Suitability of tile in an old, moving house

Name: Jesse
Posted: Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 4:39 am MST
Our hundred-year old house moves with the seasons. Log joists, 13' studs and ballon-style construction contribute to the movement as the structural wood absorbs and desorbs seasonal atmospheric moisture. Nonetheless, we had an 8'x8' bathroom tiled. Every wall, floor and ceiling was brought to level with sister scabs screwed to the structural members. Green board was used under all tiled surfaces. I specified epoxy grout to minimize maintenance. Professional tradesmen were contracted to do the jobs within their specilaty, ie. Carpenter, drywaller, tile contractor. Two years later, we have no fewer than seven cracked wall tiles (8"x10") at various locations. My question is: Should we avoid tile in subsequent remodeling projects due to the movement of the old house?
Name: Jennifer
Posted: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm MST
Reply: 1
Since no one has answered you then I will give this a shot. There is a flexbond thinset (@ HD) that can be used and it helps to prevent cracks when installed in areas where movement occurs.
Name: Bud Cline Tile
Posted: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm MST
Reply: 2
Flexbond and even Mega Flex (a great thinset product) WILL NOT stop cracking tiles under these conditions. Those thinsets are used for lateral flexibility between a substrate and a tile strata and are used to help absorb expansions and contractions.

I suspect the major movement here is not from expansion and contraction of materials but instead from instability of the overall structure and style of construction.

Yes, maybe rigid tile installations should be avoided in the future. Not all structures are suitable for tile installations.grin
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