Flooring and Carpeting broken cracked tiles, cracked tiles, broken tiles

Flooring and Carpeting broken cracked tiles, cracked tiles, broken tiles

Flooring and Carpeting /broken / cracked tiles



QUESTION: Recently my tile in dining area just broke suddenly with a loud noise. nothing was dropped onto it but there are 2 cracked tiles around it. I have 2 handyman look at it and get different answer on what have caused the tile to break. My house is about 15 years old. The sub floor is concrete.

1) The tile and grout should be underneath the baseboard. instead my tiles were installed with grout covering the baseboard which does not give the tile to move around when the house is settling. When the tiles has no room to move around, it starts to push the others to break.

2) The cracked / broken tiles are next to the back sliding door. There are also signs of water leak thru the sliding door base. The water leak into the concrete and the moisture caused the tiles to cracked. To prevent from the tile cracking again, I must replace the sliding door first then redo the tiles.

Can you please advise if these reasons make sense or correct?

Since the tiles are also about 15 years old, I don’t think I can find a similar tile to replace the broken tiles. Is replacing the whole floor is my only options?


ANSWER: Thank you for your question Amy,

Your scenario as you have posed it is unusual but not uncommon if you know what I mean. Let me give you a little test and see if you can come to your own conclusions in regards to each explanation that was given you. You live in Florida. I also used to live and work in the Sunshine State years ago. Here is my test scenario for you. do you have a pool? Do any of your friends have a pool? If not then I have to assume that you have either gone on a vacation at some point or perhaps you have visited your local Rec Center where they have a pool. I have referenced this particular scenario based upon the one single inherent fact that is common to all pools, and that is the water line in nearly every pool that is built has in fact a row of tile that is typically «split» between the open air and underwater. Can you see where I am going with my test? Ok enough fun already as you may have perceived my point here. The «second» explanation that was given you is nonsense based upon his premise. Water that comes in contact with tile is basically «ignored» by the tile, if you will, and should water intrude beneath the tile into the slab through the thinset then low and behold little to nothing is going to happen. Some high society Hotels have tile that not only runs along the water line but will often completely encompass the bottom of it as well. If being submerged beneath the water is a common practice, even if it is an expensive Hotel then it must not be a concern. You can ignore explanation #2. Now. the first explanation. If your tile, as you have described, butts up to and against the baseboard you now have three materials that have differing expansion rates based upon their differing densities. follow me so far? In this equation the tile is the «immovable object» so to speak as it is far denser than the other two followed by the grout and then lastly the softer wood base. Because the base is fixed against the bottom plate of the stud wall now you have «resistance» pushing back against the other materials. When the floor expands and contracts then, at different times, and different rates depending upon the Seasonal condition and throw in potential «special» circumstances like a Thunderstorm or a near record cold or hot day all the materials in your home will be moving imperceptibly. What has happened to your floor is that wherever the «weakest» point of your floor was that is what was going to give way. In this case your tile. I have seen this happen in Malls where floor tiles nearly exploded or literally popped up from the floor due to expansive forces, even with expansion joints cut into the floor. In your case Amy it just took quite a few years to reach the breaking point for your floor. So in my opinion your #1 guy is the right guy and sounds like he has seen a thing or two over the years. His explanation is sensible and good.

What do we do now. while 15 years is still a «young» floor performance wise, with your floor you have moved past the original design purposes of this floor. If you have had one tile actually give way I suspect that there are others that are looming. They may not pop at all certainly now that the weak one has been eliminated. But to be honest Amy the position of your baseboard will still contribute to future problems if you do not change things around to their proper position with the baseboard resting upon the tile not posing a position of pressure to your tile. ok? If you can’t afford to replace your floor at the moment you can try to pull up a tile or two from inside a closet or wherever there may be some to pull from where you can transplant one to fix your current problem till you can better decide to move to the next level. When you are ready Amy feel free to return here and I will be glad to talk to you about things you may be interested in or how you might upgrade your old floor. That’s it, I hope this helps you with your problem.

Perry V.

QUESTION: Wow! Very detail and educational answer. Thank you Perry!

I have a few spare tiles but not enough to replace the cracked and broken ones. As I was told removing the broken ones might also cause damage to the one next to it.

Since the job wasn’t done correctly to begin with, I am willing to upgrade my floor. Hope you can give me some guidance and suggestions.


Hey Amy.

I have been in the Tile Industry now almost 33 years, and volunteering here @ Allexperts for 13 years this October so I will be here whenever you are ready to tackle the change. I really enjoy doing this for folks and it keeps me off the streets and safely at home with my Queen. Feel free to come again anytime.

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