Ask a TRI Expert: Can a cement tile be fastened too tight?

Have you ever wondered what types of questions people “Ask a TRI Expert“? This series, brought to you by the Tile Roofing Institute, allows anyone to ask anything about tile roofing installation, maintenance, etc. The Tile Roofing Institute (TRI) is a non-profit association of producers and associates of concrete and clay tile and is considered one of the leading experts in the industry. Here’s a recent question from a homeowner and the response from TRI President and Technical Director, Rick Olson.

Question

Can a cement tile be fastened too tight? And would that cause breakage?

Response

The simple answer is yes, but that depends upon the type of fastening and if the fasteners are over driven. Tiles can be fastened with nails, screws or foam adhesive products. The ability of the fastener to provide the greatest uplift resistance will come from the fastener being relatively flush to the top of the tile. For nails, that can be with a hammer or a nail gun.

With a hammer, if they are over driven, the hammer can hit the top of the tile and can create a crack around the nail hole, or in some cases break the tile.

With nail guns, the roofing contractor will set the “chuck stroke” or height to be just above the tile surface to prevent over driving of the nail or screw. This should eliminate any chance of tile breakage.

When screws are used with an impact gun, contractors will generally set the resistance of the chuck to allow the screw to go flush. This will prevent the screw from stripping out the wood and will also provide the best uplift resistance. The goal is to have the fastener seat to the top surface of the tile. If fasteners are too high, they will create a point load on the overlapping tile that can result in breakage when the tiles are walked on.

If you have any questions regarding concrete tile or installation, the Tile Roofing Institute’s website, www.tileroofing.org, is a great resource. TRI also offers installation certification courses throughout the United States, so be sure to check their 2019 course schedule to register for one in your area!

Please feel free to contact your local Eagle Account Representative with questions or visit our website at www.eagleroofing.com.