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ggpk Tile Floors July 25th, 2018 - 08:17:57
How tough is the tile to be installed? Fairly thick quarry tiles. for example. may be rated for heavy duty industrial applications. although they are often installed in homes. Because they are thicker than normal tiles and able to withstand heavy traffic. they may be less prone to cracking than a sensitive. thinner tile. For that matter. natural stone such as marble and granite are on the other end of the spectrum - they crack even easier than ceramic tile and should not be used in settings where any excess deflection is possible. Intuition may tell you they are stronger than ceramic. but in fact they are more brittle and prone to cracking. They need twice as rigid a floor as ceramic.
What floor covering was on the floor before? If it had ceramic tile or stone. and the floor received reasonable traffic for years with no cracking or broken grout. it`s a pretty good bet that the subfloor is up to the job. If it was vinyl. carpet or hardwood. we are still in the dark.
For tile to be successful. it needs rigid support. with very little tolerance for movement. The more rigid the substrate. the better chance the tile has of remaining crack free throughout its life. Most problems with tile floors over wood come from excessive `bounciness` of the substrate. Carpet can handle some bending. vinyl tile can flex and bend a bit. hardwood floors can bend a little too. but if tile or stone is subjected to forces that push in 2 different directions at once. it doesn`t know how to bend. Instead. it cracks. first in the grout and then in the body of the tile. Consumers who have just paid thousands of dollars for a tile floor do not find these cracks appealing. to say the least.
If a subfloor displays excessive deflection. it can usually be remedied by installing more plywood on top of it before tile is laid. and by reinforcing the joists from below. While it may make the floor higher than before. think of it as a sort of `insurance policy` against flooring failure.