Moving tiles

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Lawrence3, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Lawrence3

    Lawrence3 New Member

    There is a row of tiles where the grout is cracked. If pushed they have play. What options do I have/advice to fix?

    Thanks 1551782744577204.jpg 1551782744577204.jpg 1551782744239262.jpg 1551782744577204.jpg 1551782744239262.jpg
  2. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    They are obviously live,the only real option is to remove them and redo them.
  3. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    frame cealent mastic cork re grout with flexible grout coving
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  4. Lawrence3

    Lawrence3 New Member

    Thank you. Will give this a go. Any tips to remove to tiles without breaking?
  5. xednim

    xednim Active Member

    masking tape over- to join them together, even better if you will use duct tape, start from top corner, you might need to cut out first grout line and all others will go smoothly
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  6. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member


    Seriously? So we have large format tiles on the move - either the tile adhesive is failing or whatever they are fixed to is failing - skim? These are heavy tiles and this looks like a bathroom. "when pushed they have play" :eek:

    Sorry, but to be safe, they have to come off. If they really are loose you stand a chance of getting them off and re-using. The wall needs to be made solid, perhaps by reboarding with a tile-backer and the tiles need refixing. This size tile (600x300) is usually around 8mm, which means they are right on the limit of what can be safely fixed to a plastered wall (if that is what has been done). You wouldn't want them falling off when you're underneath!

    Also, you cannot use pre-mixed tile adhesive with large format tiles - it won't go off properly - it must be a cement based powder mix.
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  7. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Active Member

    Agree with Mr Rusty, whatever the tiles are supposed to be attached do is failing. Get them all off, fix the cause not the symptoms and do a proper job.

    Sort it properly, fix it once.
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  8. Lawrence3

    Lawrence3 New Member

    Thanks everyone got the tiles off intact that weren't secured onto the wall.

    Can the adhesive be apply to the wall in its current state?
    Also where two tiles join the tiles are slightly raised but firmly secured to the wall. Can these be left?

    1552655766297971.jpg 1552655766496850.jpg

    Attached Files:

  9. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Active Member

    I'd take those raised tiles off too...something is causing them to be pushed out and you need to get to the bottom of what that is.
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  10. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Put some protection in and around the bath coz if one of those fall and drops into the bath needed.
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  11. Lawrence3

    Lawrence3 New Member

    Cheers will do. Can the tile adhesive be applied to wall as it is?
  12. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    The tiles would sit a different height if you did that as the old adhesive needs to come off, a wallpaper steamer and elbow grease using a stripping/filling knife would help fetch it off back to a flat level surface.
  13. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    I've "been there done that got the t shirt" as they say. Took one tile off once, and the whole wall dropped.....You're not going to like this answer, but the whole lot has to come off. It's obvious that the adhesive has not gripped the tiles. This often happens, particularly with pre-mix adhesive. If the back of the tile is dusty, it can cause this. When fixing large format tiles I always give the back of the tiles a quick wipe, and I also very lightly butter the back of the tiles with a thin layer of adhesive that way you know you get good adhesion.

    If you try and patch this up I guarantee you will be back to it again very quickly - a bodge is a waste of time.

    You can't put fresh adhesive on top of what you have, and it looks clear as day that the next row down is the same. It's difficult to see, but it looks like there might be a some sort of board under the next row down. Has this expanded, blowing the wall and forcing that row that you have removed away?

    What is the end wall like? when you tap the tiles do they seem tightly fixed? - loose tiles always sound loose when you tap them. Looking at the grout line in the close-up of the end wall, it looks cracked which means they are loose as well.

    You have a couple of options.

    1) carefully remove the whole wall, keeping the tiles in order. Soak the tiles a bit to help in removal of old adhesive. Getting that old adhesive off the wall could be a bit of a pig job. It might flirt off easily, or it might bring craters off your wall. What is it? plasterboard/stud? plaster on block?

    2) do you like the tiles? As you have to take the whole wall off anyway you are a good way towards a complete re-tile job.

    Often the best way to fit large-format tiles if you haven't got a nice solid sound wall, is to use a backer-board first. Cement board (e.g. hardieboard, tilebakker) can either replace existing plasterboard or be fixed direct to old walls using either foam or PB adhesive - either way also using screw/plugs as well, or there are foam-based tile backer boards (e.g. Jackoboard which I haven't used - others will advise on these). A properly fixed backing board is designed to take the weight, is water resistant, and fixed flat will allow large format tiles to be fitted easily without lipping.

