Crack tiles: what is the damage?

Occasionally, tiles may crack or crackle. Why this may be, which mistakes can be responsible for the misplacement and how to remedy these shortcomings, read in this post.

To find out the reason for crackling or grinding noises, you should first check a few points carefully:

  • Are the tiles visibly damaged or are any joints visibly damaged?
  • Are all joints executed correctly, expansion joints considered?
  • How close are floor tiles and wall tiles together?
  • Are the noises especially when walking on?

Possible reasons and damages

Depending on how the answers turn out, the noises may either be damaging to the tiles or to the joints. The screed tends to settle slightly as you walk, which explains why fugitive joints can cause noise (if the tile is undamaged). This is by far the most common cause of the noise.

Connection of wall and floor tile

If there is a connection between wall and floor tile (joint too small), then the interface of the floor tile may rub over the glaze of the wall tile due to the movements of the screed. This usually causes crunchy, but occasionally also crunchy-cracking noises.

Tile is hollow

In some cases (very rarely) it can happen that a hollow tile causes the noise. Again, there is a mistake laying the tiles.

Expansion joint not executed properly

Expansion joints and silicone joints must be executed professionally. If this is not the case, tensions can build up within the joint, the relief of which (when entering or lowering the underlying screed) then leads to audible crackling noises.

A simple method is to expose the respective joints (preferably with a multitool), and to hear whether the crackling noises disappear as a result. Then the tile can be professionally re-grooved without any problems.

The removal of the silicone at edge joints is a bit more involved, and even a too small wall-floor joint is rather difficult to fix.

Tips & Tricks

If the cause (as very often) is a laying error, the executing company is of course fully liable for the mistake. The executing company then has to completely eliminate the error at its own expense.

Video Board: Fixing cracks in tile without replacing them.