Are you the proud owner of a patio or outdoor area that has recently been tiled? If so, then congratulations! A tiled outdoor space will surely add beauty and style to any backyard.
But all too often, owners of newly-tiled outdoor spaces run into an inconvenient problem – cracked tiles! Such a sight can be genuinely disheartening when your hard work gets ruined.
Don’t worry; despite how discouraging this setback may seem, you can take several practical steps to ensure your precious tile job stays in top condition for years.
Here we’ll cover everything from preventive measures to repair techniques – by the end of this blog post, you’ll have everything you need to know about protecting tiles against damage outdoors.
What Is The Main Cause Of Cracked Porcelain Tiles?
There are several reasons why porcelain tiles can crack:
Poor Installation: If porcelain tiles are not installed correctly, they can crack due to improper adhesive application, uneven substrate, or incorrect grouting. Ensuring the substrate is adequately prepared, and the tiles are laid correctly to prevent cracking.
Heavy Impact: Porcelain tiles are solid and durable but can crack if subjected to a heavy impact, such as dropping a heavy object on the surface. This type of damage can be challenging to repair and may require the replacement of the affected tiles.
Structural Movement: The tiles can crack if the building or substrate on which the tiles are installed experiences structural movement due to settling or expansion. This can be particularly common in older buildings or weak foundations.
Temperature Changes: Porcelain tiles can crack if exposed to sudden or extreme temperature changes. This can cause the tiles to expand or contract, leading to cracking.
Moisture Damage: If porcelain tiles are installed wet, they can crack due to moisture damage. This can occur if the substrate needs to be prepared correctly or if the tiles are exposed to water damage over time.
Poor installation, heavy impact, structural movement, temperature changes, and moisture damage are the leading causes of cracked porcelain tiles. Proper installation, maintenance, and care can help prevent these issues and ensure that porcelain tiles remain strong, durable, and attractive.
Can You Repair Cracked Porcelain Tiles?
Yes, it is possible to repair cracked porcelain tiles. Here’s a general guide on how to do it:
Porcelain tile filler or epoxy filler
Tile sealer (optional)
- Clean the cracked area of the tile with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
- Mix the porcelain tile or epoxy filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use a putty knife to apply the filler to the crack.
- Smooth the filler with the putty knife, ensuring it is levelled with the surrounding tile.
- Allow the filler to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the filler is dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth it out and level it with the surrounding tile.
- Clean the repaired area with a clean cloth to remove dust or debris.
- If desired, apply a tile sealer to the repaired area to protect it from future damage.
Remember that while this method can repair tiny cracks, it may not be effective for large or deep cracks. In such cases, it may be best to replace the entire tile. Additionally, the repaired area may not perfectly match the rest of the tile, so that it may be more noticeable.
How Do You Prevent Porcelain Tiles Cracking?
Here are some tips on how to prevent porcelain tiles from cracking:
Choose high-quality tiles: Invest in high-quality porcelain tiles from a reputable manufacturer. Higher-quality tiles are less likely to crack and are more durable.
Proper installation: Ensure that the tiles are correctly installed by a professional. The substrate or base should be level and free of cracks, and the tiles should be laid flat with even spacing.
Allow for expansion: Porcelain tiles expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Allow for expansion by leaving a small gap between the tiles, walls, or other surfaces. This gap should be filled with a flexible grout that can accommodate movement.
Use the proper underlayment: The substrate or base under the porcelain tiles should be stable, level, and able to support the weight of the tiles. Use the proper underlayment, such as cement board or a reinforced mortar bed.
Avoid impact: Porcelain tiles are durable but can still crack if they are hit with a heavy object or if something falls on them. Avoid impact using soft felt pads on furniture legs and avoiding dropping heavy objects on the tiles.
Regular maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain the porcelain tiles to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating. Use a pH-neutral cleaner and avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the surface of the tiles.
These tips can help prevent porcelain tiles from cracking and keep them looking beautiful for years.
Order High-Quality Porcelain Tiles From Premier Porcelain Today
Keeping outdoor tiles from cracking requires excellent maintenance practices. Ensuring that any grout between your tiles is appropriately sealed and refilling any cracks in the tile with a matching stone or grout repair kit can significantly reduce your chances of cracked outdoor tiles.
Furthermore, regularly cleaning and sealing your tiles will help ensure they stay in good condition. Constructing raised beds or walls around a patio to keep weight off the surface is also beneficial. If all else fails, contact a professional for assistance and advice on effectively preventing cracks from occurring or repairing them promptly.
These preventive measures can help maintain the beauty and integrity of your outdoor tiles. If you feel outdoor tiles are within your capabilities, order online today for quick and efficient delivery of the highest quality porcelain tiles across the UK. Contact Premier Porcelain today for more information!