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Problems with ceramic tiles laid on top of underfloor heating in a new build

Problems with ceramic tiles laid on top of underfloor heating in a new build

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  #1  
Old 11-23-10, 01:24 AM
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Problems with ceramic tiles laid on top of underfloor heating in a new build

Brand new house (finished March 2010). Underfloor heating. 60x60 cm tiles originally laid "normally" (ie without ditra mat). Due to slight water flooding, some lifted. So entire tile floor re-laid, with one long section (in corridor) relaid with a Ditra mat layer underneath. After a few weeks 5 or 6 tiles started "creaking" when stepped on. Now almost the entire section is creaking, and in one tile, a hairline crack has appeared across the entire surface. The developer who sold us the house and supervised the re-laying of the tiles and the laying of the ditra mat, says the creaking noise is normal ("it's the Ditra mat doing its job"). But we are really concerned 1) because the creaking does not sound normal (and does not happen everywhere - only in the corridor) and 2) because 1 tile has evidently cracked, suggesting that others may follow in the future. Any advice would be really appreciated, especially : 1) Is the creaking of most tiles normal when laid on Ditra Mat on top of underfloor heating? 2) what could most likely cause the creaking, and the tiles to crack ? 3) What would you do in this situation ? Thank you !
 
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Old 11-23-10, 06:00 AM
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You have movement occurring under your tiles, that is why you hear things and see cracks

Not a satisfactory job, IMO
 
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Old 11-23-10, 08:58 AM
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Hi Rubon,

I would seek other opinions concerning the failure I don't think your developer is up to the job.

Creaking is not normal and is not an indication that Ditra is doing its job. I believe the substrate is not adequate and/or the adhesive system. You guys install tiles often using pre-mixed adhesives which we do not recommend on this side of the big pond.

Will you please describe the structure of the subfloor along with measurements and sizes? Tell us the name of the adhesive and if you know how it was applied and any other info you may volunteer.

Jaz
 
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Old 11-24-10, 01:23 AM
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Many thanks Jazman and Mitch 17. I will try to find out more technical details from the developer (like name of adhesive, structure of subfloor etc..). But It helps to read that I am not going mad, and that it may not be normal to hear a tile floor creak ! (I have recently moved from France to the UK, and done a lot of DIY myself in France (including laying tiles on floors and walls) but I had never ever experienced tiled floors either creak of crack...
 
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Old 11-24-10, 08:59 AM
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Update: I followed your advice Jazman, and sought a second opinion. I contacted the Technical Department of Schluter (Manufacturers of Ditra mat). They were really helpful. They were unequivocal: such creaking is NOT normal. The guy said "it's a very good indicator that there is localized de-bonding between the tile and the adhesive... likely due to excessive residual moisture, poss laid new tiles too soon after flooding"... I think I am going to have an interesting conversation with our developer, who wrote the following to me today: quote...
"I will pop in and have a look at the floor but I don’t think that there will be anything we can do about the “creaking”: it is thermoplastic expansion of the floor screed with the under floor heating which expands & contracts at a different rate to the stone. Which is why we laid the decoupling membrane so that it would allow for the differential expansion & contraction of the floor. This differential movement is the reason for the slight creak you refer to." Hmmmmm.... I don't know why, but I am tempted to believe the man from Schluter's Technical Department more readily than our developer....
 
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Old 11-24-10, 09:08 AM
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I agree with your opinion of which party to believe here

If you owe the developer any money, I would definitely wait for this to be completed to your satisfaction prior to settling the bill
 
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Old 11-24-10, 06:35 PM
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The "gentleman" has no idea what he's talking about. He may have "seen" this in his sleep.

I think the creak is from vertical movement due to insufficient subfloor and/or adhesive failure, especially if the tiles are bonded with a pre mixed adhesive and or direct to plywood or other such product.

Jaz
 
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