they spaced, and what is the length of unsupported joist span under this room where the tiles are cracking? Additionally we need to know how thick the plywood sub-floor is and how many layers of ply do you have.

All of these building factors weigh in heavily in determining whether your floor is strong enough to support a tiled surface. Head on up to the top of this page. There you will see a Deflecto tool. That's exactly where we are heading with this line of questioning.
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Unread 09-26-2005, 11:47 PM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hey, I was gonna say that too, but didn't wanna get too wordy.
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Unread 09-28-2005, 07:11 AM   #5
lchris
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Hi & thanks for the info. I don't have all of the details for the Deflecto tool, but do know that they are 16" joists. There is 5/8 " plywood on a 5/8" sub-floor. At this point, I don't know the rest of the details.

The builder said that, because the house is new, there is sometimes cracking that occurs as the house settles and the wood dries. In more recent construction, our builder has started to use a plywood sub-floor with a thin layer of cement on top.

In the areas where the cracked tiles have been removed, they screwed the top layer of plywood down to ensure it doesn't shift further. These spots are still bare and new tiles haven't yet been put down - they're searching for a match, if one can be found.

Do you think the screwing of the plywood under the removed tiles will ensure the floor doesn't crack further? As I understand, such cracking is not uncommon in the first year or so after construction but is rare once the house settles and the wood dries. Wishful thinking?

I'll see what I can find out about the joist spacing/width/length.
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Unread 09-28-2005, 04:25 PM   #6
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Hi Chris,

I don't want to get into framing theory (CX will be in here trying to shoot me down. ), but new construction is certainly no excuse for cracked tiles. If that were the case, every new home would have cracked tiles. We probably wouldn't be in business very long.

It has to do with technique. If the right procedure is followed, there will be no cracked tiles. If a faulty procedure is followed, you'll have problems.

It is very important that the pros here know everything there is to know about how your tile work was done.
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Unread 09-28-2005, 04:57 PM   #7
homerunsally
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Who had the nerve to turn ME loose


I bought a house and someone turned me loose in my bathroom.I love taking things apart.My walls have tile lining the bathroom floor.They are quite ugly so I decided to take them all out.What someone else has done is put the tiles up first then built a subfloor so now with no tiles there are big gaps between my wall and my floor.I just want to paint however by taking out the tiles I have also damaged alot of the gyprock.My idea is to fill the holes with apex,and repair the walls with drywall compound.Then sand,prime,and paint,and put up a border.Will this work for me?At first I was trying to remove the tiles gently.At this point I am smashing them out with a hammer.Is there an easier way?My walls look terrible as the gyprock is coming off with the tile.I need to know because I do want to do the shower stall and the kitchen eventually.
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