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Discuss Encaustic tile sealing and hairline cracking in the Tiling Forum area at TilersForums.co.uk.

  1. tillymint19

    tillymint19 Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Hi,
    Looking for advice please. 2 problems!

    We have just had encaustic tiles laid in our bathroom including wetroom style walk in shower.
    They were laid over a new floor (extended bathroom) which then had a layer of hardiebacker cement board on top screwed down all over it. The tiles have been grouted and sealed and I have started to notice (whilst on hands and knees cleaning the floor as work and dust is ongoing in the house) that there are tiny hairline cracks appearing in the tiles. This is sufficient for them to become apparent when the tiles are wet, but they also can be seen when dry - you just have to get right down to see them. I know the drill with encaustic tiles, the patina, the risks of scratching and staining etc, but my gut says this isn't right. I'm happy to ignore it if its not going to cause issues but if they are going to get worse...? I cant think of anything worse than them coming out! Also would like to resolve this before the below is finished in case there's something we can do to prevent it happening there too.
    Pic of the tiles: Rebecca Norris on Instagram: “OMG. Be still my heart. Very almost there... @108builders Still some snagging to go, the doors need to go back on and I’ve monumentally…” - https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjxeu9lhajE/?taken-by=rebecca_norris

    Second issue - again encaustic tiles, dark blue and white being laid in our hallway, we want dark grout but currently can't get it done without staining the tiles - despite them being sealed. They have been sealed with Qualtz Invisiseal Omega several times. I know natural grout is also recommended to prevent staining but what should we use? I'm told all UK grouts contain pigments?
    Rebecca Norris on Instagram: “And back to reality. Progress has been slow while we have been away, the tiles still aren’t grouted, nearly all the doors are hung, the…” - https://www.instagram.com/p/BkuGgWRBcdN/?taken-by=rebecca_norris
    Pic of the tiles in question again.

    Thanks for any ideas in advance...
     
  2. Plan Tec Tiling

    Plan Tec Tiling Administrator Staff Member Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    Is there any deflection (bounce movement) in the floor at all?
     
  3. tillymint19

    tillymint19 Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    No, it feels rock solid.
     
  4. tillymint19

    tillymint19 Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Some close up photos of the hairline cracks...

    11EEA91E-97FE-452A-86F4-B0C383752843.jpeg 5735A2A6-9EBD-4B6E-92DF-4149E6A9BB2A.jpeg 50164B7B-CF81-4A7A-8839-06A505874AB1.jpeg
     
  5. Lithofin BOB

    Lithofin BOB Test, Test, Test, you know it’s for the best. Company Support

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Did your fitter use a rubber mallet to bed these in , I've had conversations with some suppliers about this and there claiming this can cause small fractures and cracks within the individual tiles .
    Temporary sealers ( these can still stain , if they break down to early)or emulsion sealers ( topical) can be applied to the surface of the tile to take these through the grouting process.
    Will require several tests to ensure full grout and stain release on unlaid tiles first and a controlled working procedure to complete the area.
    I would speak to the supplier of the tiles for guidance on the grouting process, what have they said?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Hi, were these from Casa Ceramica?
    I'm working in Manchester for the next few weeks and could make time to take a look at this for you if you like? PM me if you want...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Plan Tec Tiling

    Plan Tec Tiling Administrator Staff Member Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    So what are your thoughts on this then @impish@impish ???
     
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