There is a row of tiles (1 tile high) behind my kitchen sink. Recently I noticed one or two of them were separating from the wall slightly. This continued to happen over the next few days until about 5 of them literally fell off. I checked behind the missing tiles and the wall appears fine - no moisture or mould, just bare bricks.

I've only owned the place for about a year, but judging from the design of the kitchen the tiles are probably 20+ years old.

Would anyone know what could have caused this?

  • could be that just the compound that kept the tiles on the wall dried out over time, same thing happens with drywall joint compound .etc. after a while and you get cracks. in this case, the whole tile fell off.
    – Alex
    Dec 17, 2016 at 4:09
  • (1) earthquakes, (2) gremlins, (3) use of Elmer's glue, (4) vindictive contractor, (5) a cat, (6) haunted spirits, (7) house is tilting, (8) gusts of wind + cheap construction, (9) it's a portal for the Babylonian god, "Zul" (10) sleep walking, (11) child is looking for treasure, (12) tiles were obstructing a rat construction project, (13) water absorption, (14) your maid is psycho, (15) it's a fissure in the space-time continuum, (16) your dehumidifier is slowly desiccating the house into dust, (17) termite activity, (18) your son's incessant drum practice, (19) Excess use of CLR Dec 17, 2016 at 7:59
  • Picture of the spot and the back sides of a few of the tiles? What's the counter top made out of? They either just fell off, or were pushed out due to expansion. Do all the tiles still fit?
    – Mazura
    Dec 17, 2016 at 16:01
  • What was happening environmentally (both inside and outside) during the "fall off" period? Is it an outside wall?
    – wallyk
    Dec 17, 2016 at 18:15
  • Is there room for all the tiles to fit back in comfortably? Dec 18, 2016 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


Tiles that were attached with a substandard, incorrect, or poorly prepared adhesive and/or were bonded to an improper surface or a surface that was not properly prepared, will tend to release over time. Especially in areas where water is present.

  • I think this is the problem. I took all the tiles away from the area and the workmanship is shocking! Each tile had 4 blobs of what looked like cement 4mm thick holding them in place, but by far worse was the window above the kitchen sink. Instead of cutting the vertical tiles to size, they had simply raised the horizontal tiles on the window sill with huge blobs of more cement! They even covered the window's wood frame cornices and just laid tiles over them! Shocking!
    – MeltingDog
    Dec 18, 2016 at 8:09

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