How to Stop Large Ceramic Tiles from Cracking

  • Bathroom Floors
  • Transcript

    LESLIE: George in Utah is on the line with some sort of bathroom floor issue over at their money pit and large ceramic tiles. What is going on?

    GEORGE: Yeah, I’ve got bathroom floor tile that’s starting to crack in places. So the flooring underneath it is crumbling and I’m just not sure what to fix it with.

    TOM: Are they big tiles? Are they large ceramic tiles, like 12-inch-wide tiles or what?

    GEORGE: They’re about – yeah, they’re your standard 12-by …

    TOM: Yeah, I figured that. When you have those big tiles, the floors have to be that much stronger because there’s no flex in those big tiles. I mean if you have – you know, if you have mosaic tiles and they’re only an inch by an inch, all those grout lines give you a little bit of flex. But in those big tiles, it’s got to be rock-solid.

    So, there’s no easy fix for this. You’re looking at having to tear out that floor and properly rebuild it. If you want the big, wide tiles, you’re going to have to take out everything that’s there, down to the subfloor. Put in new plywood subfloor, probably pretty thick subfloor, too, so it’s really strong. Or maybe even go with a mesh mud floor where basically you put mesh down, then you put a mix of concrete over that floor – a slurry mix – and then level it out and then glue the tile on top of that so that it’s absolutely rock-hard and perfectly flat. Otherwise, what’s going to happen is you get any deviation in that space, you’re going to break that tile.

    GEORGE: Hmm. OK.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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