Kitchen Floor Tiles Suddenly Crack Inside 16-Year-Old HDB Flat In Toa Payoh

Ally Villar
·4-min read

A Singaporean woman and her mother were shocked to find that the kitchen floor tiles of their Housing and Development Board (HBD) flat started to make popping noises out of the blue.

In the shocking video, it can be seen that the tiles begin to bulge out and eventually crack.

Floor Tiles Spontaneously Crack And Shatter Inside HDB Flat

what causes tiles to pop up
what causes tiles to pop up

Image source: Screengrab from Youtube / theonlinecitizen toc

The HDB flat located at Block 146 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh on the 22nd floor is co-owned by Jessica Thian and her mother. Thian says they never had any problems before regarding the flat’s flooring. Even though it was original installed by HDB from when the block was constructed around 16-years ago.

But on Sunday (21 March) sometime between noon and 2pm, this was when Thian’s mother heard cracking noises from the kitchen while she was watching television. When her mum alerted her about the popping sounds, Thian immediately grabbed her phone to record the incident.

Cracking sounds could be clearly heard in the footage, with the tiles in the middle slightly elevated. Then they seemingly push against one another before they completely crack. Two tiles in particular on the edge shattered and flew a few centimetres into the air.

The cracking happened several more times after hours of the first crack. This incident unfortunately, left Thian and her mother with an uneven and broken floor.

She contacted HDB about their situation in their online feedback form and even left a comment on their Facebook page. Eventually, an HDB staff sent her an email that showed how the 15-year-old warranty coverage for the flat’s floor tiles had expired on February 3, 2020. This means HDB was not able to help them with the repairs.

According to Mothership, Thian was told that it is the responsibility of flat owners to cover the internal maintenance of their homes. This includes repairing dislodged tiles which they may have to seek help from a contractor to replace.

What Causes Tiles To Pop Up Like This?

what causes tiles to pop up
what causes tiles to pop up

Image source: iStock

To avoid such cases as spontaneous cracking tiles, it’s important to know several causes of cracking tiles. Even when the tiles in your flooring may be installed properly, a number of problems can still arise. According to Tiles-Direct, what causes tiles to pop up may be due to:

  • Being installed incorrectly. The tiles may have gone through an improper adhesive application, which is needed to cover up any gaps or voids.

  • Experiencing hard impacts. While ceramic and porcelain tiles are strong, improper installation or a heavy item being dropped on them can cause them to crack.

  • Having to support heavy loads. Floor tiles are meant to bear heavy weight such as large furniture. But some tiles may not be equipped enough to support them for sustained lengths of time.

  • Drastic temperature changes. Some tiles may not be able to handle extreme temperature changes such as overheating can result to sudden cracking.

  • Tiles may be low quality or unsuitable for the area it was placed in. It is better to be careful in choosing tiles for your floor as different tiles are made for specific applications.

Tile Cracks Safety Tips If You Have Kids At Home

Image source: Stock

A cracked tile may result in minor or even severe injuries for you and your kids. Aside from knowing what causes tiles to pop up, you can also ensure your family’s safety by following these simple tips:

1. Keep your kids away from the cracked floor. Even a small crack can scrape your child’s little foot so better stray them for now from the broken tile area.

2. Use something else to cover the cracked area such as cardboard to prevent any accidental missteps. You can also tape the edges of the cracked tiles in the meantime while waiting for them to be replaced.

3. Make sure the cracked tile area is clean from any messes. Sweep any remaining residue of the cracks and ensure you’ve picked up any sharp shards that may have cracked away from the tiles.

4. Check for any other uneven subfloor around the house that could be subjected to cracking as well. This can help in preventing any more cracked tile and save you from having another area with broken flooring.

5. Immediately arrange for replacement tiles. It is better to resolve your tile issue right away in case any other issues arise and seek help from a contractor.

Lead image source from screengrabe from YouTube / theonlinecitizen toc.


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