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I just spotted a crack in between two wall tiles in my bathroom.

enter image description here

Here is a closer look:

enter image description here

At the crack, the tile on the left is about 1 millimeter above the right tile (i.e. they are no longer aligned).

The space between the tiles is about 1-2 millimeters.

The tiles are 60 by 30 centimeters (23.6 x 11.8 inches).

If I tap them with my knuckles, they sound hollow. Not sure if that says much because all tiles in the bathroom sound hollow. But a crack appeared in just one place.

Tiles were mounted 7-8 years ago. I don't know when the crack first appeared, I just recently noticed it.

So my questions are:

  • are these things coming apart and can I expect them to fall off the wall at some point?
  • should I just remove them instead of waiting for them to fall?
  • how can I remove them without breaking them. I would like to reuse them when mounting back tile (I can't find sellers for this product, it might have been discontinued by the manufacturer; so, I can't just hammer at them).
  • if I start pulling on them, can the whole wall fall over, not just these tiles?
  • any way to mend the issue without removing the tiles?
  • am I overthinking this?

Before calling in any workers I would like to assess the situation myself.

I would appreciate any help.

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  • 2
    Buildings move seasonally. I’d get a small tub of premixed grout, fill in the crack, and see what happens in 6-12 months. Aug 20, 2023 at 16:49
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    Were they aligned (flush) before?
    – Huesmann
    Aug 21, 2023 at 15:58
  • @Huesmann: Yes, they were flush before. I don't know if they slowly started to separate, or if it was all of a sudden, I just noticed one day (how they look like in the pictures above).
    – Emil
    Sep 23, 2023 at 16:16

2 Answers 2

13

No.

It appears from the pictures that you posted that the grout lines have cracked, this does not necessarily mean that the tile adhesion to the wall is compromised.

If the tile has movement when pressing on it then you might have an issue and can carefully remove and reattach with mortar. If the tile is loose, you might be able to slip a small flat bar behind it and work it out or use a suction cup. Just try to go slow and be gentle whatever route you choose.

As far as the hollow sound, this might just be a lack of insulation behind the wallboard.

Also, it is highly unlikely that removing any of the tile would compromise the rest of the wall, I would not worry about that.

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They most likely won't fall off the wall in the near future, but it makes sense to carefully remove any that feel like they're not attached fully.

To do that, you'll need a wide blade spatula, metal, which can be slid behind the tile, so as to apply even pressure under as much area as possible, and work it to cut through the remaining adhesive underneath. That way, the offending ones can be re-used. Scrape away enough of the old adhesive to allow the old tile to sit level again, and make sure when replacing that there's adhesive under the whole tile, assuming the material underneath (drywall?) is still solid enough to support.

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