Porcelain tiles - expansion joint

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Old 10-24-11, 10:53 AM
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Porcelain tiles - expansion joint

Hello,

I just finished tiling my hallway (25 feet by 7 feet) with 12*12 procelain tiles. I have not put down the grout yet. Do I need to have some expansion joints for a room this size considering that most of the tiles on the outside edge will be under the trim with room to move)

I am also concerned about the following situation

1) I have a few marble transtion pieces that go to other rooms. The other rooms do not have any florring installed (i.e. it is just concrete and will stay that way)

2) I have a tile that is very close to a cast iron pipe (might even touch it). I did not think of expansion when I installed my tiles. Any concerns I should have there? Should I remove the piece and install a smaller one?


Thanks.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 10:59 AM
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Expansion is not an issue with ceramic or porcelain tiles.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 01:54 PM
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Thanks mitch17. Is this because my space is fairly small? I am pretty sure that all metrial expand/contract to some extend.

Thx.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 02:18 PM
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It's because of the type of material. The amount of expansion of tile would be miniscule. Depending on what it's over...the expansion of the substrate is more of a concern. Thats why they advertise products as "decoupling membranes"...it allows the substrate to move slightly while keeping the tile as a single mass.

The only thing that might be a concern is the cast iron pipe. If it's just for water or sewage...shouldn't be much of an issue...if it were a steam supply it could be if the tile is actually touching.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 07:21 PM
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The tiles are installed over a concrete slab (this is the lowest level of the house). The pipe that one of the tile is touching (it is touching at the elbow of the pipe as it goes underneath the floor) is a sewer pipe and is made of PVC (not cast iron as I thought).

Considering that I am replacing the floor because of a pipe issue that destroyed the floor we had previously, I am a bit self conscious about having the chance of an other pipe potentially breaking.

I just want to be sure that the tile will not be an issue.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 05:26 AM
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The tile is not going to expand to any degree you need to consider.

The sewer pipe likely will not either but does it move at all?
 
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Old 10-25-11, 07:00 AM
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The sewer pipe moves but just a tiny bit.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 07:47 AM
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I would want the tile far enough away from the pipe that the two cannot touch
 
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Old 10-25-11, 09:15 AM
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Tile does indeed expand and contract, and does need room for movement. You should leave a 1/4" of empty space around the entire perimeter of the room (covered by base molding) and may need movement joints in the field tile as well. Here is a link to info on movement by the Tile Council of North America.

TCNA - Technical Services: FAQ

TCNA guidelines for interior space are for movement joints each 20' to 25' in each direction. If exposed to direct sunlight it is every 8' to 12'.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 09:28 AM
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Well, guess thats what I get for thinking I knew something...lol.

I've only ever done bathrooms...so I guess it never really came into play, though I did leave gaps around the perimeter...that just seemed intuitive.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 09:32 AM
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Yep, I learned something here as well - thanks, Johnny
 
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Old 10-25-11, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the advice. So I ended up cutting the tile next to the pipe with a dremel diamond wheel (this was faster than removing the tile and worked like a charm) so that there is approx 1/4 in between the two.

I think I should be set with the rest since I left 1/4 in all around, my room will have no direct sunlight and is less than 20 feet in all directions
 
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Old 10-25-11, 12:49 PM
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my room will have no direct sunlight and is less than 20 feet in all directions .
In post 1 you said this.

I just finished tiling my hallway (25 feet by 7 feet) with 12*12 procelain tiles.
So which is it?
 
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