There are many reasons why tiles crack and lift, but the two most common are: 

  1. When the adhesive and grout did not have sufficient flexibility to allow for building and/or thermal movements. 
  2. When the tile panel movement joints were not constructed properly. 


 Modify the adhesive or grout with a latex or polymer-based additive to increase the bond strength, flexibility, water resistance and reduced/elevated temperature resistance of cement-based tile adhesives and grout. 

 This is particularly important when tiling in the following areas: 

  • High-traffic areas: Building entrances and passages, car showrooms etc. 
  • External areas: Balconies, exterior walkways, patios. 
  • Permanently moist areas: Showers, bathrooms, laundries, swimming pools. High thermal stress areas: Saunas, steam rooms. 
  • Reduced temperature areas: Refrigerated cold and chiller rooms. 
  • Flexible backgrounds: Suspended slabs, suspended wooden floors, floors with radiant heating, lift cabins. 

Movement joints 

 Tile panel movement joints (TPMJ) are flexible or “soft” joints that allow for building and thermal movement. These joints should be located at maximum 5m centres for interior surface beds, and 3m centres for suspended and exterior applications, as well as around the perimeter of all floors. 

For more information, contact TAL: 

Tel: +27 860 000 TAL (825) 



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