    If that wall is stud, rip off the PB, strip it back to the studs, fix proper tile backing and retile. If its plaster on block AND that old adhesive isn't going to come off without major mess, do you have enough space around the bath edge to bring the wall out 12mm further? - the thickness of backer board? If so, I would use a foam adhesive to stick new boards up, over the old adhesive, and then drill and plug the boards at 300mm centres - don't need massive fixings 4 x 50mm or 4x60mm and red plugs is fine. You'll quickly have a nice flat new surface to safely tile on to. Use a cement based adhesive and they'll fly back up, but you will have to re-cut the tiles into the corner(s).
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  14. Lawrence3

    Lawrence3 New Member

    Thank you for your in-depth reply it's greatly appreciated. We are wanting to replace the whole bathroom in a few years time so looking for an option that will put us on until then with the current tiles. The tiles I have taken off barely have any adhesive on them.. I've attached a photo.

    I've attached photo of the walls underneath, it looks like chip board? Will this be problematic to remove the old adhesive?

    Thanks again
    1552666541767123.jpg 1552666541786458.jpg
  15. fostyrob

    fostyrob Active Member

    The chipboard swelling when it gets wet is the potential route of your problem. I would suspect that when you try hacking the adhesive off that lumps of chipboard would come with it.

    If the whole lot is going to be re-done anyway you might get away with removing the loose tiles and doing your best with adhesive removal whilst trying to preserve the chipboard. You will be able to make up any defects with adhesive assuming you don't hack massive holes in it. This will be a bodge however and I suspect you will continue to get similar problems if the board is wet and swollen. It probably won't take much longer to take that small wall down and fit a backer board compared to trying to clean up the chipboard.
  16. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member


    The worst possible answer. Not only chip, but chip that has obviously blown and pushed the tiles off the wall.

    I'm afraid there is no way of re-fixing tiles to this and hoping them to stay firm. Not only that but its potentially dangerous - loose tiles over a bath? could be nasty. The chip will continue to move. Never, ever, tile onto ordinary chipboard - it is not stable enough. (It is possible to tile on to moisture resistant flooring chip, but even then it isn't the best substrate and works best with a layer of thin tilebacker.)

    I think now there are three solutions:-

    1) bite the bullet and bring your bathroom refit forward to right now
    2) strip off all the chip and put proper tile backer up and retile - a lot of work for a temporary solution
    3) Do a bodge to at least make the bathroom serviceable and OK looking. I think if I wanted to bring a bathroom back to use quickly and cheaply, knowing I'm going to spend money in the near future I would look at taking the tiles off and boarding over with an inexpensive lightweight hollow waterproof cladding board. Something like this at about £15 sqm would stick up with silicon/grab adhesive straight over the top of the rough wall - in fact with chip under, you could also use pins through the long tongue these boards have as well. You use a trim piece in corners.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  17. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Forget the wallpaper steamer suggestion :( as this will completely blow the chipboard! :eek:
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  18. xednim

    xednim Active Member

    I do tiling for approx. 20 years (not on daily bias)- in my opinion bad adhesive- very likely that readymix- used, you can re-attach them to the current adhesive without any issues, you can even do dab & tap's, key in here is that:
    use flexible power adhesive (I am normally using for most of my works dunlop from XXXX (don't want to advertise)- cheap and very strong!)
    mixed bit thinner than says on the bag,and each tile you have to "prime" with it- get filling knife apply adhesive with firm pressure to the tile surface, when adhesive still unset do 5 cakes on the tile and fix on the wall (in your situation adhesive needs to be thinner than they says on the bag as it will need to goo in between comb lines of the adhesive that is still on the wall
    and have fun :)
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  19. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    All great advice xednim but not on chip!!
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  20. xednim

    xednim Active Member

    if you say so...
    btw- can you tell me which picture shows that adhesive lost a grip on the chipboard? , board is completely covered with adhesive what it making it waterproof (apart of the corners), and I believe that board has been PVA treated be4 the work- well I should learn more in this case- sorry and ignore all my posts in here
    thx Mr Rusty for the lesson
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