Exploding floor/ expansion joint

I posted once about this but did not realize at the time that it would be an annual event. Every year on the the coldest day of the year the ceramic tiles on my kitchen floor pop off with a rather loud band, Judging from the left over tiles, it was an annual affair for the previous homeowner also. How do I fix it? Last year I stuck the tiles back down but did not fill with grout. I figured if it was contraction, no grout would give it lots of room to shrink. But...my wife wants grout.
How do you build an expansion joint into a tile floor?
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I have to wonder what the tile was placed over. It may not be the fault of the tile, but the sub base that is moving. Fixing that means tearing up and starting over.
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I was afraid someone might say that....... ITs a standard joisted floor with plywood base. thin set adhesive. The previous homeowner owned a flooring store. I would have thought he would do the best for his own house.
The only thing nonstard is that he ran a radient heat pipe in the basement down the center of the floor. its attached to the bottom of the joists and hence about a foot away from the floor. I guess it was an attempt at getting some heat to the floor.

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jmagerl wrote:

<G> Hey now, don't fix it just yet. Shouldn't we get a pool going to bet on when the annual tile popping will occur this year?
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hmmm....House takes most
I hear predictioms of a warm winter maybe it wont get cold enough

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That reminds me of an incident that occurred before my very eyes. Several winters ago I was having a conversation in the lobby of a conference center. Suddenly we both heard this cracking sound and the tile floor next to where we were standing buckled up and created a bubble about 3 feet long and 4 inches high. I don't know how they corrected the problem, but I had thought at the time that they probably needed some expansion joints.
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If you are going to have to relay the tile, look into Schluter trim and expansion joints for ceramic. Ditra, and others, make crack isolators/spanners for concrete joints, but your problem does not seem to be related to transferring a crack from below. Are you sure there are adequate fasteners in the subfloor to prevent movement?
The typical treatment for expansion joints would be to leave out the grout, but seal the joint with color matched urethane or silicone caulk.
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