I believe that many people are no strangers to tile falling off. Nowadays, the kitchen and bathroom of every household are basically decorated with tiles. And many friends may have met such a bad thing, that is, the tiles are hollowing and fall off. It is a headache because the tile falling off will not only make the wall ugly but also bring a certain danger when they fall off.
So, what caused the tiles to fall off? And how to avoid it?
Actually, the main reason for tiles falling off is that the adhesion between tiles and the wall is not enough, and it is related both to the products and construction. Luckily, it can be circumvented. Pay attention to the following issues during construction, and you can effectively prevent the tiles from falling off. It’s not difficult to understand these three reasons. Let’s talk about this.
Ⅰ: Tile selection is not well-matched with construction materials and methods
When we tile tiles, it is very important to choose ceramic tiles. Because what kind of tiles we choose should be matched with materials are used for tiling tiles. We can’t be sloppy on this matter.
Most household tiles are divided into semi-porcelain tiles and all-ceramic tiles. The characteristics of all-ceramic tiles are high density, high price, and no water absorption.
For ordinary semi-porcelain tiles, we need to soak them in water before you put them on the wall. There are two purposes of soaking, one is to eliminate stains on the surface of the tiles, making it easier to go on the wall and exerting its grip to a greater extent. And the other purpose is to allow the tiles to fully absorb water, so as to prevent the tiles from absorbing the water in the cement mortar. If the tiles absorb too much water in mortar, the paste will dry soon, so it will not be strong when it is applied, and hollowing and falling off will occur after paving. So in the past, we use semi-porcelain tiles on the wall, which can solve the problem of hollowing and fall off of tiles to some extent.
Yet, soaking all-ceramic tiles in water does not work. Because of its high density and its own glazed surface, all-ceramic tile does not or is hard to absorb water. It is expensive, and usually, we think the things with high price are good. I won’t say it’s a wrong idea. But it’s totally wrong if we use the same construction method of sticking when the price is cheap.
Let’s see the comparison. The semi-porcelain tiles are laid with cement mortar after soaking in water. Since there are many cavities in the embryo body on the back of the tiles, the cement mortar penetrates into the embryo body and then combines with the wall. So the cement can be combined with the wall and tiles firmly. But for all-ceramic tiles, if we soak them in water and take them out when pasting them, they will dry out quickly. Because it is hard to absorb water, the water just stayed in the surface layer, not inside.
Since it dries fast, the cement mortar cannot be combined with the embryo body. It seems like it’s stuck on the wall, but it’s actually not strong. After a while, the mortar loses its function, tiles will fall off. And you can see the back of the falling tiles are clean because they cannot be combined with the mortar at all.
Actually, the tiles that fall off in most areas are all-ceramic tiles. The reason is that even though you have bought expensive tiles, the old methods are still used in construction. This kind of mismatching will cause a negative effect.
Pure cement and sand have little stickiness, they can only fix the tiles on the wall by combining with the back of the tile. Besides, many people now like to use big tiles on the wall, like 60*120cm tiles. It’s really heavy, you even can’t straighten your waist when you lift one. So we can’t expect to rely on cement and sand to stick it firmly. For all-ceramic tiles, its non-water absorption is destined to be unable to stick firmly with plain paste. We have to use tile adhesive instead. As we know, using an effective cellulose ether, like hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), can significantly improve the bonding strength of tile adhesive. Our Landercoll® HPMC provides the following features in tile adhesive applications:
·Improved sag resistance
·Improved heat and freeze-thaw resistance
·Improved water retention
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You must have heard about the tile adhesive before, but you may not have heard that different tiles require different levels of tile adhesive. There are two common tile adhesive levels: C1 and C2, based on European standards, the C1 and C2 ratings(specified in DIN EN12004) relate to tensile adhesion performance. After immersion in water, the strength, heat aging strength, and freeze-thaw cycle must reach 0.5MPa, while the C2 grade is an enhanced tile adhesive, and its full strength must reach 1.0 MPa.
