does cracked tile mean I have a cracked slab?

Do Cracked Floor Tiles Mean My Slab Foundation Is Cracked Too?

Your floor tiles are cracking and maybe your grout too. Your friends and neighbors are freaking you out about possible foundation issues. Then you visit HomeSymptomMD (not a real website) and now you’re cracking your knuckles over the thought of having a cracked slab.

Hasn’t anyone told you to *never* Google the symptoms??

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’, and we don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need. After 35+ years in business, that’s what’s best for our Brazos Valley community and exceptional homeowners like you. We’re here to help guide you through any foundation issues with your home, and that includes talking through those worrisome symptoms.

In this article, we discuss common reasons tiles can crack and whether this issue is caused by foundation problems. Then we review the top signs of foundation settlement in slab homes and whether cracked tile is one of them. We finish with some discussion on why other companies might make a *big foundation repair deal* about cracked tiles.

Top Causes of Cracked Floor Tiles In Slab Homes

There are a few causes for cracked floor tiles in slab homes. Here’s a quick list for you:

home foundation repair
  • Poor workmanship (bad prep and/or subpar materials),
  • Uneven floor surface,
  • Extreme impact,
  • Adhesive failure, and
  • Foundation movement.

Is Cracked Floor Tile a Sign of Foundation Problems?

Based on the list above, yes foundation movement CAN be one of the causes of cracked or failing floor tiles. Weather and rainfall impact slab foundations annually and cause seasonal settlement and rebounding which sometimes lead to foundation problems. However, four other causes are out there too. 

People often automatically jump to foundation settlement as the only cause for cracked tiles, but the other items on the list are more likely and more common culprits.

true foundation issues have more than one sign

Foundation settlement or problems will present as a combination of signs around your home, it will never be just one symptom like cracked tiles and that’s it. For foundation issues to be the cause of your cracked tiles, you would also be seeing other signs around your home that are foundation-related issues.

If the only problem you see in your home is cracked or tented floor tiles that suddenly popped up, one of the other causes is more likely. 

Tile Adhesive Failure Due to Cold Temperatures

Recently, we had some extremely cold temperatures and got called about tenting floor tiles and tiles that crackled underfoot. This was a vacant home that was not well heated during the freezing temps. 

does cracked tile mean I have a foundation problem?

A major cold snap can cause the mortar underneath tiles to fail and create this issue. The home was checked everywhere for other signs of foundation settlement and none were present. We even made a video about this cracked tile situation.

Conclusion: the tenting floor tiles and crackling were caused by the cold and not by a foundation issue.

Why Some Sources Say Cracked Tile Means Foundation Issues

You may be here because you saw another foundation repair company claiming that tile cracks are a sure sign of foundation problems.

To be clear, we’re not saying that you will *never* see cracked tiles in a home with foundation issues, we’re just saying that cracked tile is not your best indicator of foundation settlement since it has several other more likely causes. 

fear of foundation problems

There are more reliable telltale signs of foundation problems and some signs can be misleading, and you should have some of those too along with your cracked tile if you truly have a foundation issue.

The truth is that some companies rely on fear-mongering tactics to scare you into getting expensive foundation work done when you don’t really need it. Fear-inducing language is just one of the red flags to watch out for when hiring a foundation repair contractor.

What Are The Best Indicators of Foundation Settlement?

You’re probably wondering, “Well, what are those more reliable telltale signs of foundation problems then?”

The top signs that we look for to determine foundation settlement and problems are:

The signs listed above are the most indicative of foundation movement. Most of these telltale signs only have one cause or it’s easy for us to quickly rule out the non-foundation related causes.

signs of foundation settlement

We need to see a combination of these signs and symptoms in your home to determine that the foundation is settling. If it’s just one thing, we’re more inclined to conclude that some other cause is behind the problem. We usually suggest monitoring your home for a while to see if other signs begin to appear or become more bothersome.

How To Know For Sure If You Have a Foundation Problem

There’s more to determining foundation problems than even just the signs. When we come out for a foundation inspection and repair estimate, we’re looking to see if these signs are causing functionality problems with your home. We’re also listening to your report on the history of your home as well as your distress levels about the issues.

top signs of foundation problems

We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with overwhelming repair projects. At Anchor Foundation Repair, we offer fair and impartial assessments, empowering education, and a fully transparent repair process. After 35+ years in business, we want you to know as much about foundation repair as we do and we’ve got no secrets to hide from the Brazos Valley community. 

We are happy to transparently share our process when determining foundation issues for any home we visit. Check out, “How to Know If Your Home Has Foundation Problems” to read about *exactly* how we do it.