• Home
  • >
  • Tile Lexicon
  • >
  • Expansion joints in tiles: The comprehensive guide for a flawless tile appearance
Ein Bild eines Heimwerkers der die Dehnungsfuge für Fliesen mit Silikon im Bad verfugt

Expansion joints in tiles: The comprehensive guide for a flawless tile appearance

Understand, plan and implement: Successful tiling with expansion joints

In this guide, we'll help you understand the basics of tile expansion joints.

No matter if you:

laying, it is important to know the correct procedure for laying expansion joints.

You will learn:

  1. Why we need expansion joints, also called movement joints
  2. Where and when they are necessary when laying tiles
  3. How the DIN standards , in particular DIN 18560, DIN 18157 and DIN 18195, regulate the use of expansion joints.

You will also learn how to create an expansion joint and how to handle special circumstances such as working with underfloor heating and screed.

We also go into the topic of sound transmission and how you can avoid cracking with correct expansion joints .

1. Short definition: What is an expansion joint?

Image of an expansion joint

An expansion gap is an area in a floor covering, such as tile, that allows room for the material to expand and contract naturally.

It serves to absorb compressive and tensile stresses caused by temperature fluctuations, moisture, frost and other influences.

Good to know: Without these expansion joints, cracks could appear in your wall, floor or tile covering.

2. The science behind the expansion joint: distances and DIN guidelines

Distances in tiles expansion joints

Expansion joints, also known as contraction joints, are essential to prevent damage from thermal expansion and contraction.

They act as a "safety valve" allowing material movement due to temperature changes.

When and where are expansion joints necessary?

Expansion joints are necessary in many places, especially when laying ceramic tiles or porcelain stoneware tiles.

In your flooring, you should:

  • building joints
  • transitions between different materials
  • Places where the ground changes

be scheduled.

3. Create the expansion joints

Tile expansion joint during the construction process

After laying the tiles, the expansion joints are cut into the material with a joint cutter.

The joints are then filled with a suitable sealant, such as silicone, using a dispensing gun .

This sealant protects the joints from moisture and dirt.

4. Expansion joints and underfloor heating

Beware of underfloor heating and expansion joints

Working with underfloor heating poses a particular challenge with regard to expansion joints.

They help to relieve the compressive stress caused by the temperature fluctuations of the heater.

It is therefore necessary to set the joints more often and possibly to keep smaller distances between the joints.

Our tip: Proper planning and an expert opinion (also online) from a master tiler usually help.

5. Expansion joints and screed

Is it possible to create an expansion joint in the screed?

Screed also has special requirements with regard to expansion joints.

Important: The screed should be fully cured before you start laying the tiles. If necessary, you can grind the screed smooth with an angle grinder .

This will help avoid cracking and warping.

6. Summary - Expansion joints are important and correct

We hope this guide will help you with your renovation work and make tiling easier for you.

With the right knowledge and tools, you can prevent cracking and create a durable and beautiful floor. I wish you success!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

  • Bild von Jürgen Kleis Werkzeuge Experte - Tipps und Tricks rund um das Thema Handwerken und Heimwerken

    Jürgen Kleis

    "With my many years of experience in the tool industry, I can give you helpful tips and tricks for DIY and handicrafts".

    To the author page 
  • Other helpful platforms

    I try to give the community at all available levels tips for building a house, renovating or gardening.