Will ceramic tile show "damp"?

ineffablespaceFebruary 23, 2014

I've seen multiple posts where water behind natural tile will darken the tile.

Will basic ceramic tile like American Olean or Daltile in white show darker grey patches if the wall behind is getting wet? They seem to come and go.

This bathroom was obviously done on the super-cheap, and there are some obvious variations in color that are the tiles themselves, but I think I am starting to see irregular darker blotches.

I wouldn't be surprised if the tile was set right on green board, and the bathroom is slated for demolition this year so it's not a huge deal, but I am curious if ceramic tile can be that "leaky"?

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I wouldn't think that a commercially pressed and fired tile with a low water absorption rating could absorb enough moisture to have it shadow through the glaze. Especially on a somewhat short "come and go" cycle.

A more absorptive handmade and kiln fired tile? It's possible.

Natural stone tiles? As you wrote, for sure they could shadow moisture.

I have seen cracks in the glaze that have admitted moisture in spots behind the glaze. I've even seen crackle glaze that was moldy and discolored in the "crackles".

Edit to fix speling misteaks.

This post was edited by mongoct on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 8:33

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 3:43PM
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It doesn't matter which tile you use, water should NEVER be able to get BEHIND the tile. It's true that some tile absorbs more water, but that tile has to be well sealed and definitely seal the grout.
You also have to have make sure there is a waterproof membrane behind the tile. Drywall in a wet area is an absolute no-no. You should use a cement board with the waterproof membrane over.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:28AM
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Four tile setters I have recently met told me that ceramic and porcelain tile that is not handmade will not absorb water and discolor.

Can't water seep through even sealed grout to get behind the tile? I've been told us is why we have waterproofing on the wall behind any tile.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:04AM
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