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    Why Tile Floors And Wall Tiles Get Cracked

    Tiles are an extremely popular choice both as a flooring material and also a walling material. We take a look at why they get cracked. 

    One of the primary reasons as to why cracked tiles on either floors or walls are a problem is due to the fact that it is very difficult to find the source of the crack. In a lot of cases, the cracked tile is not a result of inferior quality tiles. By far, in most cases, cracks that appear on tiles appear due to remote and obscure reasons. These include things such as concrete that were not cured properly or flexing underlayments and joists. When you can identify the source of the crack, you move that much closer to taking the first step required to mend the cracked tile. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why tiles get cracked.

    Why Tile Floors And Wall Tiles Get Cracked

    A Sharp Blow

    If the crack that you are dealing with is located in one area only and it also does extend across a single tile, the crack was very likely the cause of a sharp blow that may have fallen on the tile. In many cases, you are very likely to see a chip get taken out of the tile exactly where the object or whatever caused the sharp blow made the impact. 

    In areas such as the kitchen where you would expect there to be heavy objects like cans, pots, and pans and also the propensity for them to drop makes them a particular threat to ceramic tiles. Another area of the house where this is very likely to occur is the doorway of the home. This is also a common spot for impact-related tile cracks as there may be items dropped when one sets about to open the door. It is also important to mention here that these types of cracks will normally be found around the borders of the floor and not at the center of the floor. 

    Heavy Load

    There is a very good possibility that the dead weight of the refrigerator caused the tiles to crack. This is a common phenomenon and happens in many households. However, we do have to note here that most tiles have to adhere to certain standards in order to be accepted by the regulators of the industry and become available in the market. They have to comply with regulations such as the ASTM C648 Breaking Strength standards. A tile that has undergone that regulatory process is known to be able to withstand a lot of heavy dead weight on them. This is because the test includes things such as running floor tiles through a machine that can exert up to 250 pounds of pressure. If the tiles can withstand that amount of pressure and weight, then they are deemed to be suitable for the market and more specifically, for your home. 

    Most commercially available tiles do meet this minimum requirement of being able to withstand 250 pounds of pressure. In fact, there are a lot of tiles on the market that go far beyond just the bare minimum requirements. There are tiles in the market that have a breaking point of 400 pounds per square inch. 

    A refrigerator of an average size exerts about 300 pounds of pressure. This means, depending on the dimensions of the refrigerator, it will be exerting about 75 pounds of breaking force on each of its legs per square inch. This does not meet the industry standard and the ASTM standards. 

    However, do remember that this is dead weight. Should anything that has the potential to exert such an incredible amount of pressure ever land wrongly on the floor, maybe due to an errant mover, it will definitely cause there to be a sharp blow and that will in turn very easily crack the tile. 

    Tile Walls Over A Control Joint

    When you have control joints in concrete, you are setting yourself up for failure as this is essentially a preplanned crack. One thing about concrete that is certain and is an absolute fact is that concrete will crack at one point in the future or the other. Control joints have the ability to allow you to manufacture those cracks in a much more predictable way. The purpose of control joints is to create a weakened area in the concrete and also to regulate where the eventual cracks will occur. It is normally a straight line and is normally not chaotic. So for the reasons that we have just mentioned, it will be far from prudent to use a tile to bridge a line that you know most definitely will expand in the future. 

    Concrete Not Cured

    Concrete that has been poured recently will be filled with water. As the process of curing the concrete occurs, the water eventually evaporates and as a result, the concrete will then shrink. This process, which is very dynamic, helps the particles and aggregate within the concrete bind. However, what this process also does is that it has the residual effect of stressing the tiles that have been installed on top before the process of curing the concrete has been completed. 

    Most experts recommend that you cure for as long as possible or to a period of at least 28 days. Manufacturers of thin-set recommend only about 14 days of curing time before you can proceed to install the tile, but many experts do not believe that this is the right and correct amount of time needed in order to properly cure the concrete. 

    If you happen to be the unfortunate owner of a new home that has hairline cracks in the tiles, then there is a very high chance that the concrete was not cured properly.

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