Why is my grout cracked, loose or missing?

Cracked, loose or missing grout can detract from the looks of a finished tiled surface. Once you see this happening it could be the first signs of more than just poor grout finishing techniques. Often customers think they can just repair grout when they find it missing or dislodging. When grout becomes missing or dislodged there is usually an underlying issue.

When tiles have become delaminated, loose, hollow or drummy there tends to be some movement between the tiles and adhesive. With foot traffic, this can cause tiles to move slightly up and down loosening the grout joints. With every run of the vacuum, piece by piece the grout will slowly disappear. Once the grout has gone this leaves the tiles exposed to even more damage. With constant (even if slight) movement of the loosening tiles, there is the chance the grout pieces can work their way under the tiles. When chunks of grout get under the drummy tiles there is a high chance the tiles will break or crack.

Broken and cracked tiles are dangerous tripping hazards and generally have sharp edges. Once you start having broken and cracked tiles the repair job becomes a little harder for the repairer. This is usually due to being left too long so there may not be any spares for replacement. If this is the case you may have to select a new tile that is a close match. In summary, the sooner you uncover the reasons why you have cracked, loose or missing grout the easier the repair. If the cause is loose tiles, the good news is – we can fix it! The even better news is that you won’t have to rip up your whole floor to do it. We can repair with the tile injection system firming up their foundation and giving new life to your tiles.

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Does my furniture need to be moved out before treatment commences?

No – The advantage of the tile injection system is you do not need to move out of your home or business. Often furniture can simply be moved across the other side of the room or may not need to be moved around at all. We can advise on this during the free assessment period.

Is it cheaper than having new tiles laid?

There are various factors that could contribute to the cost of re-tiling your home or office space. These factors could include

  • Jackhammering to remove tiles
  • Grinding remaining adhesive on substrate
  • Dumping fees
  • Purchase costs of new tiles – Type of tile – e.g. porcelain, feature tiles are more expensive
  • Labour costs of re-laying new tiles
  • You may need to pay for storage as you will have to remove all furniture from the newly tiled area
  • Accommodation – you may also need to be required to find alternative accommodation during retiling (depending on the scope of works of course)
  • Cleaner – in some cases you may have to hire a cleaner due to dust and mess

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Does tile injection really work?

Yes – by injecting specialised liquid glue through the grout joint and under the drummy, loose or delaminated tiles creates a bond between the tile and substrate, which will hold for many more years to come. Giving a new life to your tiles, all without the hassle of jack hammering tiles up, grinding old adhesive off substrate, no dust through your home and no need to move out.

Why are my tiles drummy?

Drummy tiles could occur for various reasons, such as the following

  • Inadequate adhesives on initial installation
  • Insufficient amount of adhesive / glue used on the initial installation
  • Thermal conditions, such as the expansion and contraction of tiles and substrate due to weather conditions, heating or cooling.
What is tile tenting?

Tenting tiles is a term used to describe when floor tiles have lifted, popped or buckled from their originally installed position. Tenting tiles occur when there have been changes in the environment of their initial installation. Movement in substrates eg concrete foundations expand and contract with thermal conditions. A tiled floor system is made up of layers concrete, adhesive then the tiled surface. Concrete will move differently to the tiles as the majority of the substrate is concealed beneath and therefore staying cooler. The tiled surface is exposed to thermal conditions eg sunlight, fireplaces and heaters causing the tiles to be at different temperatures to that of the concrete foundations. The differences in temperatures cause movement in opposite directions causing stress on the tiles and grout joints. If inadequate room for movement (eg expansion lines) have not been placed throughout the tiled surface, and perimeter stresses and pressure build up causing tiles to Tent, lift, pop, buckle and possibly let go with a loud bang as I have heard it described. A more expensive properly designed grout is softer and more flexible absorbing some pressures although trends to bigger tiles and smaller grout joints hinder room for expansion. In a tenting failure, the tiles usually de-bond leaving the adhesive on the substrate. This is often misinterpreted to be a sign of poor quality adhesive when it is actually a sign of a good adhesive. The concrete and the adhesive are made of similar cement based products so they bond very well together. However since tiles are made of clays fired at different temperatures, the bond between it and the adhesive is slightly weaker. The point of failure will occur at the weakest point. Another common failure is when the adhesive comes clean of the substrate and remains on the tile; this indicates poor surface preparation (i.e. tiling onto a dusty floor inadequate priming of substrate).