Tiles lifting off the floor indicate a seriously compromised tile installation or indication of a problem taking place with the surface below. So when tiles go POP! in the night, like they often do, here are some of the causes:

Moisture may be coming up through your concrete slab (can apply to any other floor type) or you may have an unseen plumbing leak in your wall which compromises the bonding of the tile to the surface below.


Substrate movement simply refers to the movement that can occur on the surface the tiles are applied to. Improperly installed cement board, ply wood or cracked concrete expands over time causing tiles to crack at first and then become loose and sometimes lift completely from the surface.


Inadequately bonded tile because of insufficient or low-grade thinset causes tiles to become loose over time. Very commonly,  to save a few dollars  a low-grade, unmodified thin-set  is used or the thinset is stretched by mixing it with sand and cement.

This kind of mixture does not adhere properly to tiles, and the pieces will eventually come loose. Sometimes, thinset is left and begins to dry, forming a skin on the top of the thinset mixture which also compromises the bonding process.


Always check for the amount of thinset left on both surfaces. If the tile comes up clean like in the photograph on the right, chances are the thinset was too dry, low-grade thinset or a weakened thinset mixture could also be the cause.

On a daily basis, here at Creative, we help our customers face and conquer many challenges that they may face with tiling, installation and maintenance solutions. Give us a call or visit our showroom for advice.


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