Efflorescence in Tiling

Published 8th November 2016 John Stallard

History has shown efflorescence will manifest itself mostly on external decks facing North and this is especially prevalent in dark coloured tiled external finishes. It is essentially moisture in the tile adhesive that is carried to surface through the tile grouts bringing with it salts from the sand and lime from the cement to eventually become calcified on the surface becoming stone which sets very hard and with pressure is able to be flicked it off. Any membrane system or underlay system cannot cause efflorescence; it’s a tiling issue. There are various reasons for this, one example is the tiles are not fully back buttered and water can pond in the tile grout furrows. When the tile becomes extremely hot during summer months the moisture beneath the tile turns into a vapour and pressures its way out. There is no quick fix solution to efflorescence, generally winter tile installations suffer with this issue mostly.

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