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Question DetailsAsked on 1/21/2018

House flooded and water has started to seep from under the tile floor that was not flooded. Should we replace?

A pipe burst in the ceiling flooding part of the house. We found soaked carpet in the living room where it adjoins the tile floor in the breakfast room. That area was not flooded so we were puzzled as to how the carpet got so soaked. After clean-up we noticed water seeping from under the ceramic tile floor about 2' from the carpet. We are assuming that water somehow got under the tile and traveled to where it flooded the carpet. Our concern is since we don't know how much water is between the ceramic tile and concrete floor that it is on, should we replace it?

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As with many water damage events, the answer is "depends".


If the tile floor was laid on a nailed-down mesh-reinforced concrete "mud coat" - old- - base, or portland-cement or plastic cement thinseton exposed concrete slab, then generally as long as you keep off it (or if necessary, walk on in bare feet or slippes only to avoid any point loading) till the underlying subfloor has been dried out by using fans, it will be fine as long a s teh subflooring does not buckle from being too wet.


If put down with latex adhesive or thinset, I would count on some pieces popping free, at a minimum - so could be replaced, or could plan on doing some spot readhering of loose tiles now and then.


If laid down on a flexible sheet material like a Schluter System, depends - if the water got on top of the membrane could pop free, especially if a latex or adhesive rather than portland-cement based thinset was used to lay the tile. If the water just ran under the membrane between it and the subflooring, ti might be fine once the subfloor dries out. Again, unless the subflooring buckles or expands and pushes the tile up. That is real unlikely to happen if the subflooring is marine plywood, not highly likely if exterior grade (which is the minimum subflooring should be) plywood, moderately likely if exterior graded particle board or OSB, highly likely if non-exterior graded OSB or particle board or levelling overlay sheathing (usually 1/4" luan plywood or sawdust board), almost guaranteed if composition board or sawdust board or cellotex or such.


If insurance is paying for the repair, since you may not know for some time if tile will be popping free, I would try to get replacement included in the insurance claim. If you are footing the bill, keep off the floor at least as much as possible and no shoes (which put down concentrated loads on the tile), dry it out with large fans and/or dehumidifier for at least several days, then see if tiles are loose (I use an 8 oz white - to avoid marking - rubber mallet to check for loose tiles). Other people use the end of a hammer to tap around to listen for loose or "drummy" or "rapping" tiles.

Answered 9 months ago by LCD




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