Movement Joints - The Right One For The Job (Part One)
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We've all seen cases where a tiled surface - particularly in heavily-trafficked areas such as shopping centres and airports - has become damaged. The right movement joint will prevent that from happening.
Without the appropriate solutions being in place, shear stresses can cause the tiles to crack, split and delaminate, as shown in Figure 1. To protect the tiles, intermediate stress relief joints should be incorporated into the surface assembly.

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However, it's not a case of "one-fits-all" -- a different type of joint will be required for different types of application, depending on whether it is heavy duty, light commercial, or domestic. For instance, in areas exposed to high traffic, such as shopping centres and airports, it is important to use a movement joint with metal edges to protect the edges of the joint itself, while preventing damage to the edge of the tiles (see figure 2).
However, for residential or light commercial applications, such as offices and car showrooms, PVC profiles will be suitable. But metal edged profiles should also be considered where the tiled floor surface is likely to be mechanically cleaned.

The profiles are fixed at the same time as the tiles are installed, so the only additional work needed is to grout the anchoring legs into place.

To ensure that there is a joint which is suitable for every conceivable individual application there are many different systems on the market. Because of this, their special features will make a particular joint absolutely right for one application, but wrong for another.  Tilers must select a joint which is capable of doing what is being asked of it.


   
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