Porcelain stoneware expansion joints
When laying porcelain stoneware, many homeowners are unsure whether expansion joints are needed. The solution is simpler than many think.
What are expansion joints?
The expert speaks instead of an expansion joint of a movement joint, expansion joint or dilatation joint, as the joints serve a purpose. Dilatation is the longitudinal expansion of substances caused by changes in temperature or force. This, in turn, causes components to move.
The expansion joint is located between these components, giving the materials room to expand without colliding. This fact has to be taken into account with every tile covering, whether it is porcelain stoneware or tiles made of other materials. The substrate or the type of tile adhesive is irrelevant.
Attention must be paid when grouting.
In general, expansion joints with a width of approximately five millimeters must be taken into account when laying different components, for example the floor tiles on the floor of the walls.
Even if porcelain stoneware is adjacent to another material, attention must be paid to a joint. This is necessary, for example, for door frames or if only part of the floor is tiled. Many homeowners lay porcelain stoneware in the area of a stove and the rest of the room gets a wooden floor. When porcelain stoneware adjoins a wooden floor, the joint should be slightly wider, as wood expands quite strongly when exposed to moisture.
Sometimes expansion joints are present in the floor slab to avoid tensions in a large unitary component. The porcelain stoneware must under no circumstances be laid over this joint. This joint must remain open.
Unlike the joints between the individual porcelain stoneware tiles, never use rigid material such as grout to grout the expansion joint. These joints either remain open or they are sealed with permanently elastic material. Special profiles, elastic beads or silicone are classic filling materials for dilatation joints.
Porcelain stoneware with missing joint
Whether the tiles are decoupled from the substrate or not, they expand when they get warm and shrink when cold. Although the dimensional changes are small, it can happen that the plates exert pressure on each other. This pressure leads to stress cracks. The crack does not necessarily begin at the point where the expansion joint is missing. The forces are transmitted from one tile to the next, and the breakage can also occur in the middle of the room.
Limits Wood planks and porcelain stoneware tend to collapse when the expansion joint is missing. He will be uneven. Some floorboards sometimes stand out completely from the composite. Those who prevent them from buckling by screwing risk tears in the tile surface.
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