Are you having problems with your floor tiles? Is the floor from your home popping up and showing cracks?

What are the reasons and what should you do? What are the costs involved and how should you maintain the floors so this wouldn’t happen again in the future? 

In this article, we share everything you need to know about popped-up floor tiles and how you can deal with them.  

popped-up cracked floor tiles in a home
Image Source: Lowyat

Why do my floor tiles popped-up? 

There are many reasons why this could happen. By first understanding the reasons behind it, you will be better equipped to prevent it from happening again. 

Here are some possible reasons. 

1- Crashed by heavy objects 

It goes without saying that tiles are considered fragile objects. Though designed to sustain heavy load, they can be pretty delicate. And if crushed by heavy or sharp objects, they will definitely break. 

Or events like earthquakes (which happen rarely in Malaysia) will definitely result in the tiles popping up. 

popped up wall tiles in lift lobby
A picture showing the condition of a Malaysian condo after a recent seismic event.

2- Tiles are not cleaned properly before installation 

Tile cleaning is essential, especially if you’re installing tiles that require grouting.

Improper cleaning of the floor tiles could also lead to uneven tile installation which as a result, leads to popping up of tiles. 

3- Floor expansion due to heat or moisture

Tile is a permeable material and its physical appearance will change according to its surrounding conditions.

When subject to excessive heat (like Malaysia’s weather) or moisture (such as spilled water sitting on the tiles for a long period of time), it may cause the tiles to expand. Therefore, after some time, the tiles will buckle up, or pop up.   

4- Uneven subfloor & not using adhesive 

Subfloor is the layer below the floor tiles, also known as their foundation. 

When the subfloor is not set properly with the mortar and tile adhesive, these will form an uneven sublayer which in turns causes the floor tiles to be easily popped up. 

Therefore, when it comes to home renovation, finding the right interior designer is very important and goes a long way in helping you save costs!

5- Using of old tiles or low-quality tiles

Tiles that are old or low in quality may already have lost some of their important properties such as strength and flexibility. 

Old tiles may get brittle easily and are unable to withstand any drastic change in physical conditions such as temperature variation. 

Therefore, it wouldn’t be long until you see such tiles start lifting up or popping up. 

If you’re searching for project-grade yet affordable tiles in Malaysia, then you’ve come to the right place. Start shopping at HOMA2u’s online store now and get the floor tiles delivered to your home! 

HOMA2u’s online store

What to do when your tiles start popping and cracking?

Safety always comes first. 

First thing you need to do is remove the loose and cracked tiles. Remember to wear a pair of gloves and make sure your feet are covered.

When the space is clean of cracked tiles, then cover the area with protective sheets such as cardboards or newspaper. If possible, put a label on it as well so any home passerby will be aware about it. 

cover with protective sheet over cracked floor tile area

Most importantly, steer clear from the area until proper repair works are done by your contractor. 

If your house is still new (less than 2 years old)

Just bought a new house? Good news! Your home will most probably be subjected to defect liability period (DLP) – only applicable to Malaysia condominiums. 

If you own a terrace house or bungalow, check out the next section. 

DLP is basically a warranty for new condominiums where the developers are responsible for fixing any defects in your home. The period usually lasts between 1 to 2 years. 

The floor tiles are popping up? Report to your condo management and let them handle the rest. 

If your house is more than 2 years and above

Without the DLP, you’ll have to manage the cost of repairing yourself. This means you need to get in touch with a contractor or DIY.

How to prevent tiles from popping up?

1- Find a good contractor 

Before you sign an agreement to work with any designer or contractor, make sure they are vetted properly and have good reviews. 

Poor installation of the tiles will definitely lead to them popping up in the future. And to prevent that from happening, find the right contractors in the first place! 

2- Tap your tiles with a light tool (to check)

So you have your floor tiles installed already. What to do next? 

If you’re being careful and just wanted to make sure, then find a light tool and gently tap the tiles. This is to differentiate between hollow tiles and compact ones. In general, hollow tiles have a higher tendency of popping up. 

For extra precaution (and to prevent the tiles from popping up in the future), you can apply some adhesives to make sure the hollow tiles are firmly connected. 

3- Re-grout your tiles 

Grout creates seamless tile appearances and prevents tile problems
Image Source: Knowing Krescent

Grout is the ‘line’ that fills between the spaces of the tiles. It functions to create seamless tile appearances and keep the tiles in place with one another. 

Again, if the grout work is not thorough enough, the tiles can easily buckle up.  

So, if you discover that the tile grouts in the joint have come off, you may try to re-grout the tiles and make sure they are in place.

Or you could engage your contractors to help you do so.

How much does it cost to replace cracked floor tiles?

In Malaysia, the cost generally ranges between RM1,000 to RM2,500. 

Depending on the scope of the work and the scale of how much tiles that require fixing, the price may differ according to different projects. 

And there you go – everything you need to know about tiles popping up, what to do, how to prevent it from happening and how much it costs to fix them. 

If you need any planning support help, feel free to get in touch with Hommies on WhatsApp here. We’re to help! 

Thoughts? Feel free to leave them down in the comment section below! 

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