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Solutions to not so common tile problems

The most beautiful and expensive tiles can appear tacky and distasteful if they are not installed properly. Right from an alignment of the edges of patterns being matched, it is important to hire workers who know their job well. Apart from the more obvious issues with tile installations, there are several other, not so common problems that can occur during the laying process. Let’s take a look at some of them and also see how these can be resolved.

De-bonding: Tiles may become loose, come off or move when you step on it, which implies that the tile has de-bonded from the substrate. If tiles are not bonded properly, their edges can also crack and chip. This eventually leads to weak tiles that break easily. Sufficient preparation of the substrate and use of good quality adhesives are a must for stronger tiles. Similarly, using ordinary cement results in shrinkage and rigidity, which affect the longevity of your tiles and therefore only specially formulated tiling solutions should be used.

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Poor quality adhesives: Tiles may become loose if the adhesive used is of poor quality which prevents it from bonding to the substrate. Also if an insufficient quantity of adhesive is used, the tiles may become loose over a period of time. The solution is to use the best quality adhesives in the market which have been designed to hold the tiles in place for a long time. Also, make sure that you cover the entire back of the tile and the edges with the adhesive to ensure a stronger grip. Different types of tiles require specifically designed adhesives, check here to know the right adhesive for your tile.

Lippage: The tiles appear to be unlevelled affecting the surface which looks uneven. Although there can be several reasons for this, one of the primary reason is that the substrate is not prepared adequately and is not flat. Ensuring that adequate groundwork is done in the preparation of the surface and the right materials are used in laying the tiles by expert craftsman will reduce lippage.

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The spacing of joints: If the tiles are placed too close together, due to constant expansion and contraction, the tiles can actually crack or break. It is therefore important that the tiles have sufficient space to expand and contract, and at the same time, they are not far apart, which means that the spacing between the tiles on all sides must be exactly the right amount. Most expert workers are able to gauge and assess the spacing from experience, but it is advisable to use a spacer for this purpose.

Grout: Not using grout causes the edges of tiles to crack and chip, eventually leading to weak tiles that break easily. The importance of using the right type of grout, with the correct ancillary products, is often underrated. Check out the best options, including grout colour matcher at Roff for the best solutions.

You must pay careful attention to the choice of materials, correct work procedures and good workmanship, which is of prime importance to ensure that tiling work appears great at the end.

About Nalini Malaviya

Nalini Malaviya is a Bangalore based art consultant, writer and blogger. She has been writing for the media since 2003, and has been an art columnist for Financial Times (Delhi and Bangalore) and Bangalore Mirror. Nalini writes primarily on art (visual arts, performance, photography, etc) and also on health and lifestyle. She contributes to Times of India, Deccan Herald and several other publications including art magazines and catalogs. An occasional fiction writer, Nalini has published short stories as part of various anthologies, such as, The Shrinking Woman, The Curse of the Bird and Bhelpuri. She publishes www.artsceneindia.com, a popular blog cum Ezine featuring art news, guides, and articles on buying and collecting art and on displaying art in interiors. The website functions as an artist resource and also promotes artists. Nalini curates art exhibitions and conducts classes on art appreciation and writing. She also teaches arts management and marketing for artists through workshops. Currently, she contributes to the experts section on corporate blogs on interiors and lifestyle.

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