Discuss Tile moving and grout breaking in the Tiling on Underfloor Heating area at TilersForums.com

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Hi fellow forum dwellers, am a distraught customer looking for some advice.

We did an extension and got water pipe UFH installed throughout the ground floor close to 100sqm. The WFH was left to dry for 4 weeks before the tiling was commissioned. We purchased glazed porcelain tiles from TilePlus in Oldbury. The store were made aware about the UFH. The tiler was a recommendation and we had seen their work. The work that I saw was on a standard floor (no UFH). The tiling was done in July and no care was taken to ensure no one walked on the tiles before the tiler said so. We moved into the house in first week August. The tiles felt good to walk on. Once the cold started kicking in (around Oct/Nov), we followed the instructions provided to start the UFH and increase the temp by 1 degree.

In Nov I started noticing the grout broke but ignored it as it was just the one tile. As the months went by the grout came off from other places. Noticed tiles making noise as I walked over them. Started with a couple and now I have a floor of tiles that are making noises at various places. Called the tiler and the store to let them know about the issue. The store have passed on my details to the company that manufacture the adhesive (Palace Chemicals). Currently waiting for them to call me.

The tiler got defensive and is blaming the adhesive and UFH material. I am afraid that he is going to shrug any responsibility on this. I did pay cash (some via bank transfers) so don't have a VAT invoice of the work before anyone asks.

Where do I go from here? Any pointers will be appreciated.
 

Anthony

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This is on water fed ufh. This was done 2 years ago by someone else, if the floor is not sanded,and primed twice the tiles will eventually de-bond,this still happens regardless of ufh.
 
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Hi, Lots of possibilities, but with a bit of investigation, solvable...if you lift several tiles and the screed is cracked, then its the mix of the screed thats caused the unbonding...What was the room temperature when the tiles were fixed, hopefully above 5 degrees C the whole time, otherwise the adhesive wont bond... depending on type of screed, was it prepared/primed properly?..depending on size of floor, are there expansion strips in the appropriate places...Are there expansion gaps around the edges?..Possible adhesive mfg problem, but for the adhesive and grout to both unbond would be unusual..That is pretty much all I got.. Good luck...
 
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@Anthony and @MrKnowItAll - So the floor that was put down was anhydrite gvylon liquid screed floor.
My suspicion is that the tiler didn't apply a primer to the floor before putting down the tiles.
Leaves me with 100sqm of f*ck up. And the tiler won't admit his mistake. He will say I didn't supply him with the primer.

The grout and adhesive used was suggested by TilePlus was a Palace Chemicals standard stuff. They aren't accepting that wrong advice was given when they were told what sort of floor it was being tiled on.
 
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@Anthony and @MrKnowItAll - So the floor that was put down was anhydrite gvylon liquid screed floor.
My suspicion is that the tiler didn't apply a primer to the floor before putting down the tiles.
Leaves me with 100sqm of f*ck up. And the tiler won't admit his mistake. He will say I didn't supply him with the primer.

The grout and adhesive used was suggested by TilePlus was a Palace Chemicals standard stuff. They aren't accepting that wrong advice was given when they were told what sort of floor it was being tiled on.
Was everything else supplied to the tiler? I.e. adhesive, tiles, grout, silicone etc … was the tiler asked to supply anything himself?
 
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Hi Alex, everything was supplied to the tiler. We did ask him if he needed anything else given the information about the floor. He didn't think a primer was required.

Sorry, sounds like you might be right … no idea why you wouldn’t want to put a primer down on a new surface like that … bound to be some sort of residue / powder somewhere as it’s dried & for the time it takes to apply a primer, even with a brush, it’s not worth the potential impact of not doing … but if you didn’t provide it, that’s what he might say, but then you did check with him specifically & he said no …

You might want to get someone in to look at it & check, rather than just going off the advice here - there might be an underlying cause that’s nothing to do with the tiling (although that doesn’t sound likely I’m afraid).
 

Anthony

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Sorry, sounds like you might be right … no idea why you wouldn’t want to put a primer down on a new surface like that … bound to be some sort of residue / powder somewhere as it’s dried & for the time it takes to apply a primer, even with a brush, it’s not worth the potential impact of not doing … but if you didn’t provide it, that’s what he might say, but then you did check with him specifically & he said no …

You might want to get someone in to look at it & check, rather than just going off the advice here - there might be an underlying cause that’s nothing to do with the tiling (although that doesn’t sound likely I’m afraid).
Took a few up now. First one was 112 m2 took 2 of us 75 minutes to take it up, with a hand full of adhesive left on the floor!!
 
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Sorry, sounds like you might be right … no idea why you wouldn’t want to put a primer down on a new surface like that … bound to be some sort of residue / powder somewhere as it’s dried & for the time it takes to apply a primer, even with a brush, it’s not worth the potential impact of not doing … but if you didn’t provide it, that’s what he might say, but then you did check with him specifically & he said no …

You might want to get someone in to look at it & check, rather than just going off the advice here - there might be an underlying cause that’s nothing to do with the tiling (although that doesn’t sound likely I’m afraid).
Someone has looked at it and said it is due to the primer not being put down. The tiler isn't taking any responsibility to the point of ignoring my calls. I am lost at this moment.
What can be done? The other guy mentioned epoxy grout as he thought the epoxy might hold the tiles stronger. The gap between the tiles is 2m which won't be enough to drill and pump fix a floor solution. What do you recon?
 

Anthony

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Someone has looked at it and said it is due to the primer not being put down. The tiler isn't taking any responsibility to the point of ignoring my calls. I am lost at this moment.
What can be done? The other guy mentioned epoxy grout as he thought the epoxy might hold the tiles stronger. The gap between the tiles is 2m which won't be enough to drill and pump fix a floor solution. What do you recon?
Hey Anthony, is it worth re-grouting or spreading epoxy over the tiles to hold them down before we start taking all of 100 sq m of tiles?
Hi.it’s a case of starting again. The tiles are effectively just sitting on top of the subfloor, the only thing holding them down is the weight of tile and the adhesive stuck to the back of them. There’s absolutely no point throwing more money at it with epoxy.
Sorry to hear of your agony.
 
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Hi.it’s a case of starting again. The tiles are effectively just sitting on top of the subfloor, the only thing holding them down is the weight of tile and the adhesive stuck to the back of them. There’s absolutely no point throwing more money at it with epoxy.
Sorry to hear of your agony.
Thanks for the advice Anthony. Appreciate it. I will see if I can get hold of the tiler and get him to correct this. I don't have much faith in if I would be able to. Can't even take him to some sort of court.
 

Dave

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Hi Dave, the screed was put down in end of May 2022. The screed is heated.
The primer looks like has been missed. What are my options now?
If it’s not primed, then it’s failed due to ettringite formation due to reaction with the cementitious based adhesive and the gypsum content of the screed. No other fix than a full rip out and prepping correctly will work. A full lack of knowledge by your tile installer.
 

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