hollow sounding tile - replace all?

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Old 07-09-10, 01:25 PM
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hollow sounding tile - replace all?

I recently bought a 50 year old house in miami, fl. Within the first month, about 14 tiles in the bedroom came out like a tent and I found out that the 18X18 tile was laid over top of terracotta flooring (there is concrete subfloor underneath). I replaced the tiles that came out. The tile guy told me that there isn't enough bonding between ceramic and terracotta tiles. I didn't pay much attention as I thought that's because some heavy furniture that was dropped on top of the tiles.

Since then a few tiles in dining and kitchen have also started sounding hollow although they haven't come out yet. My question is - is it really worth replacing the hollow sounding tiles or should i just wait and do a new floor? Is there a quick fix for something like this?

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 02:05 PM
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First, welcome to the forums

Second, 14 tiles in one room and I would definitely start over

How many are we talking about in the other rooms? I think I would start shopping and saving for something new
 
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Old 07-09-10, 03:26 PM
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Like Mitch said, you gotta tear it out.

Not only does it sound like they didn't ensure 90% thinset coverage for the tiles, it sounds like they didn't leave enough expansion room around the perimeter of the room, which would cause tiles to "tent".
 
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Old 07-12-10, 05:36 AM
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Hollow tile

Thank you HotinOKC and Mitch17. This is my first post on the forum although I have benefited from other posts.

To answer Mitch 17's question, about 12 tiles in the dining area sound hollow. There is one tile in the passageway and one tile in the kitchen area that also sound hollow.

HotinOKC - you are right. When we took out the tiles in the bedroom area, I saw thinset coverage that was approximately 70%.

The thought of replacing the entire flooring is extremely painful. We bought the house two months ago and since then all we have been doing is repairs (we are first time homebuyers). We recently moved in so if we have to change the floors, we will have to live with dust for another week or two. Of course, the cost which could range from $7000 - $10,000 is also a challenge. We are hoping that we will be able to wait for another six-seven months to accumulate sufficient funds for this task.

What are the challenges of replacing flooring while living the house? Any suggestions?

Thanks again for your replies!
 
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Old 07-12-10, 09:15 AM
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It will be a dusty mess taking the flooring up. They have hand held electric tile scrappers and walk behind tile removers depending on how much floor you gotta take up.

If you can still find new tiles that match what you have, you could replace them individually. What do the perimiters of the rooms look like? Are the tiles/thinset all the way up against the walls, or is there a gap?
 
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Old 07-12-10, 12:11 PM
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If you can do the work yourself, your cost would be a lot lower

We buy all our ceramic on clearance and are still working from a 2 pallet buy we made at 50 per tile. Thus, with all materials included and our own free labor, we put down ceramic floors at about a buck a square foot. Obviously, most people want a little more choice in the tile design than what's on clearance but doesn't have to be horribly expensive stuff.
 
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Old 07-12-10, 12:35 PM
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HotinOKC - I do have some spare tiles as the previous owner left a few boxes. I also have the tiles that we took out but thinset will have to be removed from those. I am not able to see whether there is any room of expansion between the tiles and walls as there is baseboard all around the house. I doubt they left any space for expansion.

The difficult question that we face is whether it's worth replacing a few tiles if all tiles are eventually going to come out. Replacing a few tiles would be the most preferred option though. The current tile design isn't bad and we can easily live with it. I wonder if there is a way to determine whether all tiles need to go or just replacing a few sufficient. The tile guys in the miami, that I have met, aren't very relianble or trustworthy.

mitch17 - thanks for the suggestion. we aren't really picky about tile design etc as we have already put in more money in the house than we can afford. Given the condition of the housing market and job uncertainty, it may not be worth installing expensive tiles. we will shop around.
 
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