Loose porcelain tile

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Old 02-07-20, 09:07 AM
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Loose porcelain tile

My kitchen floor was put in about 3 years ago. I am now noticing several tile are loose. I dug out the grout on one and noticed 2 adjacent tiles are loose as well. There may be as many as a dozen loose 18x18 tiles.

That has me wondering about a product I saw on YouTube - Fix A Floor. I was not going to consider it because it seemed to good to be true and most of the videos were from the company who makes the stuff. With all the loose tiles I am beginning to rethink that.


Has anyone had any experience with this stuff? Is it any good or is it foo-foo dust?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-07-20, 09:51 AM
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because it seemed to good to be true
You answered your own question, when it comes to tile the right way is mortar, not adhesive and not anything that comes out of a tube.

I think you need to figure out why the tiles came loose in the first place!
 
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Old 02-07-20, 10:59 AM
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I'm with Marq1 on this one.
For that many tiles to be loose there's something bad going on under it.
Could be many different things.
Under sized and or over spanned floor joist.
It was laid without tile board under it.
Tiles that big should have been back buttered.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 11:08 AM
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I believe the issue is the installer did not use the proper thinset for porcelain tile.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 12:02 PM
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There really isnt a specific mortar for Porcelain tile, any good modified mortar is sufficient.

But, how it was applied would have a greater effect than the mortar itself!
 
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Old 02-07-20, 12:07 PM
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That many loose tiles makes me think a re-do is in order. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 12:21 PM
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Well, not what I wanted to hear, but if that is the case I will probably rip the entire floor out and put something else in.

Can you tell me how tough it is to get 1/2 cement board out? I see tons of screws in my future.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 12:39 PM
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You may get lucky and find that the tile and mortar can easily be scraped off the CBU.

But then you have to wonder if the CBU to sub floor was installed correctly, but the mortar there is more for filling voids and gaps.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 12:50 PM
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Based on what I saw on this first tile the tile definitely made contact with the thinset. There are impressions there. The tile removed had ZERO thinset residue on it. Nothing stuck to it. On the other hand I was testing the thinset on the backer board and it was not budging. This is why I questioned the thinset.

When this was put in I picked up the materials for them. The first tile we chose was actual travertine which we changed to a porcelain travertine-look tile. I do not remember ever getting a special thinset for the porcelain as they recommend.

I put the same tile in my baths. I used polymer modified thinset and have had none come loose.
 
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Old 02-07-20, 05:24 PM
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The tile removed had ZERO thinset residue on it.
That's an indication that the tiles were not back buttered, as mentioned earlier,

For big tiles that is critical to create a strong bond to the mortar bed. It adds time and obviously contractors are trying to get out as quick as possible!
 
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Old 02-08-20, 03:42 AM
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When I did the tile in the bathrooms myself I back buttered mainly because it was easier for me to avoid making a total mess. That said, I did not apply thinset to the cement board. Somewhere recommended I wipe it down with a damp sponge, so I did. I did not apply thinset though. Only back buttered the individual tiles. Lucky for me it seems to be holding OK.

Based on what you are saying I have a strong possibility of more tile loosening over time. I need to make a decision to attempt to repair them all or just go with something else. Truth is I never really liked the tile in the kitchen anyway.
 
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Old 02-08-20, 04:28 AM
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Especially for large tile, thinset needs to be applied to both, the tile and CBU. If it's really warm some water misted on both may be needed!
 
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Old 02-08-20, 11:24 AM
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Tile that size requires a medium bed mortar. Also requires at least a 1/2 notch trowel. Cement board (some more than others) can such the moisture out of the mortar so it's a good idea to dampen the cement board. Porcelain tile is very dense and will not absorb any moisture so you shouldn't dampen the tile. Another possibility is that the mortar was trowel onto the cement board in to large a space and skinned over before the tile was set. Working in smaller areas with mortar troweled out for only one or two tiles at a time is best for someone with little experience. As has been pointed out you need to back butter porcelain and burn the mortar into the back of each tile before setting it.
 
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Old 02-08-20, 12:52 PM
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Another possibility is that the mortar was trowel onto the cement board in to large a space
You missed the response from the OP, he only back buttered the tile!!!
 
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Old 02-08-20, 12:55 PM
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To clarify. I am not sure how this kitchen was done. It seems plausible that the installed applied thinset to the backer only and did not backbutter the tile.

Later, I decided to do the bathroom myself. In most cases I only backbuttered the tile. I did not apply the thinset to the backer. I only wetted it. Still holding thank goodness.
 
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Old 02-10-20, 01:11 PM
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You missed the response from the OP, he only back buttered the tile!!! [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]

Not the case. He did not install the loose tile floor in question. He did his own bathroom and only backbutter the tile.
 
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