Two weeks ago I laid 1 X 2 ft ceramic tiles in my bathroom using premix tile adhesive. After reading some reviews, I should have mixed my own - lesson learned. This weekend I added grout and all went well, but this morning (Monday) the grout around one of the tiles which aligns against the bathtub seems to be cracking/splintering slightly. I have now found that when I stand on diagonal sides of the tile and shift my weight, I hear a creaking sound. Seems that the tile is moving, hence the grout issue. The tiles were laid on a floor heating mat. If there was no heating mat, I wouldn't hesitate to pull up the tile, but it seems the mat will be a problem for me. I know most of you guys are not psychics, but what are my odds here of pulling up a tile and ripping up the mat also? If the tile is creaking, I assume that it is loose? Also, how does one pull up a tile? I don't want to dog a hole bigger that I need to (so to speak). Is there an option to fix this without pulling the tile? Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.
Cut the grout with an oscillating tool and bash the crap out of the tile with a hammer. Also ceramics shards are really sharp, highly advice eyewear on this one.– JasonAug 5, 2013 at 18:42
but what about the tile mat/warmer? wont this get damaged. Also, would it help to tape the tile with something to keep the shrouds together?– Andrew FindlayAug 5, 2013 at 19:17
It is not ideal for the mat/warmer. The tile will distribute most of the force so you shouldn't be applying more force than jumping on the tile. You can use an awl, point, chisel, screwdriver, etc to try and focus smaller blows to tiles to help minimize impact force. Tape would hold it together but you really want it to chip and crack it apart so I wouldn't use any.– JasonAug 5, 2013 at 19:27
I have repaired the issue I had with this tile. I did not take the advice given above and looked around for an alternative as the risk of damaging the tile-warmer element was too high (and expensive). I spent a few hours and carefully dug out the grout around the tile and surrounding tiles - this was very tedious as I didn't want to damage the heating element. I vacuumed and cleaned thoroughly. I then mixed up some epoxy grout and with a putty knife pushed the grout as far as possible into the gaps. Since I had used grooved trowel to lay the tiles, the epoxy grout filled under the tile into the gaps. After 2 days I tested the tile and it does not move at all. The epoxy grout is INCREDIBLY strong and hopefully stabilized the tile. I am glad I didn't resort to breaking up the tiles.
The tile moving has very very little to do with your grout. It has more to do with the adhesive (or lack of thinset) on the floor. I don't know the specifics but you might be in for a big project - sorry.
First I wouldn't worry about the grout. You need to break the tiles up. You have a heating element underneath. I personally don't think you can salvage this. But you can try.
You'll need a chisel and hammer. You want to tap the tile that is loose with the hammer. Pretty hard but not hard enough to break the tile. Sometimes I use a piece of wood in between. Not sure the strength of your tile. You are trying to tap it loose or looser before you chisel. Start at one of the edge of the tile and pound the chisel until the tile starts to pop. The bigger the tile the harder the job.
The problem with your situation is three-fold. First you have big floor tiles that you have to get up and they will take a bit of force. Then if you get them up is all or part of the tile stuck to the heating element. And worst part... If you damage one part the chances are that your heating element is toast.
If it were my house I would give it a go. If I were being contracted to do this I wouldn't even try. Whether you try or not depends on what your time is worth. I hate to send you on a wild goose chase but everything is probably trash.