Tiled floors are useful in many rooms within your home. From your bathroom to your kitchen and even your outdoor space or garage, tiles provide a durable and easy-to-clean solution that you don’t get from carpeted or hardwood floors. However, even tiled floors can have their disadvantages, especially if the tiles were not laid correctly, which usually occurs after inadequate workmanship or inexperienced DIYers trying to save some money. A common issue is drummy tiles. But what are they, and what should you know about them? 

A man's hand doing tiling work

What Are Drummy Tiles? 

Drummy tiles is a term building professionals use to refer to a hollow sound that occurs when a tile or tiles are tapped, either by a sounding tool or even pens, sticks, and other items. 

This noise contrasts with the short, dull sound you hear when you tap other tiles, and if you hear anything different to this, it is a sign that these tiles are ‘drummy’. Although drummy tiles are not always considered urgent and, in most cases, will still perform their intended purpose, you should fix them as soon as possible to prevent issues in your home. 

What Causes Drummy Tiles? 

There is no singular cause for drummy tiles, although the most common cause is that there was not enough adhesive used to bond the tile to the floor beneath, whether this was concrete, wood, or another common floor material. 

It could also happen if the wrong type of adhesive was used by the original tiler or if they did not lay the tiles quickly enough, which would affect the final strength of the bond and therefore causes the tiles to be uneven, or loose. There could also be air pockets under the tile which cause the sound.  

While these are common causes that are usually the fault of the tiler, they are not the only reason. Sometimes, there are faults in the tile manufacturing process that can affect the quality of the tiling. Hopefully, this has only affected a few tiles rather than the entire batch, although full-batch faults can happen. 

Another reason for drummy tiles is timber pests which have attacked the substrate used to bond the tiles to the floor. There could also be moisture exposure that has happened following a leak or flood within the property. Typically, this is due to a burst pipe that you are not aware of. 

How To Fix Drummy Tiles? 

Drummy tiles can be easy to fix, especially if the problem has only affected a few tiles. Despite this, there have been instances where the majority of tiles emit a hollow noise when tapped with a sounding tool. In this case, you are better off removing all the times (even the ones that are not affected) and relaying the tiles to avoid repeated issues. 

For small replacement projects, you can lift and clean the tiles making sure not to damage them in the process. Once you have cleaned them of the substrate, you can relay them with more adhesive to remove the drummy noise. If you have spare tiles left over from the project, you can use these if you cannot clean the original tiles. 

If you have to replace all the tiles following poor workmanship, it is best to get in touch with a professional loose tile replacement company, as this will ensure you do not have to deal with drummy tiles again. 

Drummy Tiles Can Signal Structural Problems

Although most examples of drummy tiles can be traced back to mistakes made during the laying or manufacturing process, there are instances where structural problems are at fault. 

The most common structural problems are pests and moisture, and these are issues you must deal with before relaying the tiles. For pests, there is the risk that it has affected a large area of your floor, whereas moisture may only affect a specific area. Usually, this is close to a pipe or water source, such as the sink or bathtub, that could have leaked without you realising. 

If you find signs of infestations or moisture after lifting the tiles to replace them, you should get in touch with the relevant professionals to inspect and solve the problem before contacting a professional tile replacement company to ensure the problem does not occur again. 

Summing Up 

Although drummy tiles are not a severe cause for concern in most instances, you should still fix them as soon as possible. If you have noticed an uncharacteristic drummy noise emanating from some or all of your tiles, get in touch with a professional tiling service like TRIM today to solve your problems and ensure your home is just as you’ve always envisioned it.