Posted on 4th April 2022
Patio tiles are an investment for your property, therefore ensuring they look beautiful all year round is an important part of keeping an attractive garden.
Cracking tiles can be a real problem for homeowners, so it’s important to know why patio tiles can break and how to prevent it from happening.
What causes patio tiles to crack?
Often, tile fractures can simply occur due to heavy objects falling onto your patio floor. However, most cracked tiles arise as a result of poor installation or through lack of care.
Poorly prepared subfloors
Patio tiles cannot be laid without proper foundations. The subfloors are the base for tiles and without proper subfloor preparation, tiles can crack. This tends to happen if the subfloors are uneven or covered with dirt and debris when the tile is being laid.
Concrete is also porous, which means it absorbs water and expands with temperature changes. When patio tiles adhere to concrete, the lack of give can sometimes cause them to crack during concrete settlement.
Insufficiently cured concrete
It is important to allow the concrete to fully cure once it has been poured. Concrete begins to shrink as it dries and the moisture evaporates, therefore if the tile is installed too quickly afterwards it can snap as the concrete begins to shrink.
Expansion joints are too small
When tiles are installed, they are left with spacing filled with grout. These expansion joints are left to allow for shifting and movement as the underlying concrete begins to shift. Should tiles be placed too close together, this will leave little to no room for the tile to move.
Mould can cause many problems in and around the home, in particular cracked tiles. Mould growth begins when moisture seeps into your grout and once left to sprout, it can make its way underneath the tiles which will cause them to lift and crack.
How can cracked patio tiles be prevented?
Hire a professional
Hiring a garden landscaping professional is the best way to prevent cracked tiles and prolong their lifespan.
Someone who is experienced and knowledgeable will ensure subfloors are prepared adequately. They will even out the subfloor with a spirit level or through the installation of plywood.
Once the floor has been levelled and allowed to cure, all dirt and debris should be removed from the subfloor to prepare a clean base for laying tiles. It is important that you properly clean the subfloor because the smallest debris can cause patio tiles to crack.
After this, an anti-fracture membrane should be applied between the tile and subfloor to absorb any cracking energy.
Once your patio tiles have been installed, it is important to clean and maintain them. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help prolong the life of your tiles and prevent cracking.
Professional grout cleaning and mould removal and remediate cracks to make your patio last longer. However, simply cleaning your tiles regularly to prevent mould growth and spreading can help prevent tiles from lifting.
You could also consider sealing your patio tiles to protect the pores.
With over 25 years of experience distributing natural stone paving, porcelain paving, aggregates, and interior solutions worldwide; we are the people to help you achieve the perfect patio, garden, or home interior.
Talk to one of our experienced stone professionals about your specific needs today.