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Repair lifting tile over concrete

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Aug 11, 2013, 08:38 PM
Repair lifting tile over concrete
I have ceramic tile throughout. Tiles in the hallway are lifting over a crack in the concrete slab. This only happens in the summer months, they settle down in the other seasons. Question: What do I use to seal the crack in the slab? What do I use to re-adhere the tiles after repairing the slab?

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Aug 11, 2013, 10:39 PM
Depending on how much movement there is in the slab, it may or may not be able to be fixed. Even if it can be fixed, all the tile has to go first.

You need to isolate the movement of the slab from the tile. This means adding an additional backer layer between the tile and the slab. A backer board that spans over the crack that is attached to the slab with thinset may keep the slab movement from transmitting through to the tile. Of course to do this all the tile must be set on the new backer layer - meaning that all the tile must be removed and reinstalled. And, if the slab is moving a lot even adding the isolation layer backerboard may not be enough.

An alternate method would be to get a slab jacker in to pump concrete under the slab. This will actually be a better fix as it will stop the original problem - the slab moving with seasonal changes. That is, if it works. While there is a good chance that it will fix the problem, there are no guarantees. However, with slab jacking you would only need to remove a few tiles so that holes could be drilled through the slab to pump the concrete. Those tiles could then be replaced.