What does 0.5 MPa adhesive force mean? It is equivalent to applying a force of 50,000 kilograms on a 1 square area to pull the solidified tile adhesive apart, and the pulling force of a normal adult is often less than 100 kilograms. So for the current ceramic tile use, the C1 tile adhesive is very safe. As for C2 level tile adhesive, when you paste tiles with larger size and low water absorption, it will be a better choice.
Ⅱ:Ignoring the problems of wall surface
Before tiling, workers have to check the quality of the base layer of the wall. To see if there are problems such as hollowing, delamination, cracking, and sand formation. If the quality of the base layer is not good, the adhesion between the two tiles will be poor, and the drum will fall off after a long time.
And the wall surface or backs of the tile could have been dusty before the adhesive was applied. The dust is selfish and will steal moisture and all the adhesive for its own. The best example I can offer is a piece of fresh adhesive tape that gets coated with dust. The tape is no longer sticky. So we have to clean up the base of the original wall, otherwise, it will affect the bonding quality and cause shedding. Problems at the base must be repaired in advance to ensure firmness.
What’s more, the wall surface could have been irregular, with humps and dips in it. As the tiles get larger and larger, the wall or floor surface must be flatter. Since the tile is flat and in the same plane, the wall surface must also be a perfect match. If the wall has humps, the back of the tile will touch the hump and then not contact the wall where there is a dip. This is the main reason why the tile job failed. Use a straightedge to determine if the wall surface is perfectly flat. If there are low spots and humps, you need to skim coat the wall with cement-based thinset to get the wall surface flat and in the same plane.
Ⅲ: Incorrect Construction
In the past, especially in rural areas. There are many construction teams composed of unskilled works. They are not technicians and have little construction experience，so they do not care much about the fullness of the paste required when tiling tiles and also lack the seriousness and responsibility for jointing. But these two are extremely important for the durability of the tiles.
When applying mortar or adhesive on the back of the tile, you need to wipe it evenly. Some workers are not good, because they usually wipe it casually as long as it can be pasted. As a result, the tiles seem to be compacted on the wall, but there are actually gaps inside because the grout is not enough to cover the entire back of the tiles. This leads to gaps between the tiles and the wall.
Then there is the jointing. After the tiles have been laid and pasted, they need to be jointed. But we have to wait for 24hours, and the cement mortar completely dried out. Jointing, that is, to hook the gap between the tiles and the tiles with mortar. The first purpose for jointing is to be beautiful, and the second is to prevent water from entering in the future.
Some workers are not serious and think it is too troublesome to hook them back and forth, so they treat them carelessly. There is a leak in the gap between the ceramic tiles. When it rains in the future, the water will follow these leaks into the middle of the tiles and the wall, and there is a gap between the two, which gives water space for existence. The water in the tiles will freeze in winter, which will freeze the solidified pulp and lose its adhesion. In summer, the high temperature causes the water inside to overheat and expand, and eventually, the tiles where the water is stored will bulge up and fall off. In a word, incorrect construction is a very important reason for the tile hollowing and falling off.
The summary is: there are three main reasons for the tiles to fall off. The first one is that even we buy more expensive tiles, but the construction method is still the same as the old one for ordinary tiles. For all-ceramic tiles, we have to use tile adhesive instead of ordinary mortar. And there are C1 and C2 tile adhesive, householders could choose the right type according to the actual application. Otherwise, the tile adhesion can not meet the requirements. And in the future, the ceramic tiles will fall off.
The next one is that unskilled workers may ignore the problem of wall surface before tiling, this problem such as bad quality of wall base, dust on the surface, and irregular will also cause the fall off.
The last one is incorrect construction. If mortars or adhesive are not wiped evenly, resulting in the formation of ground gaps, which gives space and opportunities for later water inflow. Tiles falling off will also occur due to thermal expansion and contraction.
So, as long as we choose the appropriate tiles and the proper construction methods when we are tiling tiles, the hollowing and falling off of the tiles can be successfully avoided.