May 14, 2007 11:45 pm
We are currently building a new home and have opted to do the flooring later on for various reasons.
We have been seriously looking at floating floors, but the cost of the better products is putting me off at the moment.
I am still a fan of tiles and my only fear is cracking. I don’t know if this fear is unfounded or not, but being in the middle of a drought that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight I am concerned about the slab cracking. I am basing this on our current home which is circa 1987 and has cracked due to the drought. We have ceramic tiles which were professionally laid in 1997 and have cracked along with the slab.
I would think the construction method of an H Class slab is different to that which was used in 1987, but it still worries me.
Any thoughts on how this could be prevented? I know there should be expansion joins installed every X metres, but is there anything else?
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles2
May 15, 2007 2:38 am
Tony, I won't make any professions to know much about concrete slabs, coz I don't.
But I reckon your fears are quite legitimate. I clean tiles and grout as well as carpets in my business. Finding tiles that have cracked with the slab are quite common. I think that most of these problems arise when tiles are laid when the house is built, and the risk is reduced significantly if the pad has a good chance to settle first.
Personally, I'm NOT a fan of tiles in areas other than wet areas. Cold, brittle, hard, unforgiving, noisy, can chip and crack, grout soils and stains, slippery when wet.............
Tiles are higher maintenance than many seem to think. But if you really want tiles, you could wait say about a year after the house is built before you lay them, and hopefully, pad would have settled by then. You could put some el cheapo vinyl down in the mean-time.
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles3
May 15, 2007 10:24 am
Just quickly …..Cause I’m suppose to be working!!!
There is a “rubber base” tile glue out now, a bit dearer to use but well worth it for laying tiles on a slab. The rubber expands and contracts with the slab therefore helps prevent cracking.
I know how you feel; I wish the product was out when I built 20 years ago….I wouldn’t have the “fault line” from hell in my tiles now!!
Ring a good tiler, get him to explain about the product…I for the life of me, can’t remember the name of it at the moment!!
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles4
May 15, 2007 9:42 pm
Thank you for sharing your professional experience. You have given me something more to think about if we do end up going for tiles.
If tiles are higher maintenance it is probably false economy for us to go for them.
Thanks for your reply, I shall investigate this further before making a final descision. I remember the tilers we used 10 years ago talking about the adhesive and grout being flexible; but obviously not enough.
I wonder if it is different now? I have about three tile showrooms in my area, so I will start asking.
The cracks we have in our current home really look awful, and I don't have spare tiles and can't get replacements!
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles5
May 15, 2007 9:54 pm
uncle_ant, I personally have no problems with tiles.
But you hit the nail on the head when you said you have no spare tiles!!!
Always remember to purchase more than you need. Never stop at what is required for the job. You will always need replacements down the track! And that goes for as many selection as possible in a home. Without breaking the bank of course!!
I love my tiles and have never thought of relacing them after 20 years…they are sooo practical!
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles6
May 15, 2007 9:59 pm
We went to beaumont tiles and purchased a box of "spare" tiles for just in case. Never know when you might drop a bowling ball on you tiles??
Good point though Michelle, and one most people who get someone else to build their home probably dont think about...
Australia wide Local Call - 1300 130 336
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Re: My fear of going for floor tiles7
May 15, 2007 10:07 pm
Thanks Matt and Michelle!
I will now go to National Tiles and get some spares to match those that our builder will be putting in the wet areas.
Oh, here is the really really embarrasing part about our current home. Me being the tight one that I can be decided to use the two boxes of spares I had in another room I renovated. I regret that every day I see the cracks and often get reminded of my stupidity
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles8
May 15, 2007 10:07 pm
I bought spare tiles, and still have non left!!!!
But….good thing is, I used such a basic tile while building they are still making them.
Haaaa….even after 20 years, scoop!!!!
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles11
May 16, 2007 1:13 am
I see that this thread has provided some good advice. The point of keeping plenty of spares makes sense. One downside here though.... If replacing a tile or tiles later on, matching the grout is almost impossible. Even if you had the same grout, a repair later on will show and look different to the surrounding grout. There is a remedy to this (grout colourant/sealer to all the grout) but this all makes for more cost and work. My point is, it's not as simple as 'just replace the tile'.
Something Michelle mentioned reminded me that I have actually heard of a system of 'floating floor' bases for tiles. Don't know much, but have heard of a type of backing material being loose- layed over the floor, then tiles layed on top and grouted. Kind of a temporary tile installation.
You could ask around, as I don't know much about it, but it may be an option that suits you.
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles12
May 16, 2007 4:30 pm
Hello,the most popular rubber based tile glue used here is called "Monoflex".It is a very good product but won't stop tiles cracking in alot of cases.Actually,at the moment with the drought playing a big part I suppose. Alot of people I talk to who have extensive tiled areas are telling me that they are getting cracked tiles and they are all using Monoflex,and in some cases expansion joints.I have about six hairline cracked tiles in my house and don't intend to do anything about them just yet (after the rain comes)Hopefully the movement will settle down after we get back to normal seasons .Regards Terry
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles13
May 16, 2007 5:15 pm
We had tiles in our old house in the kitchen, family and dining areas. I vowed never to have them again. They were cold underfoot and the grout was next to impossible to keep clean. We also ended up with quite a few hairline fractures (which I filled in with polyfilla )
We have opted for laminate floating floors this time around. I figure if you have to live with something for the next 20 years or so then you may as well be really happy it.
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles14
May 16, 2007 9:33 pm
Thanks again, I will ask around over the next couple of weekends.
Interesting you say that even with this flexible adhesive it may/will still crack. That is enough to give me second thoughts.
I was up at Wagga Wagga over Easter visiting some relatives and it was as dry as anything! Hope you get some rain soon.
I think you are right, you have to be happy with your choice for a long time. I think with a floating floor you could easily remove and replace if you had reason to. I removed ceramic tiles that were glued to the slab and it was a job that I am in no hurry to do again.
I really do like the look of tiles but have a suspicion that the ones I'm after will be about as costly as a decent laminate flooring anyway. I am probably being wrong in my assumption that tiles are going to work out cheaper than a floating floor. I will just research prices, adhesives and techniques a bit more.
Thanks all again
Re: My fear of going for floor tiles15
May 17, 2007 9:17 am
We've decided to go with tile - we have them in our current house, and they do the job very well.
The only thing I'm not happy about it that the particular tiles we chose in our house have a habit of chipping if something hard is dropped. I realise that this would be normal for tiles (glazed tiles anyhow), however I thought that floor tiles might be a bit more resistant.
I put down solid timber floors in the house I build a few years back - they can be high maintenance, and if you want them to stay looking good, don't let anyone walk in the place with shoes on!
Solid timber floors.... seems to be a thing of the past now!
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