The 3 Most Common Floor Tiling Defects and Complaints

Aside from poor aesthetics, floor tiling defects may also signal more serious structural problems. In the construction industry (and perhaps all other industries), how you do anything is how you do everything. A major defect in one area could also spell defects on the whole structure.

Although there are cases when the problem is just isolated, it’s still important to address the issue as soon as possible. It’s crucial to identify the defects and determine their causes. This way, they can be repaired soon and prevent worse structural problems.

1. Dirty tile joints

It’s one of the most common tiling defects. At first this just seems an aesthetic problem. The “tile intersections” just look dirty and unpleasant. There should be no any serious problem underneath.

However, it’s one of the first signs of poor craftsmanship. The contractor might have used low-quality or inappropriate grouts. It’s also possible that the joints were not properly filled in the first place.

If low-quality grouts were used, the whole surface then could be compromised because the grout is what’s securing the tiles on the base. In other words, the use of low-quality grouts would weaken the structure and improperly hold the tiles in place.

2. Cracks on the tiles and grout

This is also a very noticeable tiling aesthetic problem. However, this could be harder to fix and more expensive because it’s likely to require replacement of the tiles and grout (and perhaps redoing the whole job).

The cracks might have resulted from lack of movement joints. These movement joints “relieve stress” from the expansion and contraction resulting from temperature changes. Without these movement joints, the tiles’ rigidity will cause the grouts and tiles to crack and break.

The cracks are sure to become noticeable through time (especially when there are rapid transitions in temperature). In addition, the area might become uninhabitable because the cracks pose some safety risks especially to children.

3. Partial removal or adhesion failure of tiles

Aside from cracks, lack of movement joints can also result to partial removal or adhesion failure of the tiles. Again, this could be the result of temperature changes (and of course, poor construction). It’s also possible that the back of the tiles are contaminated by dirt and dust (no cleaning done before setting them).

To avoid this, there should be movement joints present and proper surface preparation. The goal is to secure the tiles while still compensating for possible expansions and contractions. This can be accomplished by proper selection of tiles and grouts, thorough surface preparation, installation of movement joints and considering other factors that might affect the integrity of the tiled surface.

Identifying floor tiling defects and their causes

In most cases the required repairs are already costly by the time the defects become noticeable. That’s why it’s important to determine the defects early on before the situation becomes worse. In addition, the goal is to maintain the safety of the building occupants. Any tiling defect pose safety risks to the tenants and end users of the building.

Here at Sydney Building Defects Inspections and Reports we perform thorough inspections and find the root causes of the defects. We can then advise you of cost-effective ways to prevent worse problems and solve the problem once and for all.

We always use specialist instruments to determine the defects and go beneath the surface. Using our construction expertise, we’re always able to determine even minor defects in a structure. Contact us today if you want to know the extent of tiling defects in your building.