What are the Common Ceramic Tiles Surface Defects?

Ceramic tiles surface defects are often about improper tile installation (e.g. missing movement joints) or putting defective tiles in the first place. These could also relate to the incorrect percentage of adhesive used in placing the tiles.

1. Improper tiling

Whether it’s internal or external tiling, proper installation is a must for structural and aesthetic reasons. Although most tiling defects are considered on the surface only, the defects may still compromise the structural integrity of a floor or wall.

For instance, the appearance of misalignment, cracks and water marks on the tiles might be due to waterproofing. The problem goes beyond the surface and if neglected for any longer, this could result to more expensive repairs.

Another example is about missing movement joints. These are necessary because tiles expand and contract according to changes in temperature and moisture levels. These movement joints (also called stress relieving joints) will help prevent the grout and tiles from cracking.

2. Use of substandard tiles

Aside from improper tiling, the use of substandard or inappropriate tiles is also a huge problem whether in residential or commercial buildings. After all, different areas are exposed to varying levels of sunlight, wind and water.

In addition, the tiles about to be installed might not have undergone through proper product sourcing or quality control measures. As a result, there were a few defective tiles installed. This situation might become more prevalent during rush construction projects (especially because of rapid apartment construction to meet market demand).

Although this could have a huge impact on the aesthetics of floors and walls, the mistakes can be easily fixed by replacing the defective tiles (given there are no structural problems underneath).

3. Incorrect percentage of adhesive

Tiling is actually a meticulous process that requires expertise. After all, tilers need to consider the following:

  • Purpose of the area (e.g. bathroom, walkway)
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Waterproofing
  • Perfect alignment of tiles
  • Strategic placement of movement joints (as discussed earlier)

In addition, tilers also need to consider the correct percentage of adhesive. This is for proper bonding and installation integrity. Failure to accomplish this will result to gradual movement (and hence misalignment) of the tiles and grout. In extreme cases the tiles might even crack and fall off from walls.

The water that seeps under the tiles where there are glue voids can also heat causing a ‘Steaming effect’ where as it gets hotter the water expands under the tiles this also applies to salt as well. When salt seeps into the grout or gets in under the tiles as it crystalises it will grow some 12 times the size that it was exerting pressure of some 2 tonnes per square centimeter around it.

Ceramic tiles surface defects

The presence of surface defects on floor and wall tiles can best be detected by professionals with extensive experience in tiling and building construction. As mentioned earlier, tiling itself requires significant expertise.

As a result, tiling defects can be detected by professionals with construction experience and Australian standards. That’s why here at Sydney Building Defects Inspections and Reports, our professionals have deep knowledge about tiling, Australian standards and the overall construction field (whether residential or commercial).

Contact us today so we can better assess the tiling defects in your building for better compliance and aesthetics.