Why is your stone floor cracking and what can you do to stop it?

PUBLISHED: 13:40 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:49 07 October 2020

A stone floor adds a natural, distinctive finish to any room. Picture: Getty Images

A stone floor adds a natural, distinctive finish to any room. Picture: Getty Images

Jonathan Flowerday, from Earth Wood and Stone in Norwich, explains why your stone floor is cracking and how to fix it.

Does your cracked tile look like this? Picture: Danny Nabarro CeramicsDoes your cracked tile look like this? Picture: Danny Nabarro Ceramics

Q: What causes a cracked tile or floor?

A: Many people blame the product or the installer but, more often than not, a cracked tile indicates that something is happening beneath the floor.

There is nearly always a reason why tiles fai – usually it’s down to movement or shrinkage of the screed - the flat concrete subfloor the tiles are laid on to.

We recently worked on a tiled floor replacement where the client had noticed several cracks in their stone flooring. The house was built within the last 25 years and complies to all building regulations.

A classic example of screed movement. Picture: Danny Nabarro CeramicsA classic example of screed movement. Picture: Danny Nabarro Ceramics

The previous builder had laid travertine honed and filled tiles using the correct adhesive and bonded it directly to the floor, but as it was a new screed, when it dried and settled the floor moved resulting in cracks.

Most new screeds will crack and when they do, if the movement is excessive, it can then affect the floor above, especially if the floor is tiled.

Q: How can I fix my floor?

A: Simply replacing the tiles may not work – as they’re likely to crack again. You need to remove the tiles and install anti-fracture matting to the subfloor/screed. You can then lay the tiles directly to the fracture matting using the recommended adhesive and this will give the tiles the best chance of not cracking again.

Q: What should I consider when fitting my new flooring?

A: I’d recommend using fracture matting if you’re replacing the entire floor or laying tiles on a new screed. It’s also essential if you plan on installing underfloor heating.

Remember to budget for the cost of matting – it’s often overlooked, but it can be just as important as grout and adhesive.

Call us to discuss your new floor plans. We can recommend what products and installation method will work best. Give us a call or e-mail us to discuss your product and we will then quote for the materials you require. This will allow you to plan your budget.

Q: How can I find the best floor for my home?

A: The easiest way to see what type of flooring is best for your home is to go into the showrooms and see the products for yourself. It can be very difficult to purchase a tile online, espically if you are looking at natural stone.

Natural stone will vary from batch to batch so you need to fully understand what you are buying and what the on-going maintenance is.

A stone floor adds a natural, distinctive finish to any room. As a natural design choice, it fits with almost any décor. Choose from a range of stones – from a natural limestone that will fit well with contemporary, modern and light rooms or a warm terracotta to add a cosy and inviting feel to your home.

Once you know which flooring you want, call or email us with your room measurements. Use our online floor buying guide to help you choose the right flooring.

Q: Who can install my new floor?

A: Be sure to choose your fitters wisely - ensure they have the experience and knowledge to work with the materials you’ve purchased.

We work with architects, interior designers, builders and developers to supply the materials you need and provide a complete installation service. We make buying and fitting your new floor simple and stress-free.

Visit earthwoodandstone.co.uk for more information.

Call us 01603 675800 or email info@earthwoodandstone.co.uk to discuss your project in more detail or to arrange a home visit.

Visit our showroom at 1 City Road, Norwich, NR1 3AJ to see the full range of flooring.

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