Since we've had the house, I've been aware that the ceramic tiles on the
kitchen floor were neither the best quality nor very well fixed, as one
or two sounded a bit hollow when tapped. No problem, as the master plan
says the room will be gutted and refurbed comprehensively, in time.
Today, I found a pair of tiles had lifted to form a ridge where they
join. OK, only a few mm but to do that, they had clearly lost all
adhesion. I have scraped the grout from their edges and removed some of
the tile cement beneath, so I could tape them back down for the moment,
as I'm severely short on time this weekend. A brief investigation shows
quite a few tiles in this area are loose, so maybe a square metre or so
will have to be taken up, cleaned and re-stuck.
These tiles are not new but are certainly not as old as the house and I
would estimate they are a decade or two old. They were undoubtedly laid
'professionally' (as in someone took cash to do it, not necessarily
someone who knew anything) on a floor described to me by a builder as
polished concrete, which seems quite robust (but who can tell?). The
adhesive looks more like mortar to me than anything I've used.
Why would this happen suddenly? It's not damp and there haven't been
any serious temperature changes, neither is it a part of the floor that
gets significant traffic. In other words, should I look for a cause or
just put it down as one of those things?
How much do I need to clean the tiles up before re-laying? Getting the
grout off is easy, as is removing the adhesive from the floor. Although
any big chunks of stuff can probably be flipped of their back sides, I'm
a bit reluctant to start bashing the tiles too hard to get all the
adhesive off them as they would be imposible to match, were I to break
one, and they're an odd size (probably 8 inches-ish square) to even
source a non-matching replacement, without cutting a larger one down.
Any thoughts gratefully accepted.