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What Causes Cracking?

There are so many things that you have to think about and pay attention to during the course of your week, and the floor you're walking on is probably pretty low on that list of priorities. As a result, a crack in your tile might go unnoticed and leave you asking, "where did that come from?". Well, there are a few different ways that cracks come to be, and sometimes the crack that you find is an indicator of a bigger issue. If you find a crack in your tile, think about which of the causes below could have created it. Doing so will allow you to figure out your best course of action for fixing your floor and let you get back to what's important.

1. The Tile Itself

Sturdy as they are, tiles are not immune to constructional problems. Every once in awhile a bad batch will make it into stores without being caught. Maybe the tiles weren’t made uniformly, or an air pocket creeped into the clay, but the point is they aren’t fit to last. All you can do is replace them with a higher quality set if problems continue.

2. The Slab Below

Like most things, if your tile doesn’t have a firm foundation to depend on, it’s going to crumble when push comes to shove. More often than not, there is a foundational concrete slab beneath the tiles in your home. This can present problems because, unlike tile, concrete shifts and moves over time, breaking the immovable tiles above. If this is the case you may to have to fix the foundation in order to make any headway with the problem.

3. The Blunt Object

As you can imagine, heavy objects falling on your floor can present a problem. If a pot, pan, computer, or trophy falls onto your beautiful tile floor, there’s a good chance it will crack.

4. The Refrigerator

If you put a extraordinarily heavy object on your tile for an extended period of time, you are running the risk of the tile eventually giving in to the weight on top of it. Don’t get us wrong; tile was definitely intended to be used as flooring and we know that there are certain objects you will have to put on top of it. All we’re saying is that if you find a crack near an object like the ones listed above, you may have found the cause for the issue.

5. The Concrete Substrate

Don’t worry, we’re not picking on the concrete anymore. We’re picking on the person who poured it. As we mentioned earlier, a well-installed tile floor requires a concrete foundation beneath it. Obviously, you want this foundation to be as strong as possible, so the process of pouring and curing the concrete has to be done right. But often people are impatient with their concrete.

When concrete is first made, it is full of water and needs to sit long enough for the liquid to evaporate before any tile is laid down. The proper amount of time sits at about thirty days. Unfortunately, some manufacturers give people the green light to install their tile floor after a measly fourteen days. FOURTEEN! While this is the fast way, it is not the right way and will eventually bring harm to your floor.

6. The Joists

Joists are the wooden beams underneath your subfloor that basically hold everything up. They work similarly to the baseboards in your bed frame. What do you think would happen if you only had three baseboards beneath your mattress? Your bed would sag in the gaps, right? Flooring works the same way. Incorrectly spaced joists will make your floor sag in spots and cause cracks.

7. The Contractor

Yes, it’s true; there's always a chance that the person who installed your tile may be at fault. Accidents happen, and sometimes an inexperienced installer will rush through the process of laying down your tiles. As you can imagine, this leads to shoddy work and - you guessed it - cracks in your beautiful tile. It is unlikely that such oversight is intentional, but it does happen.

If you are having issues with your tiles, give us a call! Floor It Grand Rapids is here to help!

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