LESLIE: Robert in Florida is having a problem with some ceramic tiles. Tell us about it.
Tile Adhesive Issues
ROBERT: Well, we were sitting on the lanai one afternoon recently and all of a sudden there’s like an earthquake. All of my tiles started popping up in the air. Pieces were crumbling and (chuckles) coming …
TOM: Wow. You had a Florida earthquake?
ROBERT: Yeah, and …
ROBERT: Yeah, I don’t know what caused it all but the thing is, we’re planning to have it retiled and we don’t want to have that problem again and I don’t know what caused it; whether it was …
TOM: So the only thing that popped up was all the tile?
TOM: No other shaking, rattling or rolling going on in the house, John (ph)?
ROBERT: No. In fact, I had been in the home before and people told me that they woke up in the middle of the night when several of their tiles popped up in the air.
TOM: Popped up. I’m wondering if there’s something going on with the adhesive that was used for the tile and with temperature changes, at some point in time, it just releases. I mean it could have been a bad adhesive to begin with. I don’t think this is an earth-moving experience here. I think this is physics. I think you have expansion and contraction and temperature change and adhesive that’s losing its ability to adhere. So you’re smart to pull them all off and start from scratch and I can’t – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this problem so I have a hard time believing it could happen again.
When the tile comes off, does the adhesive stay stuck to the floor or does it come off of the floor so you’re looking at the raw concrete?
ROBERT: Most of the adhesive was stuck to the floor.
TOM: OK. So, it’s separating from the tile. Yeah, I suspect that there was a problem with the adhesive. Perhaps it was the wrong type of adhesive and it’s just separating from the tile. I can’t imagine you’re going to have the problem again.
ROBERT: Should there be a membrane applied before you put the tile down if you’re using …
TOM: Well, you’re on a slab down there in Florida?
ROBERT: Yeah, a concrete lanai, yeah.
TOM: Well, yeah. But the problem is that if you put a membrane down then you’ve got to adhere the membrane. I don’t really see a reason for putting that in.
TOM: I think you could probably attach right to what you have.
ROBERT: Yeah, I’ve talked to several people. Some people said they felt it was not applied with enough thinset. But it was weird. It was just like the pressure was built up …
TOM: Yeah, I think this was either an error in application or a problem with the glue and I don’t think it’s likely to repeat itself if it’s done well.
ROBERT: But your explanation is similar to somebody else in terms of a temperature change and like that, so …
TOM: Well, what you want to do – and what you want to do, Robert, is take all of the explanations and average them.
TOM: (chuckles) You’ll come up with the answer.
ROBERT: (chuckles) Yeah.
TOM: But I would give us a little bit more weight. We’ve got the radio show. (Leslie chuckles)
ROBERT: OK. Thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.