Lay tiles without joints

In old buildings, but also in many southern countries, one sees again and again tile coverings, which were laid without joint. As with everything, the tastes are different and so many a builder would like to lay his tiles seamlessly. But it is not always possible to lay tiles without a joint.

Joints have an important job

Laying tiles without joints works the same way in his technique as laying tiles with a joint. The most important thing is to really put the tiles on the push. However, not every wall or floor should and should not be tiled without joints. Not only around the tiled tile to the wall there is an expansion joint. The joints between the tiles are also expansion joints, because the tiles stretch and contract depending on the influence of cold and heat. Tile floors or walls therefore tend to break individual tiles quickly. This is also one of the reasons why joint filler really crumbles over the years.

Also new heating habits and building techniques speak against the seamless tiles

Therefore, tiles in southern countries can be laid without expansion joints. There, the temperatures are relatively consistent and in particular underfloor heating as good as not available. Because that is exactly what brings us to an argument that there are tile joints without joints in our cool Germany. This is especially common in old buildings. However, the building materials must be taken into account.

Soil was much colder in the past

There used to be no modern tile adhesive. Instead, conventional lime mortar was used. Despite a stronger adhesive bond in the short term, lime mortar is a limited elastic "tile adhesive". However, the adhesive strength decreases significantly over the years. Many loose tiles are therefore completely normal in a Kalkmörtelfliesenbett. In particular, the dissolution of mortar and tile is significantly favored by heat. In the past, rooms were heated much less well, and floors were much colder due to a lack of insulation. This favored a relative durability, but is in complete contrast to our current heating behavior.

On modern, decoupled floors, you can lay tiles with little joint

However, tiles can still be glued seamlessly or almost seamlessly on certain floors. Modern floors are already decoupled from the subfloor, for example by a vapor barrier. In addition, modern screed floors have a certain elasticity. The smaller the floor area, the greater the likelihood that individual tiles will not jump. For underfloor heating, the maximum surface area must be reduced again. In addition, if possible, calibrated (cut) tiles or floor tiles should be used, because another factor contributes to laying tiles with joints.

Only fired tiles are never uniform in their dimensions and shapes

Tiles are fired. Even within a manufacturing batch, the kiln need not necessarily have the same temperature. This, and other circumstances contribute to the fact that joint bottom and top joint width differ from tile to tile. So another reason for creating joints is to compensate for these inaccuracies. Calibrated tiles, however, have exactly the same dimensions. There is another difference with natural stone tiles and slabs.

Calibrated ceramic and natural stone tiles and slabs

These too are calibrated, ie cut out of a block. Subsequently, these natural stones are no longer heat-treated, etc. Thus, the natural properties of these natural stones come into play. This means a much smaller extent for many natural stone slabs and tiles. Nevertheless, laid natural stones need an expansion joint, as long as they are not loosely laid. For these joints are significantly smaller with 1 to 3 mm. On the expansion joint along the walls you must under no circumstances dispense, the tile or plate floors are always glued floating.

Tips & Tricks

The difference between tiles and slabs: for slabs of natural stone, it is 1 to 1.2 cm thick or underneath if the slabs are not equally strong. Below and with a uniform thickness, the natural stone tiles are called natural stone tiles.

If you want to bond tiles without joints, you should preferably use precisely calibrated (cut) tiles. However, most tiles made by firing are not calibrated.

The joint widths depend on the tile surface and the size of the tiles. For most tiles, they should be up to 8 mm at the joint bottom.

When laying tiles without joints, the client usually loses the warranty claims and can not complain about cracked tiles. This also applies to too small joint dimensions.

Video Board: How to Install a Rectified Porcelain Tile Floor